Thursday, May 31, 2007

Live Free with Pride!

There are times when I am disappointed with the political currents of New Hampshire. Today, I am just plain proud!

N.H. governor signs civil unions law

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Amusing pictures from our recent vacation

We passed this shop in Provincetown. If you know anything about the demographics of resident and tourists to the place, it makes a kind of amusing sense.

In staid old Hyannis, we find the place where Wylie Coyote needs to go to register his complaints.

And, finally, also in staid old Hyannis, the place for Wylie to go when he cannot get satisfaction for all his complaining.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The plurality of pants

Have you ever noticed that any clothing meant to accommodate both legs is a plural noun? I thought about this today while running errands. (Fascinating what territory the mind will wander into when left to its own devices for any period of time, no?)

Here are some of the items I came up with during my reverie:

pants, trousers, slacks, tights, shorts, capris, overalls, bottoms, long johns, jeans, dungarees, corduroys, waders, pedal pushers, high waters, britches, drawers, panties, chinos, knickers, bloomers ...

Some would dispute my linguistic theory by pointing to "underwear". However, that term can be used to describe items of clothing not meant to cover the nether regions (bras, slips, girdles, etc. can be referred to as 'underwear').

The term 'panty hose' is plural. As a matter of fact, even 'hose' is plural alone. I don't think there is a singular form of the word.

(Assumption: Dresses and skirts do not actually accommodate the individual existence of both legs.)

Why do legs get special treatment in couture? Coverings for the top half of the boody that accommodate the existance of two arms are not plural. (blouse, shirt, top, etc.)

If you can think of a word for an item of clothing that is designed specifically to accommodate both legs simultaneously, but is not plural, PLEASE let me know. Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yahoo and MusicMatch suck!

OK. I know that this will do no real good. However, I am so angry this morning that I have to vent a little before hitting the road for work.

For years I subscribed to MusicMatch, a program and service that used to be pretty good for managing music files and, eventually, for streaming and buying songs. Over the years the software became more and more bloated (nearly as bloated as's music software). A couple of years ago Yahoo bought them. At the time, I paid for my content access subscription annually.

This Christmas, my son and I decided to try out Yahoo Unlimited, since it allowed us to download songs to our MP3 players. My MusicMatch subscription wasn't due for renewal until late May. So, we figured we'd try the new service out for a while. If we liked the new service, I would cancel my MusicMatch subscription.

Well, the Yahoo Unlimited software is a lot less bloated than MusicMatch. Plus we really do like the ability to download to our MP3 players. So, a few weeks ago (at least 14 days before my annual subscription was due to bill me) I went online and canceled my MusicMatch annual subscription.

Imagine my surprise and outrage this morning when I checked my bank account and found that MusicMatch had billed me $71.88 for an annual subscription. This same subscription that was $59.88 last year.

I dug up a phone number to call MusicMatch subscription services. I'll post it to a comment after I've called them today (since I don't want to advertise it to the world until I've gotten my 'pound of flesh' from the idiots).

Sadly and most embarrassingly , and this is my own fault, I don't keep a lot of float in my checking account. So, I'm going to have to move some cash around today to deal with the unexpected $72 subtraction from my checking account. Even if I can get the boneheads to refund the money, it will probably take them at least a week to process.

What a way to start a long weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

No good deed goes unpunished

My husband and I are somewhat active in our church. Oddly enough, considering his initial reticence, he is the more active one. I have purposely avoided the more prominent committees, and staunchly avoided any committee that had to made reports to the Board of Directors.

My husband has whined about the Committee Chairs meetings he has had to attended. However, he really enjoys the work of keeping our church building in working order, and has made great strides into improving its overall condition.

Today, the BoD and the Committee Chairs hosted our memebership's annual meeting. Here, the more active volunteers (those involved in committees) go over the issues of the past year, present next year's budget, and make recommendations for the upcoming year.

Our congregation has been plagued by a number of issues this year. Since last summer, we have gone through three office administrators. The first one went back to school last summer. The second one was a complete disappointment. And the third one was left trying to pick up the pieces of her mess.

In addition, this was the year that our minister was slated to go on sabbatical for several months. Even though we knew it was coming, we did not prepare ourselves for her absence. Attendance and pledge achievement have both been down. Due to scheduling issues, one of our larger fund raisers, our service auction, was pushed back from February until May. We had far less attendance and a far smaller catalog of offerings subequently.

Last year. a movement rose to look into expanding our Sunday services from one to two. Our traditional 10 a.m. service is rarely full. However, some postulated that we would appeal to more people if we offered a second, later, service.

First off, we cannot seem to inspire the membership we have. Secondly, our minister and staff are already woefully underpaid, and now we expect them to double their efforts and commitment?

The UU Church really is my spiritual home. However, I avoided church for most of my life because I couldn't handle spiritual hypocrisy. Now I see another dark side of organized religion, which I knew was there. However, I thought since the UU's were different spiritually that they would be different regarding internal politics. Here I was more than wrong. From what I can gather, the UU's are actually worse. Since, while trying to be all inclusive and democratic, leadership takes a back seat to inclusiveness, lack of direction, and poor productivity.

I think I finally understand why so many leaders in our congregation have disappeared from active church life within a year of the end of the term of service.

May those who were subjected to today's debacle here my prayer. Namaste. Blessed be.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Baby's Gotta Gun (the next Aerosmith hit)

While I am not a rabid gun control advocate, I do have my reservations about the ease of firearm attainment in this country. Perhaps that is why my jaw hit the floor when I read this story on CNN: Baby 'Bubba' gets a gun permit. Let me sum this up for you: While Illinois does require residents to obtain a firearm owner's identification card (FOID), it does not have age restrictions on who can apply for a FOID. So, um, they granted a FOID to a 10 month old baby.

For a state that is trying to control gun ownership, that seems like a BIT of an oversight to me. Granted, most legislation aimed at gun control is trying to prevent criminals from obtaining guns. However, I have several issues with that logic. First, gun control laws do not really keep guns out of the hands of real criminals. Second, while the Constitution can be interpretted as giving every citizen the 'right to bear arms', children are not yet RESPONSIBLE citizens. We do not let children to a great deal of things that we let adults do because we do not feel they possess the judgement to do those things responsibly.

Finally (this has little to do with this particular story, but it's been bugging me), gun control laws do not keep guns out of the hands of emotionally disturbed people, even if their mental condition is documented. Privacy advocates could rightly argue that a person's mental condition should not be stored in a database somewhere. However, when a person has been ordered by a court to seek counseling or in-patient treatment because they have been deemed a danger to themselves or others, I really do think that society should be able to prevent such a person from purchasing a firearm for at least a few years after such a judgement is made. (Then again, up until recently Virginia was uncomfortable with the amount of gun control it already had on the books. Maybe they will be more open minded now?)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Strange twist of feline fate

The recent poisoning of many American cats through tainted pet food has been tracked back to melamine-laced wheat products imported from China. Today, I read a story on Yahoo News about a cat which survived for over a month on a container ship from China, against all odds, without food and water. It was discovered by a dock worker in North Carolina. Once the cat has been vaccinated and has endured its requisite six month quarantine period, it will be called China and adopted by a co-worker of the discoverer.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The War At Home

On May 4th, a mammoth tornado wiped Greensburg, Kansas, off the map. Police officer Robert Tim Buckman was critically injured during the storm. He died in the hospital several days later after his daughter was married at his bedside.

Sadly, Buckman's other son-in-law, Seth Cole, could not be with the family during this tragic time. Cole's Army unit was scheduled to deploy to Iraq. And, though he requested leave to be with the family, his request was denied.

Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius blamed ongoing National Guard deployments to the Middle East for slow and limited response to the disaster area. (Kind of reminds me of the Katrina response in the Gulf, albeit on a smaller scale.)

Remind me again how we are defending our country, fostering democracy or doing our own people much good at all after five years in Iraq.