Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
This is a little ironic.
Today is the first day of school. I am running back and forth between floors to grab coffee (kid's school room is downstairs, coffee and my computer up).
I thought I'd scan a few headlines to catch anything I might want to go over in our current events.
As part of the Miss Teen USA pageant , this poor girl was asked a "thought-provoking question."
I don't know what to make of the answer.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
So to show my good faith I give to you;
Friday, August 24, 2007
I had promised my kids I'd take them to the coolest thrift store in the world to treasure hunt with their allowance money.
It lies across the strip, which is a pain to cross and in our family we refer to it as crossing the Rubicon (alea iacta est!). My older kids joke as we cross over to the east, "Hey -we're just like Bush." "No, we don't have that kind of Gaul."-Yes, that is literally layers upon layers of political sarcasm, that would send Dennis Miller off to check his notes, coming from eight and ten year olds.
As we are sitting at the light I see a homeless person, holding a sign, walking through cars. I see it's a woman and I see she is dirty. And I think when I see that grime, that she really has no where to go. She is three lanes of cars away from me and for a second she looks up and I see her face- and I realize she is very very young.
I just stare for a minute.
I think to myself that she is only a baby.
I look again and realize she is probably is over 18 or 19, but still, I see someone's little girl.
I start scavenging for cash or even food, gather up like twenty five bucks and then she is gone. The light changes, so we loop around and circle back.
But no- I was too late.
I know where she's gone-into someone's car.
And if I could find that car I might smash his windshield in.
I felt so overwhelmed and desperate and helpless. I was hoping if I could just gather up thirty, forty bucks; that's one less blow job she'd have to give.
I wanted to tell her to go home to her mom.
I keep driving back to that corner but I'm always too late, I haven't seen her since.
Vegas has or at least used to have an awesome program for teen prostitutes. The problem is they get brought here from out of state. Some asshole finds a girl in an abusive home who wants out, he pretends to be her boyfriend, that he's moving to Vegas and she goes too- but of course, when they get here, he pimps her out.
And she has no where to go.
In the old days and in a lot of other places when the girl gets arrested she just gets sent back to the abusive home. But here they send the girl into basically a reprogramming house- stacked with rape counselors and therapists and they teach the girls they are more than what they believed they were. They teach them how to live on their own so the cycle won't restart. This girl was probably just old enough not to qualify. But to me, I saw a lost little girl.
I actually searched my jeep for a spare teddy bear that day, thinking she might need it.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
So in light of my devastating sore throat or in the words of the very wise philosopher, Dave Barry, the Martian Death Flu, I give to you a repost from February-no one read my blog back then anyway.
Why? Because network news sucks-that's why.
I have been wondering for a while now how long it would be before the elitist style of news coverage would crash and burn.
As those in control at the major networks started to see a slide in ratings they thought,"Oh, must be that the audience is just too stupid for real news. We'll have to do more celebrity segments."
And then came Fox.
Fox flew into first place not because the entire world had turned neo-con but because it was a niche market that was completely ignored up until then.
I think I practically jumped up and down the first time I heard a segment involving a person shooting at an intruder in his home and it wasn't completely biased against guns.
But then, of course, reality set in.
Fox was just as insane as the other networks- they were just in favor of controlling every aspect of my life, for my own good, from the right (as opposed to from the left like NBC).
Because Fox had such success, all the networks, in a panic to figure out why no one was watching them, tried to go after the republican market (for the first time, even though they represent about half of the U.S.) but that didn't work either, because republicans were still bitter toward the old networks for ignoring them all these years.
One of the last times I watched a network news show was about five years ago.
Katie Couric was interviewing a woman who had written a book about living and working . . .
as a normal person.
She spent a year or two working as a waitress or a maid or whatever other jobs the rest of us, in the unwashed masses, have to endure. And she wrote about her experience.
Who was she writing this for?
Obviously, if you're an elitist writing a book about posing as a normal person, you must be writing for other elitists who are curious about this lifestyle.
We were the Gorillas in the Mist, or more accurately in the midst, and she lived among us like Diane Fossey, for a while.
I could not understand why this person was on television. I wondered if they thought perhaps they were on some special signal only beamed out to those who have never had to hold a job.
Well, the first thing I thought of when I heard this brave and courageous soul speak was her little experiment was flawed from the get go.
She was not living like a poor person-she was living like a well off, recent college graduate, taking a low paying job for a short time.
She was not starting out with a piece of shit car. She had a car that would get her through for a year or two without needing repairs that would roughly equal the price of said car.
She had a closet full of fairly new designer clothes-that would still look nice in a year or so and therefore she would be treated with respect when she moved about among her public.
She had a case full of Mac or some equally expensive brand of makeup and professionally styled hair.
All things she would keep up fairly cheap by adding to here and there with the grocery store stuff (assuming she didn't cheat and go to a salon with some of the money she was pretending not to have).
Her expensive personal items would last her through the year or two.
She would also have the knowledge that her "real" life was there as a fall back.
If she were to step into a thrift store with her hard earned twenty, she would not have to look to outfit herself entirely-shoes and underwear included.
She would not feel the weight of poverty and depression and wonder why she can't, just once, buy something new.
She would walk in the musty entrance of the thrift store with her $300 pair of Prada mule shoes and her cute $140 leather belt and a ridiculously overpriced spaghetti tank, search through the "boutique" section, the section that actual poor people never even look at, find a bohemian style skirt to piece together with her designer ensemble and walk out of there thinking,"Wow, you really can look good from a thrift store. It's just that these poor people don't know how to present themselves fashionably. They're poor for a reason, you know."
During this interview she mentioned that a woman she'd been working with busted her ankle and stayed at work hobbling around because she couldn't take the day off. And when she went home-she iced it and wrapped it (like the rest of us have to do, because she didn't have the $300 to throw away on a doctor) and came back to work the next day.
Both the author and Katie were aghast at this and shook their heads when they cut away to a commercial.
This was the end for me.
Two people doing a show for actual people but talking about us as though we were a zoo exhibit.
Tirade over- here is the article on the beginning of the end for the aspiring Courics of the world;
Steve Spendlove realizes that after last month's layoffs of most of the news-gathering staff at tiny KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa there will be less local coverage. The Clear Channel executive overseeing the station knows there won't be reporters to investigate local scandals, let alone do those fluffy woman-turns-100 features that make TV anchors cock their heads and smile at the end of a newscast.
But Spendlove said that the station's "business model" hadn't been working for years, and that "covering one-eighth of the Bay Area" is neither a moneymaker nor even an operation large enough to be measured by Nielsen ratings.More here
Monday, August 20, 2007
In lieu of smart assed commentary, complaints about the encroaching police state and thoughts on breastfeeding and male bashing, I give to you instead, two of my favorite short and sweet poems.
Down pelts the rain
My bare feet sink into gritty, moist dirt
No one watching but my angels
I dance with each rain drop
The thunder cracks and I spin until the trees and hills blur together
The smell of electricity fills me
It's power charges through me and I run; just to feel the life and pain
My feet are cut and I dance
. . . For a moment
I can't remember which life this is
and for that moment I see it all from afar
I dance and stomp and run with only my angels watching
Your whisper rolls through my soul
I float on a gentle wave
Darkness like velvet
The softest velvet
Random images flash
Your thoughts or mine-I cannot tell which
Time a rushing river
Then a gentle stream
I take in forever
with every breath
Sunday, August 19, 2007
read more | digg story
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
NYPD '"Citizens who quietly band together and adopt radical ways. . .pose a serious threat to American security."
"Potential terrorists are difficult for law enforcement to detect because they blend in well." NYPD say they need more info on citizens and more intelligence gathering (read gadgets). The rest of the lovely article is below.
NEW YORK - Citizens who quietly band together and adopt radical ways — not just established overseas terrorist groups like al-Qaida — pose a serious threat to American security, a new police analysis has concluded.
The New York Police Department report, to be released Wednesday, describes a process in which young Muslim immigrants, frustrated with their lives in their adopted country, slowly adopt a philosophy that puts them on the path to jihad. The men meet and share ideas in mosques, in bookstores and over the Internet, it says.
Police officials say the report warns that potential terrorists are difficult for law enforcement to detect because they blend in well. It also argues that more intelligence gathering is needed to thwart terror plots at their earliest stages.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
No comment needed-just a great picture-originally posted here, but for now, at least, has been overtaken by the Digg effect.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Hey-vote for me at Topmomma while I'm on their front page!
Also-I am forming a post on another Gunstore adventure, the lesson in this one;
always follow your instincts-the upcoming story includes a serial killing nurse, a con man, a young pretty girl and a Loomis armored truck heist that all went down in South America and makes the movie Fargo look like a well planned and fairly simple pilferage.
All involving people we knew- but, no, this guy never got invited to our milkshake parties.
Monday, August 06, 2007
It has been a far more wonderful journey than I could ever have imagined.
For our anniversary, I wrote a rather lengthy love letter in pen and ink and discovered that no matter how many times you click the top of the pen, the spell checker does not engage.
Someday, I'll post the story of the rather bizarre circumstances of how we met- but since I just posted the world's longest story about a flying refrigerator, I think I'll just stop here for now.
We haven't seen our old friends in about six years and we were seriously considering that it was about time to hire a private investigator to track them down. -Scott is also a member a very very small club along with Stewart-The Waking,Talking-been shot in the head club. Unlike Stewart, Scott still has his .380 artifact in his forehead.
But once again blogging saved the day when Scott found my blog and knew no one but me could go on and on about guns and breastfeeding and the search for god all in one, way too long and running out of breathe just reading it sentence.
I also want to say to any other old pals who may be lurking in the cyber world but just haven't emailed yet, that Scott is doing awesome. He and Andrea were married and had a second baby. Andrea is a very cool, stay at home mom with a squeaky clean house and is a total babe. And Scott now knows how to cook! He's like a Spanish rice guru, he says the magic ingredient is the "huskier" flavor of the basmati brown rice. He cooked for us all weekend.
Getting back together with our old closest friends made us all think back a bit to the rest of our old crowd. I lovingly recall them as the 3AM milkshake crew because after an evening shooting bowling pins we would all go out and glutinously order chocolate milkshakes with the whipped cream blended into the mix.
We hope to track down the rest of the gang eventually but, in the mean time, I'd like to tell one of my favorite stories from those days. It is a story on why you should never underestimate a person. And why just because you are an arrogant assholish boss, who likes to pick on employees, who work their asses off just trying to make you happy, is no reason to brow beat those employee endlessly.
This is a tale of resistance-
and how the little guy can sometimes win or at least
make a really big point.
Art Scott and the Flying Refrigerator
Back around 1994-1995 my husband managed a gun store called Nevada Pistol Academy (NPA). It was owned, in part, by the same person who owned The Gun Store (ownership of both has since changed hands). The other half of NPA was owned by Dave. I'd love to out his assholishness in this tale, but I can't remember his last name. When Dave and Rick (owner of The Gun Store at the time) bought NPA together, Rick began parsing out employees from The Gun Store over to NPA.
NPA was in a great building, with a living room like environment, flavored coffee always brewing, a great range and women loved the place (no dead deer or naked women on the walls).
At the time my husband and pal Scott (mentioned above) were the only two guys working there certified to teach the very popular, gun store staple; concealed carry classes. So while Scott co-managed the very booming and crowded The GUN Store, hubby took over management of NPA, out in the desert.
The potential was there for this place but it was pretty vacant. So hubby made use of the homey environment to make the place a hang-out for shooters. He had weekly bowling pin shoots and people would show up early in the day to practice ahead of time and just hang out. The place went from a ghost town to everyone's living room.
One of the "perks" Stewart requested when he was sent out there was he wanted Gun Store employee, Art Scott to work with him. Art is an awesome guy and he is also a very very hard worker. He'll do anything for anyone. Both Stewart and Art were on salary which, as you know if you've ever been on one, in terms of hours worked and pay received, has always been the biggest scam running. Art and Stewart were often up till early in the morning tallying and logging and whatever else there is to do that is excruciatingly boring. Sometimes, Scott would drive over to help just so we could all go out for milkshakes before dawn. As Stewart got more and more serious with school the managing job became too time consuming. He was at a point where he really couldn't do both. So he handed his hat to Art. Stewart continued to help with the bowling pin shoots and also continued teaching concealed carry classes.
Now Stewart has a pretty assertive personality- he never gets pushed around by anyone. Whenever I need to take something back to the store I have Stewart do it (I think it's the jingle jangle of his spurs ; ) .So this owner guy, Dave, pretty much never showed up or even said much of anything while Stewart was running the place. Except to occasionally mutter about the amount of gourmet coffee that the hordes of people spending the entire day in his gun store, buying ammo and range time were consuming. So this is the level of intelligence that we're dealing with here. But indicative of coward modus operandi this Dave guy wormed his way out of the woodwork when Stewart left.
Art did a very meticulous job of managing- he was always friendly, always took the time to talk and teach the customers, never talked down to anyone or tried tell women to only shoot tiny little guns that they could "handle." Art was pretty much like everyone's favorite brother.
The layout of this place was such that the bathrooms were just outside the range. This was convenient to wash hands after shooting (to remove lead dust) but not so great for keeping the floors clean looking. Although the range was a clean as gun range can be; stepping from the range to the restrooms and then washing your hands meant smeary gray lead dust (lead mud?) on the floor.
Dave love to taunt Art about this. No amount of explaining to Dave would stop him from ignoring the hours of care and hard work that Art put into that store. Now this should have been a clue that Dave didn't care if the bathroom was clean or dirty; it was just about picking on someone because he could.
There was also a refrigerator in back. A very heavy, green side by side, broken, leaky, smelly refrigerator. The entire time my husband managed there he never used it, except to throw out all the food and put a 'broken do not use' sign on it. This refrigerator would work great for six hours then quit for six, then work again, allowing time for the now rotten food to get cold again so you could happily eat your salmonella sandwich and never know it was poisoned. Dave never said a word about this refrigerator when Stewart managed the place. But when Dave discovered that people-pleasing Art actually cared about what other people thought about him and thus was labeled as weak, in the eyes this cowardly tyrant, he would not stop harping about the condition of the refrigerator.
So one day Art had enough.
Not the kind of enough that you're thinking of, the kind of enough that someone who will work tirelessly to finally received their deserved accolades, has- when he's had enough.
Art decided to make the bathrooms and green frig spotless.
He set about taking time after hours to clean them. His first task was to shine up the range since the lead dust was the true culprit (well, of course, not the true culprit, the true culprit was Dave's inner power trip). He then laid out some rugs outside the range, re-cleaned all the bathrooms, then he headed for the permanently smelly refrigerator.
Stewart was teaching a class on the range by this time and I was hanging out with Art. I was quite impressed by all the work he had done.
He took apart the whole refrigerator and cleaned each piece separately. He soaked the more odorous sections in bleach and shined the glass with Windex, creating a particularly noxious and dangerous chemical cocktail mix that you could actually see-in a room full of gun powder.
He spent a considerable amount of time fitting the various doors and drawers back in.
Soon after, Dave pulled up. Art, made a mad dash for the bathrooms and went over the floors again before Dave could get in the door. Art then raced back to the counter as Dave was walking in.
Seeing Art come back from the hall, Dave said in his demeaning, vacant way, that Art needs to stay at the counter when no on else is up front.
And I could see Art's eyes narrow.
While this particular round of emotional abuse went on, someone walked off the range and used the bathroom, then went back to the range.
Dave then went toward the bathrooms. "Art you have to start cleaning these bathrooms. You know it only takes a few minutes each day."
Now you and I know that Art said something back -I just cleaned them or whatever -that's why I wasn't up front-but we also all know about these power type people and how words just disappear at their ears. Even my own memory places Art's comeback as a murmur that I can't quite nail down, while Dave's admonishes remain as clear pronouncements.
Then Dave went in the back.
"Art, you have got to make the time to clean that refrigerator."
Then Dave left.
At this point Art had had that kind of enough.
"So Dave wants a clean refrigerator."
"Well, better do what the boss said."
Art, with his adrenalin soaring, grabbed the refrigerator, pulled it out from it's alcove and started pushing it toward the back door. When he reached the back steps, Art, in an amazing display, usually only reserved for mothers rescuing children trapped under cars, lifted up the refrigerator and hoisted it out the back door. It flew out and down (the building had a four foot drop off in back)
and it landed about ten feet out.
He went over to it and flipped it over so that the doors faced up, then placed the hose inside it and turned it on.
And there the refrigerator sat, for months to come.
As time has passed, the refrigerator story has become lore. If you were to walk into any gun store in Vegas today you could probably find some person there who has heard a version of it.
In most version's Art took an ax to it, or a sledge hammer, sometimes after being fired.
But no, this was not revenge, this was a powerful lesson in respecting the dignity of others.
But mostly, I think, Dave is just lucky that Art is such a reasonable guy.