Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Put Me In, Coach

Poor Hot Rod had a rough day on the mound today. Not much support in the field and he was wound up, so his control wasn't the best. He didn't pitch poorly, but he was getting flustered.
I like this picture. You can see the ball as it is about to get hit by his friend and former teammate.
He cracks me up with his tongue hanging out of his mouth on the mound and his new Manny Ramirez-style pants are going to take some getting used to. He asked for new pants because he didn't like the tight ones, so I got baggy and man, are they baggy.
Again with the tongue. But, I like this one with the ball in the top of the frame. We play two more games next week. Maybe some bounce back is required.

Girl Power!

The power of the pink helmet and pink Nike swooshes launched this massive drive *wink* and sent the little girl scurrying around the base path. She has such a good time playing. She's learning. This is her first season to play, so I figure it will take her a little while to get the hang of it, but she's picking it up slowly but surely. I love the crowd reaction. Everyone wants Little Bit to get on base. Unfortunately, she was out at third base. A teammate hit a line drive and the third baseman actually caught it. She was running and about three strides off base before she turned to run back and the kid was smart enough to double her up. Oh well, still exciting to see her get on base. She was very proud of herself and her game ball.

Two Million Baby

Love me or hate me, I may have 2 million hits to the blog by the end of the month.

My winning ticket

It must be real (rolling my eyes) when the email subject says "The-Big-Big-Lotto." No scams here.

I'm rich. *snickering*

Your e-mail address attached to Winning ticket number *I'm not going to give you my winning number* with Serial number BIG-************ and lucky numbers (**)****/****/**/** emerged as a winner of £500,000.00 GBP. Contact your processing officer, Mr Beham Cole with the details stated in the mail subject wtih the contact below:Mr Benham Cole ,Email:

Hee hee. Wouldn't it be nice if it were this easy? I mean, really this easy. *sigh*

Oh well, maybe I haven't won a half million pounds. But, maybe I can look into buying HaloScan for my comments so I can start tracking IPs and blocking the trolls. On second thought, I'm just going to do this the cheap way and enable the comment tracking. So, from here on out, I'm the dictator of Army of Mom. Yep, that's the winning ticket, on second thought. My time of open debates is now gone. I'm the emperor and if you care to tell me I'm wearing no clothes, no one will hear it but me. BWAHAHAHAHAAAA!


A Proverbs Woman

I'm back from my cousin's funeral and it was a beautiful service. She was remembered for being the wonderful woman that she was. She was full of faith and happiness. I don't recall ever seeing her without a smile on her face.

She was lovely both inside and outside and her loss is profound. Watching her immediate family during the mass made me so sad for them. I grew up with her children, so while she was my cousin, she was much more like an aunt.

The two readings selected for the mass were so appropriate for her. The first was that of the Proverbs woman. This was so fitting for her. She raised four children, including a special needs child who is profoundly retarded among other disabilities. She loved that special child as much as her three healthy children. During the mass today, her special daughter began to laugh. Her caretakers ushered her out because it really wasn't appropriate timing, but I had to smile and think that my cousin had to be pleased to know her daughter was happy and oblivious to the sadness around her.

The other passage was Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

That was another good one for her. She was such a dear woman and I regret not making more time to be a part of her life. But, she was busy with her job, her children and grandchildren and I've been busy with my life, as well. I was curious and looked at our last email exchange, which was right after Little Bit's Nutcracker performance. I shared the video with her and this was her response:

She was adorable, and I can see why you loved it. (B's daughter) was and is our actress, and she never met a stage she didn’t like. Me—I can’t muster the courage to speak in front of more than 5 people! When she was in high school plays, I would get physically sick watching her, because I was nervous for her. Even though she wasn’t one bit nervous and absolutely loves being on stage, any stage. Glad (Army of Dad) got a job, looks like it’s going to get rough out there. My family is fine, Thanksgiving was our first major holiday without (B's sister-in-law - who passed away last year), and it was tearful, but good. Christmas will be tough, too. I hope your family’s Christmas is a blessed one. Say hello to your parents for me.

I saw cousins and aunts that I haven't seen for a few months, so that was nice to at least give them a hug. I didn't get to visit for very long because everyone was going different directions. One of my aunts, who still doesn't like me for whatever reason, recoiled when I tried to put my arm around her. Not sure why I keep trying, but that is just my personality, I suppose. As much as I say I hate people, I really don't. I try to exude love to all those around me and when it isn't returned, I'm usually at a loss.

I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now, to be honest. I'm grateful for my family and their good health and sad that it takes such a tragic loss for me to look around and take stock of my blessings.

Cowboys Release Jones

Finally, the Cowboys make a move they shoulda made years ago by releasing Jones.

Awww, if only. If only ...

Quality Kids

Occasionally, I look at children today and wonder where our future is going other than to hell in a handbasket. And, then, I encounter incredible kids on the baseball fields or at school and my faith is restored somewhat.

These two football stories will cause you to get out the tissues unless you're just heartless.

For instance, the Arkansas teen who had an open touchdown, but stopped at the 2-yard line because he didn't want to blow out the other team.

And, the freshman football team who could've had a shut out, but let the player with Down's Syndrome score a touchdown.

Yeah, that's what high school sports should be more about.

Today is going to be a tearjerker all day. My cousin's funeral is this morning. She was such a remarkable woman. I just feel so sad for her husband of 43 years, her children and her grandchildren.



The anonymous know-it-all has succeeded. Apparently he/she/it can't handle not getting the last word on MY blog comments, so he/she/it had to move on to other posts.

The tailgating-holier-than-thou anonymous simply fixed it so I don't allow comments, which is probably just as well. I do, however, still wish I was perfect and knew everything like he/she/it does. Must be amazing - or possibly incredibly frustrating - to go through life knowing everything about everyone else when he/she/it wasn't even there.

Wow. Supreme Being, thanks for all of your advice. I don't know how I drove for almost 25 years now without your guidance. I'm in awe of how much you've taught me by acting like YOU know everything and I'm just some drooling idiot who has been enlightened by your snarkiness.

So, I hate to disappoint you by closing the comments. Here, I found you a kindred spirit. Go have fun. I'm assuming you've been rear-ended and that is why you're so hostile, but let me reassure you again, that I was NOT driving dangerously and the other guy's response was clearly out of order. I have no clue why I'm justifying myself to you, but it just irritates me to be judged by someone who doesn't know me or anything about me.



There are times when my husband fusses at me for not blogging. He encourages me to do it. And, I've told him before that either no one comments or the ones that do rag on me. I'm not a fan of that. This is my little piece of the Internet. If you don't like me or the things I do, just leave and go to the HuffingtonPost or wherever you feel happy in your perfect world. Cuz, just a little news flash: I'm human.

I know it is shocking for most of you. I'm just a flawed person doing my best to get through life and try to raise three contributing, responsible members of society. If you don't like the way I do it, don't let the Internet door hit your ass on the way out.

When I go to blogs and I think the blogger is an idiot, I don't leave nasty snarky comments. I usually just leave and vow never to return. If it is a friend of mine who has said something I disagree with, I'll start a banter from time to time. But, even then, it is rare than I do that.

Whenever one of my critics is perfect, please let me know and I'll make sure and go to confession to ask for absolution for insulting the Divine Being. Until then, ptthptphppphptttppp. These are the reasons I don't enjoy blogging as much as I once did. The nasty people out there who think they know better than the rest of us.

And, if you start flaming me in the comments, I'll just close the string. I don't like trolls.

Little Bit's First Hit

Little Bit got her first hit last night and I think it shocked her when it happened. :) Beware, though, the video is so sweet, it may cause cavities. Or, it may hurt your hears listening to me tell her to run. :)

Showdown in the School Zone

Sometimes, it makes sense why kids act the way they do when you encounter their parents.

Hot Rod does 'safety patrol' at his school and has to be there by 7:40 a.m. Poor little fella slept in this morning because he was exhausted after his baseball game last night. We didn't get home till 9 p.m. or so, which make it a long day for a kid.

So, we're running a little late, but we are about a block from the school when the clock hits 7:40 and I'm trying to get him there. Apparently, the truck in front of me thought I was following him too closely. I figured he must because instead of going 20 mph in the school zone, he slowed to 15 mph, so I'm on his bumper. Yep, I admit it. Not in any effort to be menacing, but hoping to get my kid to his obligation on time.

So, I drop the kids off and just look out of my rearview mirror to see if I know the kid who gets out of the car. I recognize her as an overall decent kid, but fairly bratty (I've subbed in her classes before). My initial thought is a bit of a shock because I know she is the cousin of one of Hot Rod's friends. And that friend has great parents. So, the driver of the slow truck is related to them, so he must not have been slowing down on purpose, but just being cautious in the school zone, I'm thinking. So, I pull out of the school parking lot and start heading home.

I'm going 20 mph because that is the law (and its safe with kids around) when I hear an engine racing and look up and the truck that had slowed down in front of me has his brights on and is accelerating to probably around 50 mph in the school zone. The truck gets doesn't show any signs of stopping as I sit at the stop sign. I honestly thought he had lost control and was going to hit me, but there was a car coming on the crossroad, so I couldn't pull out into it.

When I get out in the road, the truck runs the stop sign and revs the engine again and gets right on my bumper. It took me a minute to realize it was the asshole who had slowed to 15 mph in front of me just a few moments earlier. I honestly wasn't expecting a showdown just outside of the school zone. I mean, come on. Really? So, he revs his engine the whole way and is right on my bumper. So, as I approach the stop light (which was red) I stopped and he almost hit me. Then he whips his truck around me wildly to get up next to me.

So, I rolled my window down. Asswad was so riled up I couldn't even talk to him. He just starts yelling "SO YOU LIKE TO RIDE MY ASS! HOW'S IT FEEL TO HAVE SOMEONE ON YOUR BUMPER? HUH? HOW'S IT FEEL? DO YOU LIKE IT?"

Then, he gives some triumphant look and pulls away. *shaking my head* Dude. Really? I am on your bumper (and in no form or fashion anywhere close to the way he was on mine accelerating like he was) for maybe - at the most - an 1/8 of a mile at 2o mph and you're going to respond like that? Really?

I am so mad right now that I'm shaking and I've had about 15 minutes to calm down. What is wrong with people? I mean TRULY wrong with people that he would be set off like that for me hoping he'd go the 20 mph in the one block before school. Dude has some serious issues. It might also explain why his child is such a brat to have him as her father figure. What a jerk. Complete total jerk. And, I hate feeling this way because I really would like to do something nasty to him. Jerk. Jerk. Jerk.


Joining the 21st Century

Well, don't be too scared ... but I'm going to try and Twitter.

If there are sad folks who want to follow the escapades of this randy wench, you can find me at

Be afraid. Be very afraid!


I'm Going to Miss You, Cuz

Hugging my dad in this picture is my cousin, by marriage, B. She died today after suffering a stroke early this morning. The man on the left is my cousin, L, B's husband. They are probably some of the closest relations I have on that side of the family. We kept in touch exchanging emails from time to time. Her family often came to visit when I was a kid. Their children (my second cousins) were all around my age. When I was in high school, my BFF and I went to visit my cousins in Utah and spent a few days with their family then.
This is my aunt and her kids at my parents' 50th wedding anniversary in 2007. B is on the far right in the black with white blouse. The tall guy on the left is another cousin by marriage. He died last year of cancer. Another cousin's wife died a year or two ago. Lots of losses on this side of my family. So sad, too. I'm distraught to say the least. I've been blessed not to lose too many people that I've loved, so it is hard to handle. I've been thinking I needed a good cry lately, but this was not how I hoped to achieve it.
RIP B. The world suffers the loss of a fabulous woman.

Killer Escapes at the County Fair (in Spokane)

Hey folks, if any of you live in Washington state, beware. There's a madman on the loose. For some reason, the state mental hospital staff thought it would be a good idea to take the crazies to the state fair. No big deal that one of them was a convicted killer put there because he was insane.

No big deal that this dude was housed there for killing some old lady then setting her body on fire before burying the remains in her garden. Nope, nosirree. He should get a field trip, huh?

In reading the article, the dude had $50 on him and two hours of lead time before the mental hospital folks notified authorities. Yippee. Go read the story. The details will make your jaw drop.


I've been Kanye'd

Baboon Pirates immortalized me forever with Kanye West and some sort of rodent. I think it is a squirrel.

I thought it was hysterical. I needed that after the poopy root incident (as it will be called from now on.)

Down in a Hole

I know there is some song I keep singing about with a chorus of down in a hole. Is it Soundgarden or Stone Temple Pilots? I can't remember. No, this is not a picture of where I'm going to bury the bodies, although I considered it. Nope, this morning was all about crap. Apparently while we were gone, poop caused the toilet to overflow and flood the bathroom and also to come back up in the bathtub, too. Nasty, but thankfully my parents had that mess to clean up. Not so lucky this time. It backed up on me this morning, but knowing that it happened once before, I was a little more prepared for it. So, I pulled out the handy 'basic book of plumbing' that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas the first year we were in the house. I had a pretty good idea our main drain was clogged. So, I called the plumber and he tried to snake it, but the damn thing kept hitting something. So, he was convinced a root or stone had done some damage to the pipes.
Sure enough, upon digging the giant grave-size dying hole, there it was. That black crap (pardon the pun) you see between the two pipe pieces is a giant poo-covered tree root. And, yeah, the fluid there is sewage. Nice, huh?
Once the root was knocked away, you could see the snake piece sticking out. Yep, the pipe is completely severed and has shifted.
Later, the plumber pulled out this tasty piece of poo-covered roots that were growing inside the pipe. That is a yard stick *yep YARD stick* next to it!
So, he had to do some creative PVC artwork to make the pipes join together. Was interesting to see him use the flambe thingee there when he was gluing the PVC joints together. And yeah, the day did get warmer, so I had the added bonus of the Topless Plumber. I'm sure my next door neighbor enjoyed the view as she just booted her husband in the past week or two. It was funny when Uzz brought Pickle by to collect his things for a weekend at dad's. Pickle gave me that "are you checking him out" look and Uzz made some snarky remark about how "its hard work shoveling this poo in a hole. I think I'll take my shirt off."
And, the final work of art sans roots and leaking water. The plumber remarked many times that he couldn't believe we had any drainage at all with the pipe like it was. AoD suspects that the drainage was simply absorbing into the yard until we had around five inches of rain over the past few weeks. The ground was so full of moisture that it couldn't absorb the wastewater any more, so that was what backed up into the tub and made the toilet overflow. Ick. Now I have to go scrub the tub and floor. Funsies.


Got a drink in my hand, got my toes in the sand

Our first day in port landed us in Progresso, Mexico. We got off the Ecstasy and the ship coming from New Orleans is the Fantasy. Still sober here. Not a drink at all. Yeppers. Didn't last long. This was around 9 a.m.
Corona Beach Party was our excursion for the day. The skies were gorgeous and the water was a little cooler than I like but not bad. The sand was pretty, but you could tell we were still along the Gulf of Mexico on the shoreline. I did get lots of pretty little shells, though.
I think this was still a straight up Pina Colada. Later in the morning, I switched to a drink the bartender called a Miami Vice. It is a swirl of Strawberry Margarita and Pina Colada. After a few of these, you don't even taste it any more. :)
Mucho cervaza tomando. (is that right?)
AoD participated in a volleyball game.
I like this shot. He had some great serves. I think his team - which consisted mostly of very young and very attractive women - won.
Do you sense a trend here with the 7-ounce Coronitas?
And, making the concrete crawl back to the ship. Yep, we did some damage to that open bar at the beach party, but man that was fun.

The grass is really never greener

Don't we look happy? You know why? Well, it could have been all the John Dalys we were drinking (iced tea/lemonade/vodka) on the cruise, but I'm more inclined to think it is because we are really in love. Sometimes I take that for granted and I get a case of the "I wannas." I'm not always satisfied with what we have and the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. Then, I get a large dose of reality.
This silly shot is us at the training class for what to do if we had to abandon ship. I just thought it was funny. But, I digress. What has me sort of melancholy today - while also being grateful for what I do have - is that a friend of mine got dumped. And, dumped in a big way. She's really cute and very sweet and she was living a life for which I was extremely jealous. She got married just a few years ago and he built her a new 4,800-square-foot house and bought her a 2009 Lexus. She was living the good life with her husband. Except she wasn't, apparently. Recently, he walked in and told her he didn't love her anymore and wanted her to move out. Just like that. WTF? She didn't see it coming at all. And, the rest of us who envied her life didn't see it coming either.
The lesson for me is to be happy with the blessings that I have. My husband loves me and, thankfully, tolerates the flaws. We may have a house that needs a new roof, probably some foundation repairs among other things and our cars may need new tires - but we have something so much greater than all the new fancy things - we have each other. And, for that, I'm terribly grateful.


What happens in Mexico ...

Yes, we're back and now I'm up to my eyeballs in work, which is good. But, it makes the whole recommitment to blogging a bad decision. So, here is a sampling of our pictures. I'll bore you with the full slideshow later. Here we are "power snorkeling" in Cozumel. This stuff rocked. OMG did this rock. The little Sea Doo gizmos made it totally awesome. You just zoomed around and could cover so much more space with little effort. Its snorkeling for lazy people, which made me love it. We saw some beautiful fish and coral. Our divemaster guide poked some stingrays for us and I saw an eel, too. Crazy fun.
And, here is a sloshed AoM along the little strip of beach on Puerta Maya in Cozumel. When I say little, I mean tiny. But, it was still lovely. By this time I had already drank two Pina Coladas (isn't that a Jimmy Buffet song?) and 28 ounces of banana dacquiri. I think I was on my second 28-ounce banana dacquiri. Yummy.

This was us on the dress-up night of the cruise. Yeah, that is as dressed us as we get voluntarily. My shawl was a souvenir from my mom's summer trip to London. It was a nice highlight to the black dress. More pics will come eventually, maybe. I have soooo much work, but I need it to pay off the cruise!

Demented and Sad, But Social

Here is the artsy anime kids that celebrated Pickle's 15th birthday with him on Saturday evening. They are too funny. Good kids, long hair, pierced ears and all. *shaking my head* And, of course, Pickle's little girlfriend is wrapped around him. Must be difficult to be such a studmuffin.

Pizza, ramune, pocky, cake and The Wedding Singer. What more could a kid want?


Much to learn, you still have

Birthday, he will celebrate today. Yes, my young padawan will be 15 today. *sigh* Oh yeah, he had his first kiss on Wednesday, too.

Happy birthday, Hot Lips.


We Will Never Forget

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the attacks on our nation's capital and New York City that ended with four planes crashing. Hundreds - if not more - of valiant Americans died trying to save the lives of their fellow citizens. Many Americans simply died while going about their lives - whether at work or on a plane for a trip, etc. It was a tragedy and I hope none of us forget how that day changed our lives.

As for me and mine, we will never forget.

Photo is the Coppell Honor Guard of the fire department and police departments. It was taken by a friend of mine who works as a Coppell firefighter.


I *heart* anime

Playing hooky with my kid is great fun. We don't do that near often enough. For the previous three years, my BFF and her oldest and me and my oldest have gone to the AnimeFest and stayed for a day or two. It is great fun. But, this year, my BFF is on her way to Colorado to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary. My honey and I are heading out on a cruise for the weekend, too. So, hooky-playing would allow my son and I to geek out. So, I had to dance some with the cute gal wearing her "I *heart* soccer moms" t-shirt. Gotta love that gal. :)
And Pickle identified this dude as Duster from some cartoon. *shrug* But the dude was funny. Pickle was a shopping Link today.
Some Inuyasha (or however it is spelled) characters.
I choose you Pikachu.
And, Pickle's very favorite Batman character, Harley Quin (again, not sure of the spelling). What was funny was that we saw Harley driving in her car in full makeup. That had to be funny to be driving down the interstate, look over and see that next to you. :) All in all great fun.
As for me, I'm I'm on a boat


Pissing Off People Around The Globe

I think the title of this post should be my mantra for the day.

On Facebook, people were posting:
"So&So believes no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day. Demand universal health care."

I had to practically hold myself back from reaching through the Internet and throttling these normally very smart people. I also had to bite my tongue from commencing the flaming that would inevitably ensue if I started bantering with them. There are some people you just can't argue with. So, I would rather not start.

So, I made this my status post for the day:
"I'm not a bleeding heart. No one should die because they cannot afford healthcare (and they typically don't in our great country which will provide that care for free) and no one should go broke because they get sick (and most won't). If you agree that the government should keep their hands out of our pockets and allow free choice for healthcare, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.

Of course, being a journalist, about 75 percent of my friends are liberals. So, I got called out. I knew it would happen. And, I loved how my friend blamed it on Bush. Hello, he hasn't been in office for eight months now. But, he's been a great scapegoat for the past eight years, so lets go with with works for us.

But, the thing is, I think I know better than they do. And, before anyone starts ranting and raving at me about how I must be healthy and not understand. No, you'd be wrong. My husband teases me because I have a surgical procedure at least once a year. I'm not in great shape. I also have a special needs child with a chronic health condition demanding expensive tests and care. When my husband was unemployed last year, we paid about $700 a month for Cobra to protect our insurance portability. And, ask me how much I whined about that? Very very little. Healthcare in the U.S. may be imperfect, but I think it is a pretty good system.

Listening to my father-in-law, who worked in Canada a year or two ago, only reinforced my beliefs that government-provided healthcare is a crock. FIL needed a chest x-ray before taking his next job. Because he is in relative good health, he was going to have to wait 3-6 months to get an x-ray in Canada. However, he could fly home to Florida or to his parents' place in Minnesota and have it done that day if he wanted. There are horror stories all over the place about people dying in the UK because the government wouldn't approve their treatment plans for one reason or another.

So, rather than drone on and on, I thought I'd reprint an op-ed piece I wrote for a newsletter about six weeks ago. Yes, someone paid me to write this.

On the surface, comprehensive health reform sounds like a fabulous idea. Why wouldn’t Americans want everyone to have guaranteed health care coverage? However, insurance for everyone comes with a price tag that isn’t only about the approximately $1 trillion (yes, with a TR) that it will cost to implement over the next 10 years.
All of the bills under active consideration contain requirements that people obtain health insurance coverage, which is also known as an individual mandate. According to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s health reform bill, by 2013, all individuals would be required to have health insurance coverage and those not complying will be assessed a tax up to the cost of the minimum benefit plan.
In addition to the individual mandate, other proposals include requirements for employers of more than 25 people to provide employees with qualified health insurance coverage.
Employers that already provide health benefits to their employees may not think that these potential new requirements would impact them, or may even level the playing field between their company and those that do not currently offer coverage.
However, at least one bill being considered both requires employers with more than 25 employees to provide coverage and also requires employers to pay 72.5 percent of each employee’s premiums for “acceptable” coverage and 65 percent of the cost of those employees’ family coverage premiums. What exactly is deemed “acceptable” is up for discussion, too.
Additionally, the bill mandates coverage for part-time employees and requires employers to pay for a portion of the costs on a pro-rata basis. Many employers now can’t afford such contributions to their employees’ health plan costs. Employers that fail to comply would incur a penalty of eight percent of the company’s payroll, along with the potential for additional payments and penalties down the road.
“Employers currently provide health insurance benefits voluntarily to more than 160 million Americans … this bill includes a sweeping new mandate, which would force employers to provide health insurance or pay a new civil fine,” according to a letter penned by U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials to Congress.
The civil fine mentioned is $750 annually for each full-time employee and $375 for part-time employees, according to a July 7 Wall Street Journal article. At least one health insurance company called that fine a “pay or play” penalty for employers who decline to offer health insurance to their workers.
In President Obama’s address to the American Medical Association on June 15, he said “we need to create incentives for physicians to team up … we need to give doctors bonuses for good health outcomes – so that we are not promoting just more treatment, but better care. One thing we need to do is figure out what works, and encourage rapid implementation of what works into your practices. That's why we are making a major investment in research to identify the best treatments for a variety of ailments and conditions. Let me be clear: identifying what works is not about dictating what kind of care should be provided. It's about providing patients and doctors with the information they need to make the best medical decisions. Replicating best practices. Incentivizing excellence. Closing cost disparities.”
Sounds a lot like managed care, which private insurance companies already have in practice. But, the Wall Street Journal went one step further calling it “rationed care.”
“In remarks to the American Medical Association last month, President Obama waxed enthusiastic about countries that 'spend less' than the US on healthcare. The Journal explored the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, which has become in practice....a rationing board. As health costs have exploded in Britain as in most developed countries, NICE has become the heavy that reduces spending by limiting the treatments that 61 million citizens are allowed to receive through the" National Health Service. Obama and Democrats claim they can expand subsidies for tens of millions of Americans, while saving money and improving the quality of care. It can't possibly be done. The inevitable result of their plan will be some version of a NICE board that will tell millions of Americans that they are too young, or too old, or too sick to be worth paying to care for,” according to a July 7 editorial in The Wall Street Journal.
The HELP Committee’s bill also proposes the establishment of a National Health Insurance Exchange by 2013 to replace the current individual health insurance market. States would be allowed to apply to the federal government to establish state or regional exchanges and establish health plan standards, facilitate the provision of comparative information, enrollment, billing, and other administrative functions, administer coverage subsidies, and respond to consumer grievances. Also, by 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services would develop and offer a public plan through the exchange to compete with private insurers. The public plan would comply with the same requirements as private health plans participating in the exchange, but provider payments from the public plan would be similar to Medicare rates and providers participating in Medicare would be required to participate in the public plan for five years. The federal government would provide start up funding for the public plan, but it must become self-sustaining after initial start up.
However, a government-run public plan would not be subject to the same rules for financial solvency and would not be required to pay taxes as private health insurance companies are required to do. Because these plans would operate with advantages not available to private plans, the unlevel playing field could eventually force everyone to be covered under the government plan, which could lead to everyone covered by a government plan resulting in waiting lines and rationing such as in Canada and Great Britain , according to the National Association of Health Underwriters.

So, what I'm asking is this ... read up on the Universal Healthcare Reform information, don't just jump on the bandwagon because you want free healthcare. Like I tell a lot of people, be careful what you ask for. Do you really want Big Brother telling you what is the best treatment for your child's leukemia or even your child's ear infection? Not me. I prefer to consult with my physician on that one.


File under Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Overheard while cooking dinner:

Little Bit: Hey Hot Rod. Would you kill a family member for $1 billion trillion?
Hot Rod: No way. *thinking about it momentarily* It depends on the family member.

The Remedy

There is Seether's Remedy and Jason Mraz's The Remedy (I Won't Worry), but so far, they're not working. What seems to be offering a small amount of relief is the Classical Masterpieces Music Choice station on my digital cable.

Yeah, The Twitch is Back. I've been looking for holistic ways to correct the nervous eye twitch and this was my favorite: get more sleep, drink less caffeine and lubricate your eyes with drops. Uh, ok. The more sleep. Ha. The less caffeine is a double ha. So, ha ha. And, the eye drops? I guess I can try that. I love the advice I get from other people to reduce my stress.

I could do that if I had about $12,000 more a year. Seems like a meager amount, but that's all I require. That or about four more major writing projects a year. That would do it.


Off to a phoner.

I left my heart (and thong) in San Francisco

I keep giggling and humming the Thong Song this morning.

In November, the non-profit professional organization for which I serve the national board has its annual board meeting in San Francisco. So, I'm planning to attend (my first time there) and I had to tell one of the high school volunteers that I may not be able to help with some event in November if they overlap with the time of the trip. So, I went to bed with that on my mind.

And, then I had a dream about one of my fellow board members. I had to send him an email to tell him about it. Here was my email to him:

Email subject: Man of My Dreams
LOL. Well, yes you are, apparently. I had the weirdest dream last night and not sure why you were the hero, but there you were. :) You and I were working here in my home office on some (board) stuff for the San Francisco meeting (I was thinking about that trip before bed last night, so maybe that was what planted (the board) and San Francisco in my head). So, anyway, you and I are working when some hobo/bum wanders into the office and goes to sleep on my couch. You and I exchange looks, but decide it is better to leave him alone as long as he's sleeping and not smelling too badly. So, you leave to go do something in the other room when I accidentally bump the bum and wake him up. He wakes up pulling a knife and I start screaming for you to come help. I am in the process of locking myself in the bathroom when you run in and start to scuffle with the fella. I woke up when I was trying to get you to come lock yourself in the bathroom with me because I was afraid you were going to get stabbed and it would be my fault!

Here is his response:

LOL! Thanks for the amusing story. I have a lot of bizarre dreams myself. One just the other night involved two art directors here (whom I barely know) who were married to each other in the dream. Don't think I'll mention it to them.

Years ago, my former editor (a married guy about 15 years older than me and a total homophobe) had a dream about me in a thong and proceeded to tell the entire staff. I was mortified that 1. he had that dream and 2. that he didn't realize how weird he looked telling people about it. My friends from (the old workplace) and I still laugh about that one ... Can't wait for SF ... counting down the days!! And I promise to protect you, thong or no thong! Take care, *signed*

So, now I keep picturing this tall lanky guy in a thong singing the Sisqo song. I'm going to have to play that at our board meeting. :) I posted the link on his Facebook page for good measure, too.