Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Bold Statement

Talk about making a statement.  America has made its statement loud and clear.  Ouch.   As of 8.40 pm last night, 42 states had petitions on the white house’s petition page, calling for the secession of their state.  This isn’t by the way, governors, senators, or anyone like that.  No, these are ordinary people, making a petition for the president to see.  Some of the states have multiple petitions even.

Talk about a statement, and one I understand.

These people don’t believe they will be able to secede.  Instead, they are, essentially, giving a vote of No Confidence in the entire Federal Government.  I hope and pray they don’t secede, but I would not be surprised if they did.

Forty-two states.  When I had checked around noon it had been 33 states, and only one had enough signatures.  At 8.40?  Much more.  As of nine pm last night, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas all had even signatures to land their petitions on the President’s desk.

I should note, however, that Missouri’s count was split over two petitions, neither over the necessary 25K, and Georgia had three petitions, the middle one over 25K. Texas, however, only had the one petition at the time, and had over three times the amount of signatures needed.

I think the people have spoken clearly in this vote of no confidence.

But will anybody understand?  Will the politicians hear “They have no confidence in me, personally.”  Or will they hear “It’s all Obama’s fault.”

It’s not his fault. Not entirely, though blame must be shared.  He’s been a semi-decent President.  Not the best, but not the worst.  At best, he’s average.  Unfortunately, he has a congress that won’t play nice.  And even when congress does play nice, he and his fellow politicians seem unable to get work done.

The President has ignored the protesting in the streets.  He’s ignored attempt after attempt to get him to open his eyes.  Corporate media no longer cares.  But…we still do.

I hope this vote of no confidence opens his eyes.  I hope it opens Congress’ eyes.

But I doubt it will, because they choose to be blind.

One Final Byte: One way or another, people will be heard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Week Twelve: Voting

Yesterday was Election Day in America, a day where we as ordinary citizens make decisions on everything from city proposals to the President of our nation and National Matters.  I don’t need to mention how important it is to vote, every election day, no matter what, and to inform yourself through multiple sources, even those with different opinions, about the positions and laws being voted on.

Listen to the news, yes, but not just the news.  So many news organizations are so political that they are little more than the mouthpiece for their party.  Instead, listen to three or four news sources, but especially the local news, not the national big news corporations.  Find a few outlets rated on an international level for trustworthy journalism.   Speak to your religious leader, and if you have no religious leader, then speak to an elder who you consider wise.  Talk to your family, your friends, and find out what they know.  Then decide.

Unfortunately so many people on my campus will not be voting this election, and for some of them, any election.  I have heard a plethora of reasons from ‘My parents didn’t send me my absentee ballot.’ To ‘What’s the use?  My choice won’t win anyway.’

To that, to those insignificant infinitesimal reasons, I can only say ‘You Fools!’

You parent shouldn’t have had to send in an absentee ballot.  You knew where you were going to be on election day, and you knew perfectly well it wasn’t going to be near your polling place.  Much of your year, including the election time, is spent in Alabama at school here.  Switch your voting registration place and vote like a person who cares.   Vote like a citizen enjoying the privilege of being able to be heard, because in so many places they aren’t!

As for the fools who ask what the use is, the use is simple.  Do you want to be heard?  Do you want to be a citizen or are you merely a lay-about, unable to fulfill as simple a civic duty as selecting a multiple choice option?  Can’t find one you like?  I have a solution! Write someone you think would make a good president in, and heck, organize a write in campaign for that person!

Participate.  You think it’s hopeless? It’s more hopeless if you can’t manage this simple act.

But the biggest fib I have heard, the biggest sign of a ridiculous head in the clouds ninny-pated fool that I have heard this election season?  ‘I don’t have time.’  The polling place on campus here is open from 7 am to 7 pm.  Most employers are willing to work with employees so they can have a longer break, to vote during that.  If your employer is not, consider Early Voting.  Check out the regulations on that in your state, but it’s an option just in case.  You have more time than you think.

In short, there is no excuse not to vote.  None.  People constantly complain the elections are bought out.  I will tell you now, that you can change that easily.  Look up your civic rights, your civic abilities.  Sometimes, it’s hard to find information on these things, I know.  But check out a book from the library, if all else fails.

People say that they as citizens have no voice in our government.  I say that if you aren’t willing to speak up, then you have robbed yourself of your own voice.

One Final Byte: Learn what you can do as American.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week Eleven: A Bird in the Box

Pikachu, the Budgie

Well. I knew college was full of surprises, but I didn’t think that a budgie was one of them.  A budgie, you ask?  Well yes, I see.  It’s a type of small parakeet, frequently found in pet stores, that mostly comes in a variety of yellows, greens, and blues with white and black markings.  Possibly.  This one happened to be very yellow, and very cold.

Not that I blame it.  It was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

It was also very domesticated.  I know this, because it flew up on a friend.  Quite literally.  He called a halt to our LARP battle to reveal a small yellow bird laying on his chest, cuddling him quite fiercely.

Of course, all this happened while there was a small gaming convention occurring inside the University Center, a suddenly not so scant 100 feet away.  Luckily, a box was found, and the people running the convention were summoned to help figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, of course, a group of around 20 bystanders has gathered, and no one has any clue what to do.  My eyebrow feels a twitch coming on.  In quite firm agreement with the eyebrow, I suggest calling maintenance to get the poor bird inside until further plans are made.  They are, after all, the only ones available on weekends.

No one called.  No one knew the number, or knew how to look it up.  Instead, the people in charge and I  decided to make other plans.  I put my cloak over the box to aid in warming the small cold thing, and someone with a car volunteered, then asked for someone else with a GPS in their phone, and someone who knew…okay, I’m still not certain why he was there, but he proved important later.

Oh.  Don’t be stuck on the bit about the cloak.  LARP means Live Action Role Play, and I have great fun doing so in costume.  Plus, it was cold.  I needed the dratted thing to protect against the wind.  Well, now the budgie needed it more.

It took three tries to find an open vet, and after the second, we finally just searched for an emergency animal clinic.  This is around 5 pm by the way, on a Saturday.  Yes, the emergency clinics were the only ones open.  It’s a Saturday.  They need a break too.

We spoke to the vet at the clinic.  The vet examined the bird, gave us a breed, offered to take it over, but admitted the owners had little hope of finding it that way, and said that she couldn’t find any more information on the bird, because the band on is leg was of no use.   This apparently just shows it’s domesticated.

Drat.  Still, it wasn’t a bird specific clinic, and most vets don’t have an awful lot of avian visitors.  At least we knew it was in good health.  From there, now in a rather unfamiliar part of town, and with sunset rapidly approaching, we needed to find a pet supply place.

We found PetCo shortly after the sun disappeared and a cage and basic supplies were located.  The bird in the meantime, had acquired a name, and had his gender identified.  Pikachu, a male.  I did not name the Budgie.  But I liked it more than Pidgeotto and Zapados. I fiercely defended the name Pikachu.  It was two against two, but as the other two in the car couldn’t agree on a name, the united front won out.  For now, no doubt.

Well, what do you expect? He was small, yellow, and found during a gaming convention.   At one point, he flew inside even.  There’s more than one reason the box was needed.  With the supplies, we now had to return, temporarily.  Most of us had left a wide variety of our things there after all, and it was there that we met up with the temporary care provider.

That mysterious fourth person earlier?  He turned out to know someone who loved animals, and had family in the area that also loved animals, and needed to change the food and water daily for those animals, so could do the same for Pikachu.  This is important, as everyone but the driver had called at least two other people, and no one else found anyone else who could take a poor helpless bird in immediately.

However, it takes a bit of time to pull gamers away from a gaming convention, so, while everything was being set up, and the caretaker acquired, (and some of us ate dinner) the Budgie was snuck into the convention to hide in one of the empty back rooms, where he was allowed to wander around for a bit and stretch his wings outside the cramped box that he only barely fit in.

And don’t tell me we should have let him out earlier.  We let him out in the car, and that proved to be a poor idea, because he had to see out all the windows, and then he decided there was food on the mat of the driver’s side door.  Needless to say, we came to a very careful rolling stop in a parking lot.

The Budgie was put back in the box after this.  A PetCo he decided to fly off to another part of the store.  I am willing to bet this is not the first time this Budgie has gone missing.  He’s a runner.

Either way, he was soon back in the too small box on his way to his temporary accommodations, everything provided for until his still missing owner could be found.  As we believe it to be a student, most of us don’t have much hope.  He would have been an illegal pet on campus after all, and to claim it would be to invite trouble.

If the owner isn’t found, a bird lover has agreed to take him in on a more permanent basis, as it’s no good for a Budgie to be on his own like this, and I don’t think turtles in an aquarium count as companions.  I could be wrong. 

Or rather, permanent until this summer when, if the owner isn’t found, I will suddenly own a bird.

One Girl’s Byte: Do I now say I choose you Pikachu?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week Ten: Hypocrisy

Sometimes I entertain myself, especially once I realize I’ve done something I advise against.  Talk about hypocrisy!  I have to apologize for last week’s blog.  I wrote it in about twenty fast minutes between two classes, rather than doing what’s right and using the time I normally set aside for it to think and write properly.   I chose to play games rather than write, despite that I like both, and take great pleasure in this blog.

Worse.  I rushed like a ninny, which is incredibly hypocritical of me.  Unfortunately, I’m probably not the only one who has hypocritical moments.  I suspect we all do, though many of us are less willing to admit to it than others.  Unfortunately it still occurs.  I’m of the opinion that hypocrisy shouldn’t be mocked or chosen as proof that the person in questions view point is wrong.  After all, many times they don’t realize it until it’s pointed out to them.

I am rarely aware of the difference between my writing when I am in a rush or am hyper and my writing when I am calm and thinking it out.  If I’m still in a rush when I read over it, then often it sounds well-paced to me.

Many people are hypocritical.  They say one thing, tell you to do things this way, then do it completely different and don’t even seem to notice.  Most of the time, they don’t pay attention, and fall back to a habit.  Habits can be dangerous things, after all.

People often condemn people of faith, regardless of faith, of not practicing what they preach.  In many circumstances this can be true.  But next time, before you mock someone for being hypocritical, pause and think yourself.  Did they mean to be?  Are they realizing they are?  Pause and think on it.

Likely the answer is no.  Very few people mean to.  I intend to get into the habit of not judging the people who are hypocritical, and instead simply forgiving them.  I shall even try my hardest to practice what I preach.  After all, if I take a breath and breath, and focus on what I want to do, rather than multitask and do sloppy work, I’m certain I have more than enough hours in the day to get everything done.  No need to rush and be hypocritical.

One Final Byte:  Fall is truly my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week Nine: Fall is here.

It’s officially fall here, as of this previous week, when the leaves began to chance.  I think it started on Monday, as not all the leaves have begun to, just yet.  Fall is undoubtedly a beautiful season, and one of my favorite seasons by far.  It is neither too hot nor too cold, and the plants are either green and lively or colorful.

  In a way it’s a sad season, though I like to think of it otherwise.  People often say that fall is when the plants are dying.  Now, fall is merely when they finally get to go to sleep.  They’ve been awake, all summer long, after all, and need some rest.

To me, I think being a conifer would be the hardest job out there, always awake, only parts of you allowed to rest at any one time.    If I were to be a plant, I don’t think I could be a conifer.  I’d like to be something else.  Maybe a maple tree. 

If I were a plant.

However, I am not a plant!  I am a college student, which is a rather different sort of thing.  Speaking of, we recently had inspection, and I helped another student clean their room for it, my own room already being clean.  I have decided that I am in the top ten percent of clean people I know.  Maybe even the top five!

It’s an odd thought, considering I’m one of my messiest family members.  I think my summer with my grandparents definitely helped however.  Though that’s not to say my grandpa would find my room ship shape.  The top of my dresser and my desk would bother the fire out of him, I suspect.

Inspection was interesting though.  They walked in and five minutes later were done.  Male RAs did the female rooms and female RAs did the male rooms.   I’ve yet to figure out why, other than, perhaps, to eliminate bias?


I don’t really have much to say to be honest.  I’ve been too busy to think, which may be a dangerous thing.  Perhaps I’ll slow down this next week and assure myself my head is still where tis supposed to be.

If I’m too busy to think after all, what important thing might I have missed?

One Final Byte:  A slow path means you can truly live.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week Eight: Popularity Contests

Sometimes, I wonder why we hold popularity contests at school.  In both high school and in college, though I confess, most of the time I vote based on how pretty I find the name.  In other words, it’s homecoming week at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.    I wasn’t aware the practice continued on into college.  In fact, until sometime in the middle of last week, I wasn’t even aware that we had a homecoming week.

How one is supposed to enter into this popularity contest I never figured out.  There didn’t seem to be a way anywhere I saw.  I assume you have to be in a sorority in order to be queen.  It certainly seems it!  Still, at times I wonder why such a popularity contest is held.  This is college. It’s certainly not a party college by any means, and yet, they’re having a popularity contest. This is a research college for goodness sake.

I suppose, if I think deeply on it, it holds a purpose.  After all, those who covet such a title must keep themselves trim if they want to win, knowing the shallowness of my generation.  They also have to have a rather large network, and one that is primarily locally based.  I suppose they also must know how to best present themselves.  Those are three things that certainly benefit you later in life….and three things that can be taught, experienced, or achieved through pretty much a gazillion other things out there.


Still a popularity contest.

I don’t know.  Maybe it really is shallowness, or maybe it does serve a purpose, but to me, such a thing ought not be in college.  We’re here to learn things that we couldn’t learn in high school.  Not, to re-learn things we did. 

Not to say we can’t have fun.  We need to have fun too, if we’re to learn.  Balance and all that.  It’s just  I can’t help but not find contests like this at all interesting.  I voted alright…on the name I felt worked best together.

I vote on the merits of the decision the parents made.  Sometimes, it’s the most unique, other times, it’s the one that flows the smoothest.  But I don’t know these people, and I don’t like their lack of creativity in posters.  A good half of their pleas asking me to vote for them includes their last name and an internet meme.  How is this supposed to convince me?

Perhaps I am cynical, but that is my opinion.

One Final Byte: Popularity contests: Politics, TV, homecoming, and high school.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week Seven: Counter Productive

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher took a book away.  I was informed it couldn't possibly be my book; that it was too advanced for me and I was much too stupid to read it.  The teacher refused to return the book until my parents were called, and the principal got involved.  I got told I shouldn't read in class.
This seemed…odd.  Very odd.  In fact, it seemed rather counterproductive, the whole not being told to read while in school thing.  A lot of things in life are this way.  On the surface, they seem entirely counterproductive.  Of course, the teacher meant I shouldn't read non-class material in class.  It was disrespectful of me to do so, and now that I’m old enough I can see that.  But the wording…

One should always be very careful with the words they use, I believe.

In life, people do things that don’t make one wit of sense.  In fact, they do things that, simply put, are senseless!  This happens more than you would think, and there is very little anyone can do about it.  People simply don’t make sense.  It’s hard to deal with at times.  Harder to understand.

The older you get, the more often it feels like you encounter people like this.  People who run counter-productive to everything you know and thing you understand.  This is not wrong of them.  This is simply them.  Who they are as a person.  Everyone is different in that way.

There are people out there that confuse the dickens out of me.  They do things or say things that seem out of place or odd.  There are people who confuse me on their gender, or on their opinion.  I know people who had a different opinion every day of the week on the color the sky was, it seemed.  Charlie Brown would call them wishy washy.  I call them confused.

Despite this.  Despite how counter-productive I think they behave, they are, in fact, completely fine.  They are even necessary.  Recently, people have chosen to protest or even have been driven to form angry mobs over disagreements on a horrible movie.  It insults their religion, and so they believe this is an excuse to harm and hurt others, to destroy property and cause general chaos.

This seems counter-productive to me.  It seems as if they ought to not do this.  As if, if they truly cared, they would find a different method.  Instead, they do something else, something I find odd, but they find right.  Something, in this world, that is, however distressing, necessary.

Mankind is odd.  But we must all be different, must have different responses to continue to grow as a species, as people, and as individuals.  For mankind to thrive, we need to disagree on the small things, and agree on the major.

The major things are what all people agree on, though everyone’s actions do not always agree.

Among these are that all life is precious, children should be protected and cherished, and peace is desireable.

Now if only we could agree on that peace.

One Final Byte:  It is our differences that make life precious.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week Six: Writer's Workshop

As the PR officer of the creative writing club on campus, I’m not certain my free time exists.  Apparently, in college, being a club officer is rather more like a part time job without pay than anything else.  It’s an entertaining experience, if nothing else, as I get to design flyers, logos, and devise ways to get the word out that we do exist, and people ought to join up.

One of those ways is a Friday Writer’s Workshop.  In fact, every Friday, it looks like I will be running one.  I can’t help but being highly amused by this as we do have a published writer in the club, though he isn’t an officer.  So the very unpublished by the Publishing Companies writer of this blog, now will teach a Creative Writing Workshop on Fridays.  At four.  Perhaps it’s a good time I didn’t stuff my schedule with another two classes, like they want me too.

My personal favorite so far, is the very short notice I get to put out flyers and information for the club’s novel writing month.  This is, essentially the National Novel Writing Month, moved a month sooner, due to exam time.  Or rather, due to the need to study really hard in November, for the exams the first and second week of December.

I might take part, but with an abbreviated word count on my writing.  That will likely be an option for us.  Perhaps 25,000 a month, rather than the whole 50K!  It leads to about 820 words a day being written, if we do it that way.  A less intimidating amount than 1,667 words a day.

Of course, the whole goal here is to finish the book! I’m counting it as a win if the book is finished, regardless of the length of the novel.  As for the kickoff for the Writer’s Workshop?

We get to learn the most important skill of the novel writing month: not using the delete key.  I plan on making it plain, by giving them all pictures of a key to rip in half.

Because really, who doesn’t love ripping paper in two with a gusto! I happen to love it., and have taken this Writer’s Workshop as an excuse to do so, even if it does mean I have to cut out thirty strips of paper.

Hm.  Perhaps I didn’t think that one through.  Ah well. 

One Final Byte:  Sometimes, raising your hand leads to tricky situations.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week Five: Just a little busy

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not doing much, and you really ought to be doing more? I had that feeling last week.  It went away quickly.  The last few weeks have apparently been my breathing time this semester.  I do wish someone had told me.

It would have been nice to know at least.

College has, if you haven’t guessed, picked up.  Between club activities, classwork, classes, maintaining some semblance of a social life, and attempting to keep my head on straight, I believe I’ve become mildly overwhelmed.

So the idea of holding a job is a bit of a no go.  One club wants me there a minimum of four hours each week, though they would really expect more like six to ten.  Another club is just beginning, and I’ve been elected an officer there.  Being an officer at a club that’s seeking to become a registered and officially sponsored student event is intense.

We’ll go with intense.

It’s a good word.

Between the three clubs that I am a member of, I have about a part time job I think.  Luckily, one doesn't have frequent meetings. Unfortunately, the other two both have frequent meetings and require a good bit more than any club I've ever been in.

The fact that all of my tests in all my classes are all the exact same week is just super special as well.  I’m still slightly confused as to when I’m supposed to find study time, and have decided that must be what weekends are for.

Now if only they would stop holding parties right outside my window studying would be easier.  It’s not a longing to attend.  Trust me, all the free food in the world could not get me to want to attend these parties.  It’s that they play music that is not conducive to thinking.

I would go to the library to study, but by then, the library is closed.

Well. I’m rather glad I didn’t sign up for another class.  I’m not certain where it would fit on my schedule.

Things will settle down however.  They always do.  In the meantime, the time I have to think deep thoughts for this blog is surprisingly scarce.    I suppose that is part of life, and despite the press of my current schedule, I am having more than just a little bit of fun.  I always did work best under pressure.

I am sorry this isn’t the deeply thought out post I had initially planned on.  I’ve got the notes jotted down somewhere for the inspiration for that one, but I’m short on time as it is.  My lazy days aren’t nearly as lazy as they really are supposed to be.

One Final Byte: I have volunteering problems. I keep saying yes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week Four: I Got Nothing.

On Monday, my friend and I lay outside on a blanket, ready to just hang out.  We had planned on cloud gazing, figuring that would be fun, and while there were none directly overhead, there were clouds in a circle around us, at the edges of our tree and building created horizon.

Eventually, we figured, they would move over us.  We were, however, thoroughly duped by nature itself.  The clouds all seemed to move farther out, not closer!  As a result, we spent forty five minutes with not a cloud in the sky.

In other words, we got nothing.

All conditions were right.  It should have occurred.  But there was nothing there, the entire time.  And the funny thing is?

Half a mile away, there was a spot on campus, right under the clouds.  I had seen it earlier. It wasn’t far, and we both could have hoped on our bikes and been there in minutes, but we didn’t.

We got nothing.  But we didn’t exactly try hard to get anything.  Even though we knew what we wanted was not far away at all.

I think that’s the thing that I got from it.  We put nothing into the cloud gazing, just expecting what we wanted to come to us.

Instead, our goal stayed where it was, and we spent 45 minutes, pointing out the occasional bird, or bug…or the rim of our glasses.

Life, like cloud gazing, won’t just hand you what you want.  You have to put some effort into it.  Even if it seems like it should be an easy task, you have to put something into it.

And when you do?  When you do, you get an amazing experience in return, all for what is in comparison, not much at all.

I complain about tuition rates, rather more often than I should.  But for those prices, I get an excellent education, get to know some great minds in my field, gain connections to people I may one day work for or with, and a whole lot of other things.  There are weekly concerts or comedians here for crying out loud, all free to the students.  I get internet access, a free gym membership with any number of classes to help get me in shape, and a fitness advisor, who will help me figure out exercises I can and cannot do, and let me know when I should do them and how often!

I get a lot, for that tuition.  For the effort put into gaining the money for it?  I get easily quadruple my effort’s worth.  Even if the bill does hurt to pay.

One Final Byte: Life isn’t easy, if you put nothing in.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week Three: Tornadoes and Results

Wow!  A lot happened this week.  I’m excited to share it all with you.  Club activities haven’t started yet, but the co-op people suggesting three or four to me.  I think I’ll join at least two, if not three.  Four may be pushing it, schedule wise!  However, all, I was informed, would look excellent later on.  Besides, the Space Hardware club just sounds fun, and is need of hands-on people.  I am a hands-on person.  My bike can attest.

Speaking of my pretty little compliment receiving bucket of bolts: Why will my seat not remain nicely tightened up?  And why is rust so fast acting!  The storms this weekend didn’t help, I’m sure, but really.  Rust spots!  This weekend is going to involve a wrench, a screwdriver, WD-40, and CLR.  Any other suggestions?  I really just need to figure out how to keep the seat tight, and not moving up and down constantly.

Ah well.  It’s good bucket of bolts.  I like it!  It just needs a bath and some TLC.  Between the storms and the construction it’s had  a hard week.  I can forgive it.

Those storms by the way including a tornado that touched down seven miles north of here.  The city was on tornado warning off and on for about three hours.  A friend and I decided the wise move would be to hang out on the first floor, unlike some of our very odd floor mates, all from the area, watching out the fifth floor windows.

Lovelies, a bit of advice.  Just because a storm hasn’t lifted you off to Oz yet, doesn’t mean the next won’t!  Please follow safety procedures in foul weather.  You can prepare for just about everything life will throw at you, but arguing with the weather is like shaking your finger at a boulder.  It’s not going to change a thing,

Anyway, the sun finally showed it’s loveliness about forty-five minutes before sunset.  Our Sunday here was full of dusk and rain.  At one point it looked more like midnight than the afternoon.  Nasty weather. 

Oh! I bet you’re wondering how I did on the plays?  Well, I didn’t get a part, but I did make callbacks.  Those of us that did were informed we nine were the nine best actors that had come to auditions, period.  It was quite uplifting as I was one of three for the main female role.

Quite uplifting indeed!  However, I still didn’t get a part, sadly.  There’s a few other things I might try out for, but it looks like I’m more than likely going to just be working on the sets.  Ah set work.  You and I are friends.  Bosom buddies, it sometimes seems.

I have been thinking deep thoughts lately.  You may see some of those soon, but I fear none cropped up in time for the posting.  This is because I have been reading.  I’m sure I’m supposed to have been studying, but I got rather ahead, and thought I would pace myself.  So no deep thoughts this week, though I believe I’ll start alternating them and my ‘what I’ve been doing’ posts, starting next week.

I’m in college.  Isn’t the supposed to be where all my deep thoughts start forming?  Maybe. Maybe.

I would give you political thoughts, but I’ve decided to be very politely quiet on those.  I don’t want to lose my temper thinking about it.  Just know we need more than two parties, and to throw some serious competition in there.  I’ll be quiet now.

One Final Byte: Actually, am I ever quiet? I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Week Two: Bike rides, Weight Loss, and a Broken Sewer Pipe

What a week!  A good one of course.  The first week of school is enver ery fast I fear, though I have learned how very interesting it can be to navigate a crowded sidewalk on a bike.

That’s code for I hit a tree again, and then my bike crashed to the ground between two cars later on, when some kid on a skateboard knocked into me.  I was left looking rather pleased with myself.  You see, despite that the bike crashed I landed perfectly on my feet, the frame of the bike between them, and the two cars on either side of the bike not even touched.  I have discovered my true talent!  I excel at crashing without a scratch!

Unless a tree is involved, then the bike is okay, and I’m not.  Ah well.  We can’t win them all.  Speaking of winning!  Well, I don’t know the results yet, and won’t until Thursday at the absolute earliest.  However I did try out to be in two plays.  If you are in one, you can’t be in the other obviously.  I’m rather more hoping for being in The Tempest than in A Bright New Boise, however either way will be nice!

I also managed to organize my room.  That’s right. I’m organized.  It’s a miracle!  My room is nice and clean right now.  For now.  We’ll see how long that lasts!

I’m only taking four classing right now, whereas most on campus take five or six.  In fact, this campus encourages you to take between 16 and 21 credit hours a semester, though some people are taking even more, with special permission.

I think I’ll stick to my measly 13 for now.  At some point, after all, chemistry will get harder.  I hope.  Besides, we had trouble enough even finding these classes to take!  I’m in pre-calculus, Theater appreciation, German 101, Chemistry 101.  It was difficult to even find these that will go towards my degree, because of how late my registration was, and the trouble with my math credits not transferring.

UAH has a history of that.  Still, My classes are nice so far, and I’ll have plenty of fun in them!  Between German and Chemistry, I don’t really have free time anyway.  Or I won’t after a few more weeks in Chemistry.  The first four are basically all review.  It’s interesting that way.

My only hang up is that I have to go to a special math lab in order to do math homework on the computer there, and I have to spend three hours there each week.   I am thoroughly unimpressed, but I shall live.

More impressive!  How far I bike. On Mondays I bike about 5.5 miles. On Tuesdays, it’s more like three.  Wednesdays it will be around six, I think, though I don’t know for sure, but I think I’ll aim at biking at least 20 miles a week, bare minimum.  I’ve also lost three pounds since last Wednesday.  I intend on losing about that many a week, if I can, until I am back down to a healthy weight. 

All the bike riding ought to help, especially as its half a mile to the cafeteria and half a mile back.  I have to ride my bike just to eat!  Sad day indeed.  I have found a church in the area also, and while another girl is going there too and has been taking me, if she ever chooses not to, that’s fine too.  It’s within biking distance!

Oh! Before I forget.  There’s totally construction going on right next to the dorms, right?  They’re putting in a huge fountain, and landscaping the area very thoroughly, putting in paths, and all that jazz.  Well, sometime between lunch and dinner on Tuesday, they hit a sewer line.

A sewer line.  Next to a dorm, of at least fifty a floor.  They’ve decided to make up for this, we’re supposed to use as little water as possible, and not shower, if we can manage it. Because that is so very hygienic.

My college is very special.  Very, very special.

One Final Byte:  Sometimes, bravery is as simple as starting up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Week One: Let the Hijinks begin

This has been a heck of a week!  It had a very rough start.  Move in and orientation went alright, but when it came time to register for classes.  Geez Louis.  None of my math classes transferred, and my engineering courses got marked as electives.  Well.  Okay, I can handle that.  Not that big of a deal, I just take Calc right?


I had to take a placement test.  If I got a perfect, I got Calc A.  If I did not get a perfect, I got to be in Math 112.

Okay.  I can handle that.  Then came the tricky bit.

“Oh.  By the way, our math department doesn’t allow any sort of calculators to be used.”  Wait. Stop. Pause.

You mean that thing that is in pretty much every phone standard now, so is, in fact, always in your pocket, and the things I’ve been informed by several engineers that they use on a daily basis is not allowed?  That tool to my job?

The big fat expensive thing I spent money on, I can’t even use?  Are they going to buy it from me?  No?  Then why should they get to dictate this?

“Our math department is very by the book.  They decided this two years ago.  I’m sorry.”

So am I.  So am I.  Because my teachers focused on using my calculator to solve the problems for me.  So after not getting into 112 the first time, I studied this weekend and got into it this time.

However!  If I were to rate my customer service experience at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) then I would have to say that their customer services skills were lacking, as they were completely unwilling to discuss the courses that transferred, or to alter their degree plan in any way shape or form for me to take my classes.  In other words, despite a kind advisor, so far, the experience has lacked luster.  I pay an awful lot of money to attend college.  I would like my luster, and my luster doesn’t come in the form of foam parties and dubstep.  My luster comes in the experience fo good customer service, and the college not pulling hijinks.

They are fond of hijinks at this college.  For instance. 

Homework is turned in online.  In order to access the homework to turn it in, you must have online access.  In order to gain the access, you must pay full price for the distinctly overpriced textbook, and the access codes are, the cashier assures you, and the internet agrees, only available from book at the book store.  My book bill is easily twice what I had planned and budgeted for it, and between that and mysterious fees on the tuition that they would not explain when asked, I am cutting deep into the money that was to cover living expenses such as, you know, breakfast on weekends, and toilet paper, neither of which the college provides.

The toilet paper I understand.

The breakfast, I do not.  Also, food is subpar here.  Except the mashed potatoes, the meat loaf, and surprisingly the vegetarian food.  However, it may improve once the cafeteria is open on full time hours, and not the partial hours it had this weekend to the confusion of everyone.  I’m going to give it a chance, also known as a year, as I paid for the freshman meal plan.  Not that I would have been able to figure out how to not pay for the freshman meal plan, but still.  I paid for it.

As for the social life?  I’m not a social butterfly, but I’ve met some nice people.  They may even become friends.  We’ll see.  For now, I’m still trying to get my not so tidy dorm room in order.  It needs TLC and not “Oh look.  Something shiny and distracting.”

One Final Byte: Did I mention I crashed into a tree?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lookit! A logo!

Everybody stop!  Look up the page.  Just a little bit.  That’s right.  There.  Check it out.  I have a logo!  Okay, so it could totally look sharper and more professional, but I happen to like it.  I might neaten it up sometime, but I might not. 

Now quick!  Look to the left of the screen.  Check out that background.  Isn’t it a pretty background?  Yes?  Alright.  First you see flowers.  Now if you shift your focus just slightly, you see diamonds.  The flowers, by the way, are totally accidental.  How do I know that?  Because I drew that too.  Also, Tiling is really hard to figure out how to do, just so you know.

Art may not be my forte, but I do like it.  I’m willing to bet you all know what a change in background means though!  That’s right! A new season for the blog!  This one called Charger Season, because look at me, moving in today to the Home of the Chargers, University of Alabama in Huntsville!

Who are the Chargers?  That is an excellent question.  I have no clue, however, so it shall have to remain an excellent question.  Maybe I’ll answer next blog.  Probably, I won’t.  I like to ask questions here and never answer them.  Either way, their colors are blue and white, I believe.  I would claim the blue is in their honor, but let’s be honest.  I just really like the color blue.  It happens to be my favorite.

Summer ends today for me, and I’m back in school again.  Classes start next week, of course, but I do have to get settled into the dorm.  It’s been a wonderful summer, and I’m glad to have had it.  I managed to cut down on boxes I’m bringing to the dorms, and put more stuff in a smaller space than ever before.

I think I’m becoming a little too talented at packing for my own tastes.  Let’s see if I can hold still for a few months.

Psh. Nah, who am I kidding?  These feet were made for wandering, and that’s just what I’ll do.  I already know that much!  I can’t wait for school to begin again!  I’m hoping for some challenging courses so I can properly learn what I need to know.  Hopefully, I’ll find a part time job as well, which I’ve been told isn’t that hard, on or off campus.

I’m already going to be looking into joining a co-op for next year.  That’s basically work experience set up by the college.  You do get paid for it, and the college claims it will ‘pay for a substantial part of you college education.’  We shall see UAH.  We shall see.

Regardless, UAH’s co-op programs seem to be set up as a semester of full time class, then a semester of full time work.  They do have a part-time course load/part-time co-op work possibility as well, though you have to discuss that.

Either way, we’ll see how it turns out. 

One of my roommates contacted me as well!  I have been reassured that a lot of people bike in Huntsville, especially on campus, and that a lot of people don’t have cars. Phew!  What a load off my bike.  I like bike-able cities.  Either way, I can’t wait to poke around on my lovely bike (it matches my purse!) and see what Huntsville has to offer.

One Final Byte: When nervous, I cook.  I made many candies.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nearing Summer's End

Alright! My last burst of traveling for the summer is almost over with everyone.  I arrived in Nashville save and sound, after a harrowing adventure in Orlando.  Getting there was nerve wracking, on the wee little puddle hopper I was in.  It was small enough, though I barely had leg room, and normally I find plane leg room to be quite adequate.  And everyone had to check their carry-ons, because there was just no room under the seats and no overhead compartments at all.  Itty bitty puddle hopper.

Then I got to Orlando.  Orlando is…well, it’s a confusing airport, and you’d best hope you don’t have to change terminals, because if you do you have to exit security, then go through it again, just to get to the other terminal.  Also, because my first flight was with a different airline then my second, I didn’t know my gate number…so had a horrible time getting to the gate.  I did make it though!

Then up to Nashville and to baggage claim, where I was thoroughly surprised by my boyfriend, who snuck up on me.  I had thought I bumped into someone with my back pack.  Nope.  He’s a sneaky man, he is.  Definitely a ninja.  Hm, considering my pirate nature, I worry about this.

I got to spend a half handful of days with him and they were some of my happiest days this summer.  We got to see a movie together, and I got to try on all of his helmets.  He wears a large hat size, so of course they looked ridiculous on me.  The movie was Total Recall which is an absolutely wonderful movie I wouldn’t mind seeing again and highly suggest.  We even went to a history museum, combining my love of museums and his love of history.  It was about Shakers.  Apparently it was both the farthest west and south colony of Shakers that had ever existed.  In the early 1900s though, it ended up closed.

The things you learn.

All around, it was a great visit (that I could say much more on, but I suspect you don’t want to hear, as once started, I don’t shut up about him), and then I was off to my aunt and uncle’s for the rest of the summer.  Boy, this place has changed!

I love their new home.  It’s got an amazing view, and the windows make me happy just to see them.  My stuff was all here, and they’re letting me keep some nonessential stuff with them.  I even got most of my school supplies! I just need some organizing bins now, so keep everything tidy.  Well, that and my textbooks, but I need a class list before I find those out!

I also got a bike for on campus and around town, as cars are expensive things that cost way too much when a bike and a bus pass out to do me.  Amusingly, and quite by accident, the bike matches my purse.  I find I approve!

I’m winding down summer to get everything ready to go for school now.  The year will start soon, and I have a wonderful surprise for the blog when it does.   I can’t wait to unveil it!

One Final Byte:  Shopping for a college dorm? Remember cleaning supplies!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On the road again!

I can say with all certainty that I love visiting my sister’s family.  Even the first day there we had a lot of fun.  I’ve officially seen the new Spiderman movie and I absolutely loved it.  Peter Parker was perfect.  He was a nerd who suddenly had to deal with a mutation…one that thoroughly freaked him out. In his search for answers, he-  Well.  I won’t spoil it, but this movie was more than just good vs bad.  This movie was about both inner and outer conflicts, an in the end, owning up for what you have done and created.

I loved it.  It was deep, and still packed full of terrific moments.  Definitely worth the cash to see it and I wouldn’t mind seeing the movie again.

We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings as well, which is always a treat, as far as I’m concerned.

The next day, we wound up on the beach.  The water was so clear you could see the sand, and where we were you could walk out what felt like forever and still not hit deep water.

Not to say there weren’t some deep points, but not a lot.  And we discovered an island!  Mind you, probably a thousand or so others have also discovered it, but so have we, and it was a lot of fun.  The water was so shallow at that point it came up to our ankles, with a ‘steep’ drop off of about four feet.  Not quite, but it was still entertaining if you got to close to the edge.

Someone might decide, after all, to bump into you, and then, well, splash!  Getting back onto the small island from that side was hard work too.  It was very much a climb to get onto it, it seemed, if only because it was so steep.

Oh.  I also got very sunburned.  A lovely shade of red that matched my pink tank top well, I think.  It was excellent.  And since that was just the first two days, you can imagine how much fun the rest were.

We went to a different beach, the pool, did a little bit of shopping, and I got to go to a robot spa.  Or, well, mechanical one.  It was incredibly weird.  The facial consisted of me washing my face, and then them shining lights on it, while I sat in the massage chair 5000.  This chair was incredibly odd.  It was all hydralics, and I could hear those working, and the air beign pushed in and out of the massage balls in the chair.  Not very comfortable.

Then I got to lay down on a massage bed.  This consisted of laying on a think canvas that covered rubber, that kept jets of water with 45 lb of pressure hitting me.  Instead, they pressed against me, going up and down my body.  It felt odd, and tickled my calves horribly.  I kept giggling.  Then I was in a hydration station, which reminded my of superman's space crib and was, essentially, a individual spa.  The papers on the wall promised you would sweat out fluids, toxins and fats.

I disbelieve.  Still, the entire trip was exciting, and I can now say I've been to a machine masseuse.  I think I prefer a person though! 

I had such an amazing time on my trip.  But now, well...

On the road again!  Bright and early on the road again!  I guess I couldn't wait to be on the road again, this time sometime between 5 and 6 in the morning as I have an 8 am flight.  I get to be on a Beechcraft 1900 turbocraft airplane.  This means I have propellers, not jet engines, on my airplane.  Once again, of course, I get to go south before I go north.

Am I the only one a wee bit confused by the logic of that?

My luggage held up admirably.  The wheel that was fixed still works fine, and I'm very happy.  The big one with the owl served well too, though her side handle sheds like nothing else if you pick it up.  Yuck.

I bet you're wondering where I am going this time.  Up north to Kentucky!  Westernish Kentucky to be exact, though no details of course.  What were you expecting an exact location?  Silly thought that.  I gave you a state and a vague direction.  That's enough, right?

Either way, I'm on my way to spend a few days with another favorite person of mine and his family.   It will be nice getting to know them all, and from there, I'll head over to my uncle's!

Farm living.  For like a week and a half.  It'll be fun, perhaps maybe.  If I squint. Well, I'll be glad to see my family again nonetheless.  I'm really eager to see what's changed since I was last there!  This has been a great week so far, and I'm looking forward to the next week of being with some people who really rock.

One Final Byte:  This is a busy time period, I think.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As you read this blog, there is a high chance that right now, this very moment I am traveling.  Bwahahahahahaha!  I believe evil laughter is surely required, because guess what! I’m on the road again! Everybody break out into that one twangy song no one can remember more than a few words to. 

Good.  Now that that’s out of our system!

Has anyone else noticed how very odd traveling by airplane is?  In order to go south, first you have to go north, inevitable, to get to another plane which will then take you south.  East and West pull the same sort of hijinks.  It’s all very odd, don’t you think?  In Europe, it’s not so bad, but here in the States, I get sent every which way but the right way!

There is no such thing as a straight line in air travel here.  No wonder everyone gets all turned around.

Of course, this usually doesn’t apply to car rides, but despite how sensible car rides can be, they take longer.  Besides, unless you have a family with children attached, they rarely cost less than the airplane ticket does.

Summer in sweet Maryland was wonderful.  I held down a part time job, with decent enough hours for my much needed re-Americanization period, and got a chance to breathe and take a break. It helps when the work doesn’t really feel like work. Much too easy.

Next summer, I hope for something more of a challenge, and to get a job with Space camp.  Working with kids is always a challenge, so it should be fun!  This is, of course, a hope.  But can you imagine Space camp?  Man. Even being a counselor there would be fun.

This being my choice if I don’t somehow get a summer internship of course.  The camp is done at my college, so I am hopeful to get a job there.

Ah, but ya’ll don’t want to hear about something happening next year.  You want to hear about Maryland.

I will tell you now I very purposefully lived an adventure free life while visiting Maryland.  Very purposefully, as I could have had many adventures, if I so chose.    I got a lot done, despite my claims of it being a veritable vacation, but despite all that got done, and all the studying I did manage, it was still nice to be on vacation for a time.

I will miss Maryland.  I made good friends here.  My coworkers were generally amusing, especially the two younger than me, one who admitted to going to college because it seemed the thing to do to improve her lot in life.  She didn’t feel smart enough to go however, which is worrisome.

There are other career advancing options than college out there.  I told her that is college itself didn’t work out, perhaps she could see about a vocational school or something similar. She had never even heard the term.  That worries me.  However, I have promised myself I shall not rant about the state of education and college alternatives this time.

Instead, I shall redirect my attention to the great Sunday school group I met at my grandparents church, who made me feel very welcome, and were all very kind.  I joined the bible study they held as well, and had a great time making friends there.

Overall though, I’m glad I got to spend time with my grandpa and grandma in Maryland, and I’ve enjoyed my vacation from working as hard as I had been.

And now, now I’m on the road again!  This week I head way down south to visit my sister and her family.  I can’t wait to see them, as I admit they happen to be some of my favorite people out there.  (Especially my niece, I am a sucker for my niece.)

I did mention this was a traveling adventure didn’t I?  No?  I should have, because this is the first of four stops, culminating in a stop on campus for the school year.  All this in three weeks!

But don’t worry about missing out on my blog.  I’ve got it set to post automatically, though I don’t guarantee these posts will be up to date in my latest adventures.  You won’t be missing out however, that’s to be sure!  If I can get to it, then I’ll post a blog updated with what’s going on.  If not, there will be a blog waiting here for you every Wednesday 7 am PST.  Why PST?  Because I can’t figure out how to change it, that’s why.

It’s not that I’m technologically challenged.  It’s that I just don’t feel like finding that setting, because, well, it works just fine for me.  Unlike phones.

Phones and I. Well.

I’m generally pretty proud when I figure out how to call people on those things, especially smart phones.  Those I’m lucky to find the keypad to call at all on, or figure out how to call people.

Why are phones not just phones anymore?  I am not Sailor Mercury.  I do not need a mini-computer in my pocket.

Ah, but I know they are now important to have and such.  As such, I shall cease my rumblings, and move on to sad things.  Sad things being what happened in Aurora on Friday.

I have no words for this.

It was wrong, terribly wrong, and yet nothing will change anytime soon.  As for myself, I believe education is the answer, and a deeper sense of community.  I don’t believe a lock down on anything helps.  I think a culture shift promoted by education on gun use is the answer.  Seems to have decreased teen pregnancy, at least.  I don’t see why it can’t decrease gun related violence.

That’s all I can say, other that I’ll pray for the victim’s family and the victim’s that survived.  Whatever caused this man to do this, whether it was a surplus of stress, or a deep depression, I don’t know, but I hope he gets help in jail.  I sincerely do.

One Final Byte:  I’m rather at home when on the road.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Genetically Modified Foods

Okay.  First off, that term makes me snicker a little on the inside, all because of what I know about farming.  We were genetically modifying foods before we knew what genes were.  In fact, these unnatural foods are the only reason anyone is alive on the planet today, as they increased the needed nutrients in our diets.

Don’t believe me?  I have two examples: Strawberries and Corn. 

Have you ever seen a wild strawberry before? No?  Well it’s about the width of a dime, and less than half an inch long.  In other words, it is incredibly tiny, and smaller than a blueberry. I’m not certain about the first person who started growing wild strawberries on purpose.  Looking at them, I can’t imagine how he even tasted them.

Over the years however, strawberries have been cultivated on purpose to be larger, and larger.  In effect, they were selectively mutated.  I’m calling that genetic modification my friends, because these mutations were not necessarily for the best for the strawberry.  Strawberries even look different from wild strawberries entirely because of this selective breeding.  If they were human, we’d like even use that cringe inducing term of eugenics for what was done.

This isn’t that bad.  It isn’t the genetic modifications they are doing today, that are keeping the human population worldwide from starving to death.  It’s not like they’re splicing fruits and vegetable together.  But it is still a genetic modification and it was done, as far as I can discover, before genes were discovered.

Well, you say, that’s not that bad.  Allow me to bring up exhibit two: Corn.

Corn is not a natural plant, at all.


You are looking at Teosite, which looks, as you can see, nothing like modern corn.  In fact, it doesn’t look like anything you see today.  Yet, 7000 years ago, it was modified through selective breeding to become corn.  It is the reason for how vast and huge the nations of the Americas were before they were thoroughly wiped out due to famine.  

Look at that.  It went from six of even widely spaced kernels, to around one hundred closely packed kernels.  The male plant grew closer together and thicker as well.  Both became larger, tighter packed, and instead of one ear per stalk, there are now multiple ears per stalk of corn.

Corn, in other words, is a man-made plant.  I don’t want to hear anything at all about GMO corn.  All corn is GMO.  And you should all thank your lucky stars it is.

If it weren’t there would be a lot less people in this world, a long time ago, and some of those less people who have been colonist and your ancestors.

One Final Byte: Bite your tongue about things keeping you alive.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


What is freedom?  I’ve come across this a lot this week.  People have used freedom as an excuse for bullying.  “Freedom of speech means I can say what I want!”  I’ve seen them use it as an excuse for so many things.  But the worst I have seen is the game designer who made a flash game in which the goal was to punch the image of a person as much as possible.

He was ‘free’ to do so.  Did this make it right? No.  There was irony though in the game.  The person whos picture was being used was the face of ‘Tropes vs Women,’ Anita Sarkeesian.  Tropes vs Woman launched a kickstarter calls Tropes vs Women in video games.  The whole point of this kickstarter is to examine how the video game represents women in a web series online.

I will not lie.  Sarkeesian is a feminist that I cannot stand to listen to.  But that does not mean I will insult and degrade her for her work which is well-researched and rings true.  There is a preponderous lack of women in video games who are not there for the romantic angle or who are not there to be rescued.  This same lack occurs in many places in literature.  A female heroine is rare. The only two I can think of are Samus Aran and Mulan, both of whom have their own problems.

Freedom is about choices.  But when those choices harm others, should there be a limit? Should it depend on the type of harm done to the others.  It’s hard to say.  Should freedoms be limited at direct harm, or at potential harm.  I have so many questions!  I’m not the only one either.

I believe, however, that when you exercise your freedoms to harm others mentally, emotionally or physically that you are abusing their freedom to live unharmed.  This is an abuse of your freedoms as well.  However, merely because the potential for harm exists does not mean that it will be exercised.  Take gun control.
I own a gun.  It’s a .22 caliber long range rifle.  I like to target shoot with it, and it was a gift.  This gun gives me the ability to potentially harm someone.  Will I?

Only if they threaten me in a significant manner first.  That’s the catch.  The gun is for target shooting.  I’m not very good at it just yet, but enjoy it all the same.  However it produces a show of arms.  Not a great one, but enough to make a person threatening me think twice.

Admittedly, a .22 is a squirrel hunting gun, good for target shooting and very small game.  The sort you make stew out of because there’s just not enough meat for anything else. (None of which matters, because I don’t hunt.)  But does my having the potential to harm someone infringe on their freedom?


No, it does not.

A gun in the hands of a responsible owner is there for protection against those who believe that they are free to help themselves to your possessions, your money, or that they are free to harm you as they will. 

These are just examples though.  Freedom is choice.  But with freedom comes the responsibility to make good choices.  Everywhere I look, the ability to make choices, good or bad, is being eroded.  Whether it is the choice to purchase health insurance or not, or the choice to worship as you please, without being called a terrorist, our choices are being eroded.

I worry.  I worry about our nation, I worry about America, I worry about what we are becoming.  We are a nation that values the individual’s ability to choose historically speaking. Lately, it seems more and more like Huxley’s Brave New World though.  We are overwhelmed with the pressures of a culture that values pleasure above all else, and promises more of those pleasures if only we give in.

America used to be a nation of frontiersmen and women: people willing to go forward and bravely discover more.  Now all America seems to discover is  what’s going on in the life of celebrities and what so and so said and did over fifty years ago.

One Final Byte: Oh sweet America, where did your soul go?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Implementation Issues

This past week they ruled that the healthcare law is constitutional. I have no problem with that. In fact, the vast majority of this healthcare law I like and support. My main issue is in one teeny tiny bit, one small road bump, that I was really hoping the supreme court would toss. I don't want the whole law repealed...just one small portion.

It's that requirement that gets me.

For those of you who know me, you know I hate the idea of any thing forced on me, whatsoever. Force a union on me? Gain a rant. Force me to purchase healthcare that I cannot afford at an ever increasing rate? Get a much longer rant. I've been informed I start soap boxing if it's brought up. Oops.

Well, seeing as how this is my soapbox, and a lovely one with flowers even, I think I shall stand on it and, if you'll forgive me, soapbox a little.

Look. I like universal healthcare. I like inexpensive healthcare. In fact, once the overhead of insurance is removed, I find most costs for healthcare to be reasonable enough, baring you know, big emergencies and the like. Big emergencies are costly pennies, don't you think?

But what I don't like is the current implementation of the healthcare law. Change the implementation, I might be feeling more kindly to it. While I have to pay college bills however? Tell you what. You pay all my college, and I'll purchase health insurance. It'll just work out.

My biggest beef with the healthcare law is the requirement, entirely because of that big gaping hole in income earners where you make too much to be on medicare/medicaid, but still can't afford health insurance for the family. Where you aren't considered poor, but you aren't rich, and you are just barely maybe middle class, clinging tenaciously to that title. Where you are trying to make it work...but can't afford insurance.

Healthcare is a necessity. It's lengthened our life span significantly, and the more it improves, the longer, it seems, we live. While living forever seems an awfully boring thing, I'm in no hurry to die, I admit. I'm grateful for healthcare! It's given me more time with my family than I ever could have imagined before.

But here's the rub. The insurance. Okay, I admit that I have some health issues that some people may or may not consider significant. As for me? I've lived with them this long, and I seem fine. Everything is attached, and I can still live a normal life. So for now, until I can afford it, I'll live with it.

I wouldn't mind paying an insurance company to pay most of my healthcare bills...if I could afford it. I'm lucky the age went from 23 to 26 on healthcare as it is. Otherwise, I'd be one of those penalized (next year) for, you know, being poor, but not poor enough, or too confused by all the paperwork, or denied for no real good reason other than someone had their panties in a twist that day.

I'm not certain I even know how to go about purchasing insurance. I suppose when the time comes I'll spend several days feverishly researching online, and take about a month to decide who I want to bleed my paycheck dry.

If I can afford it.

If not, I guess I'll pay the $95 or 1% total income (whichever, by the way, is greater) in a fine and sigh dramatically. By the way, to pay the $95 dollars, you have to make $9,500 or less a year. If you are making that much, I would like to point you to the lucrative business of unemployment. You can have 2.5 straight years of making just barely enough to afford a home and food on, and still be in a better place! But that's a very different rant for another day, and it's not one that anyone want to hear me go on. I'm no economist, after all, and I will freely admit it.

If I wasn't required to have the insurance, if this was simply an actual tax, than I would have no problem. But this is not the tax that the supreme court has labeled it as. It's forced consumerism. For raised taxes, I won't mind if they tax me to pay for free healthcare, so long as I am paid a wage that I can still live off of. They'd have to raise the minimum wage for people to be able to afford it, but hey, I'm all for raising that anyway, and what a nifty way of confusing people who don't realize that they'd still be making the same amount of money.

Of course, then business would hire less, so aren't we in a conundrum.

I want universal healthcare, but this is not that. It's been labeled that, and called that, and I've been told off my people in Canada and Europe for not supporting universal healthcare because I don't support the entirety of this bill.

In short, we have implementation issues with this law, that seriously need to be fixed before I ever even begin to think about supporting it.

One Final Byte: One tiny road bump makes a big headache.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Right to Work

Most of my life I have lived in a right to work state. I have never experienced the acutely painful joy of forced unionism...until I received my first pay check here. After union dues, I made about 1.77 an hour. This is completely legal, as its only for the first thirty days that dues are double their usual size. This does not change the fact, however, that it takes me two hours to pay my normal union dues, a week. Double dues are actually closer to six hours a week than two.

I assure you, it hurt seeing that first paycheck. I was angry enough to give my coworkers pause for concern, and several of my friends. After I calmed down, (around 3 am) I began to research. I threw myself into it, trying to figure out what it was the legality of my situation.

The legality of it? It was perfectly fine for me to have a take home pay of 1.77. There was nothing illegal about it. There was nothing I could do to stop it either. In fact, I had no recourse by acceptance. Why?

Maryland is a forced unionism state. If I am not a member of the union, they will take out service fees, for the benefits I enjoy thanks to the union. No matter what, I won't be making much, and will have fees docked.

It is absolutely infuriating. When asked, my coworkers admitted that they didn't know what the union had done for them in the past year. The union representative, alas, gave me a spiel of nonsense. I was unimpressed. I understand the purpose of a union. I am a firm believer in the necessity of collective bargaining in situations where the workers are in a bad place.

But what happens when the union is the one that the workers need protection from? The answer? I'm not certain. There are places online and phone numbers to call. However, I would proceed with all caution.

After all, they say they are there to protect against corruption in the union, but how do I know they aren't placed there by a corporation? It's hard for me to say.

I do know something. No union should be able to dock a worker's pay for wages without their express consent. To do so is immoral, at best, and cruel at worse. All that doing so makes me want to do is leave the state for one where common sense, and the ability to unionize only if you want to, is there.

I believe in the power of collective bargaining, and I believe that workers do have the right to be treated well and paid a wage they can live on. What I do not believe in is forcing a person to be a member of any organization against their will.

The only losers when a union forces people to be its members by the way? The lower ranking peons (like myself) who depend on the union to do their job are taken advantage of. Those very people that the union is made to protect are the ones who are most harmed by this legal binding.

One Final Byte: I prefer a Right to Work state, definitely.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Absolute Terror of Shots

Also known as, "Are you sure you are 22?"

Why yes, nurse , I am 22, I am just terrified of needles. It's actually rather interesting to watch, or to think about. This Monday, I had to get an immunization shot. Why does that matter?

Well, I am more terrified of needles than is strictly healthy. Mentally, I know that is doesn't hurt, not really. I've hurt myself more stubbing my toes, skinning my knees, doing pretty much everything else out there. It doesn't hurt long, maybe all of one second. There's no real side effect, it doesn't hurt, and doesn't cause any sort of trauma at all.

And yet the very picture of a needles causes nausea for me.

However, holding on tight to a second nurses hands ( I am a bit of a wimp) I took the shot like...okay more like an 8 year old than an adult. Afterward, came the really fun event. I can take the shot, but after?

Well, I had a panic attack.

I could not explain to you why I am afraid of a needle. But I do know that letting such a minor thing affect me is not right. So I don't. Yes, I will have the panic attack after, and that's okay. It's a part of being scared. But will this stop me from getting future immunizations, or future shots? No.

I am scared of needles, but I do not cower from them.

There's a difference.

I know last week I went on about fear, but I think it's important to understand that there are lots of different kinds of fears out there. I talked about the fear of others last week. Of how that fear, that ignorant fear, could affect people who were innocent. My friend suffers due to fearful neighbors, who do not understand.

But that is not the only sort of fear out there. It comes in so many forms that sometimes we don't even realize that.

I am scared of needles.

But I will take my shots, face that fear, and be better for it.

That is the important thing. Facing what would stop you. Whether you are scared of being home alone, of being the the dark, or needles, or of the next door neighbor's weird speaking in another language, you cannot let this stop you from living your daily life.

The best part? You don't even have to be brave to face your fears. I don't consider myself brave to be sure. Just stubborn. I'm too stubborn to let shots stop me. I'm too stubborn to let much of anything stop me, to be honest. It's a bit of a failing, but it's one I don't mind so much, if it means I can get the job done.

So face that scary monster n the closet. I suggest a long stick, a stuffed bear, a flashlight, and determination. Those gremlins under the bed? Stomp on their wee little fingers, so they can't grab on? And that needle in the nurses hand?

Well, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and stay still. It'll be over in just a second.

One Final Byte: What the deuce is bravery, if not stubborness?