Friday, February 28, 2014

ffot: allergy season

Or cold season.  Or whatever the hell keeps both kids clogged up and hacking,* and causes Odysseus to snore in any position he sleeps in.  It can fuck off with my sleep deprivation.

That is all.

*Wet sounding coughs that don't bring anything up but a sore throat.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Writing, today

My classes workshopped their paper, today.  I'll get them turned in to me on Tuesday of next week, so today, I have nothing to do for four hours* except write.

My goal is to get through the climactic fights, and start working on the falling action.  Probably something close to 10,000 words today.

Wish me luck.

*My office hours.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Doesn't surprise me.

Just read another story about a newborn baby thrown in the trash by his teenaged mother.  Ho-hum. 

Yet...people in the comments were shrieking about the evil of the act, like it's worse to throw away a baby that was still covered in afterbirth than it is to vacuum one out of the womb and kill it.

Honestly, people--what did you expect?  You make life disposable with pro-abortion laws and advocacy,* and assisted-suicide laws, and euthanasia laws, and then you scream about a young girl who's internalized the lessons you didn't realize you were teaching? 

Grow a soul, and stop holding the attitude that when someone else's life is inconvenient, it should be ended.  Stop pressuring the world to agree with your morality that it's okay to choose to end someone else's life.  Stop equating the murder of babies with using a condom or taking a birth control pill.

And maybe, just maybe, sixteen year old girls will stop seeing their new infants as disposable trash.

*I do not advocate changing the law to make abortion illegal for a doctor to perform--just illegal to choose as a "contraception" method after the heart starts beating.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yeah, right.

So, we recently got the kids a DVD copy of Mary Poppins.  They've watched it four times in the week we've had it.

And I?  I have been reminded of one of the songs I forgot.  And, while it didn't make an impression on me when I saw it as a child, it sets my teeth on edge now.

"Our daughters' daughters will adore us/And they'll sing in grateful chorus/Well done, Sister Suffragette."

I do not say well done.  I am in the fourth generation from the setting (early 1900s), and the work of the suffragettes has been twisted and perverted to the point that it actively harms women.  It goes without saying that modern feminism harms men and children--anyone with half a brain can see that.

Yes, I'm saying it: giving women the vote has led pretty much directly to the majority of the problems we're facing.  Most women are not capable of putting aside their own, immediate self-interest, and looking at long-term consequences facing the country of the decisions they make in the voting booth now.  Those wonderful promises of the government stepping up and giving them things?  Yeah, that's taking money out of their great-grandchildren's mouths.  That's taking jobs away from their grandchildren.  All to give them something now, something they'd likely have if they'd stayed of the cock carousel, and gotten married to a good man before having kids.

Oh, wait--I forgot.  Feminism doesn't believe that there's such a thing as a good man.  It's all about the woman, and how she feels now. Feminism doesn't seem to give a shit about the individual woman, only the money and the voting power that comes with identity politics.  Feminism caters to the spoiled child that even the best of us have to fight against, the one that wants what they want, right NOW, and damn the consequences.

This has led directly to the rise of the no-fault divorce, boys who aren't taught what it is to be a good man by their fathers (because Mama got a restraining order to get the most she could out of the divorce), and to the rise of the welfare/foodstamps/have another baby to get more class of losers who are hovering just barely below the number of productive, working Americans. 

Well done, Sister Suffragette. 

Would I give up my vote if we could reverse things?  In a heartbeat.   Would it fix things?  Probably not, or at least, not immediately.

But shit would stop getting so much worse so fast.


What was stuck has come unstuck, with regards to Pendragon Resurgent.  All it took was standing and staring through the windows, waiting for pickup from work, with a nearly-inaccessible notebook and a fountain pen.  Took ten minutes and half a page written longhand to get rid of the block.

Guess what I'll be doing after the kids go to bed?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Grading tonight...

Grading tonight, and watching Thor

Some of the initial meeting between Thor and the scientists are hilarious.  Tasing the god of thunder is beyond awesome. 

And work.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I want my kids to grow up believing in them, no matter how "geeky" it is by "modern" sensibilities.  I want my son to aspire to be one, and I want my daughter to settle for nothing less.

We have a good start.  Odysseus likes to look for good fan-made videos of favorite songs, like this one:

The pixie loves it.  And recently, she found our copy of the DVD The Avengers.  She noticed that they were the same as from the video, and desperately wants to watch the move.

Way too violent.  Way, way too violent, as of yet.  We're going to look for the Avengers cartoon, which, granted, may be a little violent for their ages (five years, and three years).

But they're starting to crave things with clear-cut good guys and bad guys, instead of the mushy pablum spoon fed to small children, where even the bad guys are sad and misunderstood, instead of outright bad.

They want heroes.  They need heroes.   

Cartoons are a good place to start.   

Saturday, February 22, 2014

random ramblings

Saturday morning cartoons are shit, anymore.  I think I've said that before, but it's infuriating, so it bears repeating.

The kids watched Alice in Wonderland.

And there is still nothing on for the kids.

Today is Odysseus's birthday.  We're going to head out and do some shopping, then do lunch.  I had initially planned to do pork stew meat fajitas, but the meat isn't thawed, and will likely take until sometime tomorrow (frozen so cold that I had to juggle it into the kitchen sink to keep from burning my fingers).  Same with the berries for the cobbler I'd planned.  So, instead of making a birthday meal at home, we're going out, and I'll make the goodies tomorrow.

I think John Ringo is having a joygasm: Within Temptation's new album has the lead singer for Nightwish in a duet, and it is awesome.  See?

Yes, I have now ordered the album on Amazon.  Coolest thing--it comes with an MP3 version in Amazon's Cloud player, so I don't have to wait until Tuesday to listen to it. 

We currently have the world's happiest Scotty dog.  She's out in her pen outside.  She honestly didn't mind that I forgot her outside last night while I was grading.  I think she'd have been happy to have been left out all night, if I'd remembered to feed her.

The cats...are cats.  Shadow pranks Cricket, Cricket gets startled and farts, and Shadow runs away with her ears laid back.  Happens nightly, now. 

I managed to figure out a good way to grade papers, last night: I put a movie in the DVD player (Captain America, last night), and got 22 papers done in about two and a half hours.  Apparently, typing the comments into the gradebook isn't just easier on my hands, but faster. 

Tonight, I'll probably watch The Avengers, and grade the rest. 

Tomorrow...I'll try to write that transition that's giving me fits in Pendragon Resurgent.  I've been stuck on it for a week.  If it doesn't come, I'm just going to leave a blank spot and move on to finish the first draft, and see if writing it out long-hand makes a difference after the rest is done.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FFOT: monsters

I was thinking about telling the government in the Ukraine to fuck off...or our very own King Putt's administration for deciding to put political officers in newsrooms nationwide...but then, this happened. 

The fucking creep snatched a little ten year old girl off the street, took her home with him, did who knows what to her, put a .22 round into her head, then cut her in half, put her in trash bags, then into a pair of Rubbermaid tubs. 

My first reaction was horror.

My second was rage.

This fucking fuck carefully chose his pathway into becoming employed by the school: subcontracted employees aren't looked into by the school, and often, their primary employers don't run background checks either.  Yes, he was eventually hired full-time, but by then, he'd been working there for a while, and likely wasn't checked out then, either.  

Parents in the school whose children were remanded into this man's "care" in the in-school suspension program need to have their children checked over very carefully.  There's no way he went from "normal" to "snatch a child off the street" in a snap. 

The monster deserves to be bent over a railing in prison, with his wrists tied to his ankles, and left there.  Until he's suffered the full horror of what he put that little girl through. 

Then, he needs to be buggered by a giant rainbow horse dick until something ruptures and kills him. 

The school system needs to be sued to closure.

Every monster who touches a child like that needs to die by rape with something far too large for their bodies to handle.

And every bleeding heart pervert leftist who whines about rehabilitation, and who tries to get such "normalized" needs to join them. 

Monsters aren't broken and in need of repair.  The only thing that can be done is to put them down before they harm someone else.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

WTF, Mother Nature???

I went to work at 9:00 this morning, and it was damn near 70 degrees.  Since I'm sick, I called Odysseus to come pick me up at which point, it was more like 44 degrees.

Y'know what?  That's like, the opposite of a hot flash. 

I am so done with this too-cold winter. 


I can do my classes, but I'm really not so sure about my office hours.  I feel empathy for things that have gone through something else's digestive tract.

Oh, well.  If I stay for office hours, I'll get some grading done.  If I don't, I'll probably spend the afternoon in bed...also getting grading done.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One of those days...

Occasionally, I underestimate how much coffee actually does for me.  I downed two Monster Rehabs today, and still sat around, brain dead, instead of grading papers or cleaning the house.

Odysseus made me coffee late this afternoon.  And after that, I got my grading I'd scheduled for today done.  Even if it is too late to do the bulk of the housework I'd planned.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

much like buffering...

Collecting papers, that is.  I got a couple in and graded yesterday, got a trickle in email, a flood in class (including one emailed in class), and am currently waiting on the last few papers to come in by midnight tonight (and one I granted a 24 hour extension to, who will be turning his paper in tomorrow). 

In the meantime, I'm working on decluttering the office/sewing corner I've been trying to set up in the bedroom, plus catch up on dishes (again).  So, I'm not totally useless while I'm waiting, at least.

I had an illustration of the power of advertising, earlier today.  Sam's Club has a new thing where, with nonperishable things like dishwasher rinse agent, granola bars, and such, you scan your membership card and get a sample.  Today's was some applesauce in a squeeze bag with a nozzle, brand Go Go Squeeze. 

We have never gotten this before, but the pixie instantly recognized what it was, what was in it, and started begging.  Kinda funny.  Either she's seen ads (likely), or can read the packaging (unlikely, at three years old).

And the imp?  Has been joyfully playing outside all afternoon.  The weather has been bloody marvelous, today.  My evidence?  An ice cream truck toodling down the road.  In February.  Getting stopped. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Overheard from the living room...

Both of my kids and TinCan Assassin's Progeny are playing in the pixie's room, and we hear this:

Progeny: Oops!  That did not work the way I wanted it to!

Two out of three adults busted up laughing.  It's something we all have in common.

Things just don't go smooth.

Long sleep

So, neither kid got a nap, yesterday.  It was harder than usual to get the pixie to bed, but she slept until 8:00...

...and the dog, who's used to going out around seven, has crapped her bed. 

It's okay, though.  I have a ton of the dog's bedding to take outside and shake out.  And a ton of laundry to do today--sheets, towels, and dog bedding.  And a ton of clean laundry to put away.  Grading to do.  Coffee to drink.

At least I feel up for it.  I got enough sleep.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Long day...

I'd promised my mother a visit today.  Odysseus had homework, so he dropped the kids and me off (one car, and I don't really like driving anyway).  Got there around ten thirty or so, and didn't leave until four... which time my lower back had seized up from doing too much bending around yesterday, trying to get caught up on housework. 

I still have a metric fuck ton of work to do tomorrow.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Random ramblings

Not a whole lot happened, last week.  Not that I noticed while suffering the migraine, anyway.  Thursday, in particular, was miserable.  I had class, then office hours.  I spent the day in sunglasses and in my coat, with the hood pulled up, to block as much light as I possibly could. 

Then yesterday, it started to fade.  Right now, I feel like I'm about an hour or two away from it being totally gone. 

Thank God.  I have a massive amount of work to catch up on.  I've barely kept up with the dishes.  I have to get the clean laundry sorted out and put away, and then do the towels and sheets.  I need to clean the bedrooms, the living room, and the kitchen.  And then, we will be spending tomorrow visiting my family.

Speaking of family, the imp has spent the past couple of nights with Grandma and Grandpa.  Odysseus left at around ten to go get him from the half-way point about two hours ago, and should be home any time.

The pixie, who is currently sitting on the couch, has requested a movie that's sat on our kids' DVD shelf for more than a year.  It, for some reason, caught her attention this morning.  So, for the first time in more than twenty years, I will be half watching An American Tail.  It's a double feature, so I'll likely watch Fievel Goes West directly afterwards.

Headphones and iTunes, here I come.

The weather has massively improved--our projected lows for the week are all about five to ten degrees higher than last week's highs, and our highs...are in the fifties and sixties.  The dog is in heaven: she's outside, where she much prefers to be. 

The cats are in high spirits: we ran out of dry cat food yesterday, and they got canned last night.  One of the two dropped a #2 a few minutes ago that apparently got her feeling like playing, and the other one is joining in with enthusiastic abandon. 

How do I know about the #2?  I can smell it from the opposite end of the house.

As for classes...we lost two class days to snow days.  A whole week's worth, for a Tuesday/Thursday class, like mine.  My students lost their scheduled freewrite day, and I had to push back the due date from last Thursday to next Tuesday.  They'll lose the freewrite for their next paper, too, to make up for the second day lost and get us back on my schedule. 

What's that about future snow days?  Easy: we'll treat those as if we have an online class, with a lecture posted in the announcements, and a brainstorming thread in the discussion board. 

Which brings me to writing: I'm back on it.  Slow going, but I'm back.  I'm going to try for a chapter today.

Friday, February 14, 2014

FFOT: migraines

I still have the one I've had since Monday afternoon.  And it can fuck off with a dozen flaming chainsaws.

I have so much to do, so much to catch up on, and the damn headache is vicious with any level of light. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Damn skippy.

Day three...

My headache will either start to fade around three this afternoon, or it will hang on until Saturday.  That's the way these things usually run with me, anyways.  Either three days or most of a week. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

fuzzy little knucklehead

I haz one. 

I've had a migraine since around 3:00 Monday afternoon.  The cats have been clingier with me than usual--especially Shadow, who has been sleeping on me anytime I hold still long enough (like, most of the day every day since I got hit with the headache). 

Cricket is more of a hyperactive spaz.  She follows me around, crying, and stands up on her hind feet to put her front feet on my hip and headbutt my hand as I'm standing trying to remember what it was I was trying to do.

So, right now, I'm laying in the bedroom with the light off, working on my laptop,* and I suddenly have a cat.  A loudly complaining, whining cat who's spazzing in circles, rubbing the entire length of her body along my arm (going in circles, mind you), and pausing every little bit to chew gently on my wrist.

I think both cats can tell I've not been up to par, and are trying to help me feel better, each in her own unique way.

I say unique, but with Cricket, it's just weird.

*Oddly enough, the light from my laptop is the only light that DOESN'T send nasty, burning waves of stabbing pain through my head.

Minimally functional

My head is still killing me.  However, I have work to do, and I am minimally functional, so I can actually do it. 


I can't do what needs done, and write more than just this--my brain's not working well enough.  Maybe later...

I really wish that the biggest aural trigger wasn't children's voices. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Migraines suck.

That is all.

(I'll try to figure out something to blather about later, after I've been able to take more painkiller, and I've put the kids to bed to reduce the noise levels.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nom nom nom...

My darling, adorable, sweet cousin had a friend give her a two pound tube of ground venison.  She had no idea what to do with it, so she brought it to me. 

It has been thawed.  It's sitting in my fridge, awaiting the right time to be turned into chili.

The beans for the chili are almost done.  Therefore, it's time to put the meat on to cook, and work on cleaning the kitchen.

Oh, by the way, Tam?  You really nailed it with your description of your feelings on yet more snow.

I am sick to death of snow dumped on us every couple of days.  I live in Southern Missouri, where we're supposed to get snow no more often than every two or three weeks. 

Hence...chili.  Venison chili.

There's little better for a snowy day's lunch, when Odysseus is going to have to go to work, even if he didn't have to go to class.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

random ramblings

So, the kids have been alternating who's sick, this week.  It's been kinda miserable.  We're all on the mend, though, so...hopefully, this week will be better.

My pixie has started keeping her pull-up dry all night.  I've asked her if she wants to sleep in panties.  Her response?  "No, not quite yet."  She's kind of insecure--hates making messes that aren't caught by her pull-up.  And she's had times in the past where I forgot to put her in a pull up, and soaked herself, her bed, and her bedding, necessitating an early morning bath.

We're looking into preschool for the imp, and looking into an alternate to the local Catholic school (which, judging by some of the things I've seen with Progeny, has fallen into the Common Core trap--endless worksheets, no books sent home, an assignment of reading for twenty minutes per night of a book "at reading level" (a nasty signal, there), and a few things that she's told me about the interaction of teacher and student add up to what I've heard about CC).  I've looked into another local Christian school's website...and found curriculum and textbooks listed from sixth grade on up.  Something the local Catholic schools either haven't figured out how to do, or have decided to hide.  We'll look into their early elementary ed stuff, and if it looks workable, we'll go from there. 

Best of all, it's a bit cheaper than the Catholic schools.

The cats have continued to prove their usefulness--and their weirdness.  Yesterday, Shadow managed to find a way to get under my recliner.  I discovered this when I started getting my butt nudged from beneath, and realized that the rustling behind my chair had stopped...and that Cricket was watching me from the kitchen table.  We had errands to run, so I forgot about it for a while. 

It was time to put the kids down for a nap when we got back, so I went into the imp's room to chase the cats out (they're more demanding of pets and affection than snuggly at sleep-time).  I found them crouched on either side of a half grown mouse.  I picked it up by the end of the tail to throw it away...and found that it wasn't dead.  It started trying to run in the air, its little paws and legs moving so quickly that if it'd had traction on anything, it'd have gotten away. 

Has anyone ever noticed just how darn cute a half-grown baby mouse is? 

I ended up taking it out and dropping it into the garbage in the city trash barrel.  There's quite a bit of food in there, and it was noticeably warmer inside the barrel than outside, so the mouse has a chance of survival. 

It'll at least be a less painful death than what it was facing, if not.

As I was carrying the mouse out the door, Odysseus was booting the dog out on her extra-long leash for a walk.  The dog saw me holding the tiny mouse out at arms' length, and thought I was holding a treat.  So, she raised up on her hind feet, folded her front legs across her chest, and stood there, eyes fixed on the mouse. 

Cute.  Not a chance I was going to feed her a live mouse, but cute.

I'm glad I set my class up with a lot of slack on the papers.  I think I can salvage the week we missed pretty easily.  We just won't have freewrite days for the next two papers.  And if we end up with more snow days (a distinct possibility), I'll cut the blogging at the end of the semester. 

Because this week?  Total loss, between snow, ice, intense cold, and a loss of power on campus on Thursday. 

Writing has been impossible with both kids sick, an extra kid to watch, and being sick myself.  Oh, and having a shit-ton of grading to do.  I'll try tonight, may be Thursday's office hours before I'm able.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Aww...poor little things.

The truth hurts, don't it, when you've been told lies by all of the people you respect for all of your life.

So, when some nasty old man comes along and says that women shouldn't be in a position of leadership because their hormone shifts around their cycles negatively affect their decision making, they throw themselves on the ground to scream, pound their fists, and drum their heels.

Boo-fucking-hoo, little girls.  I am a grown woman and a mother.  I know and accept this about myself.

And you know what?

I shrug, do my best to compensate, rely more heavily on my husband's judgement, and I deal with it.

Screaming "It's not true!" won't make it not true. 

(Thanks for the story, Captain Capitalism.  I always enjoy a good belly laugh at someone else's expense.)

FFOT: ugh...

Everybody in the house being sick to varying degrees over the course of a week can fuck the fuck off.  I'm half sorry the imp got over his so quick--he's easier to handle when he's feeling bad.

The weather can fuck off, while I'm ranting at things larger than human activities.  I moved south, away from northern Kansas, to get away from this shit. 

Radical feminism's abilities to pervade everything and spoil everything it touches can really fuck off.  I'd go on a real rant about that, but I feel too crappy to really be able to pull it off.

Go ahead and sound off in the comments.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dubious honor...

I've recently had, on campus, the dubious honor of witnessing a modern marriage in action.  I've seen this couple several times, but only last week managed to observe them from a closer table (they took a couple of computers near where I hold my office hours, and stayed there for a good while).

The husband, a kind soul, as I've observed--he's incredibly nice to the lady making the coffee in the coffee shop--has displayed a patience that I don't think is healthy for his state of mind, or his marriage.

His wife is a little different.  She seems to be a good Christian woman, if one judges by the modesty of her dress (on a college campus, even), the Bible and study aids she regularly hauls out of her bag, and the complete lack of profanity I've heard from her.

She's also quite condescending to the lady that makes the coffee...and to her husband.  Treats an adult man like he's a small child incapable of remembering to take care of himself.

I've seen expressions flash over his face while she's not looking, while she's acted like this toward him--hurt, dismay, and anger.

I watched for a couple of hours on Thursday of last week, while I was grading papers.  I heard her voice get either sharp or very, very controlled but dripping of condescending sarcasm when she spoke to him several times over that period of two or so hours.  I never heard him retaliate, nor yet do more than remind her that he couldn't do what she was asking because he was right there next to her, instead of at home where what she'd asked him to do (right NOW, you idiot implied in her tone) happened to be, and that, like her, he was working on homework.  His tone never got more than patient, and he reached out to take her hand several times (only to be rebuffed).

I don't understand this.

How in the world can any woman treat the man she loves and is married to like this?  And why in the world would he simply accept it?

Something isn't right, there.

I'm betting that, whether she realizes it or not, she's been taken in by the lie that is radical feminism--the lie that women are better, all around, than men.

Not so.

I am better than Odysseus at a few things--multitasking, nurturing the kids when they're sick or hurt (and handing out discipline when they get hurt doing something they're not supposed to do), and keeping track of family schedules.  I handle the budget mostly because I'm better at multitasking and scheduling.

However, I do not treat him like a child.  I do not nag him.  I understand something vital.

He is better able to make logic based decisions.  I try, but my sex's natural inclinations to be more emotional do tend to get in the way, at times.  I see it even as I'm doing it and I cannot help it.

He is the better leader.  I am absolutely his partner--and his equal--but in our marriage and home, I do tend to act more like an executive officer.

Watching that couple--a couple I'd peg at maybe five or six nine or ten* years younger, and probably as high school sweethearts nearing graduation--really, really bothered me, on a level that I've only just been able to articulate.

*I honestly forgot that I'm nearly 35.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


So, I busted my ass all day today, grading bunches and bunches of papers so that I could hand them back tomorrow, and guess what?

Classes are cancelled.

For a 40% chance of snow, and a projected high of 12 degrees. 

Actually, we've got a chance of snow every day (and night) through Tuesday. 

I guess I'm gonna try to see what we can do online.  Because this weather?  It's fucked up.  This ain't normal for SOUTHERN Missouri. 

Taking a deep breath, and cracking knuckles...

Forty-two papers down, seven to go, out of a total of forty nine.  I managed about five Thursday afternoon last week before I got disgusted (shell stone?  Really?  Fracking breaks up shell stone?  DTFO!), and a couple more before I got dug in this morning.  But I'm down to the last seven, now.

I can do this.

Busy grading...

I'm finished grading one class's papers, and I'm a quarter of the way through the second class's papers.  I want to give them back tomorrow, so that I have one day's worth of office hours for writing before I have to pick up the next set on the thirteenth. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A response

Left by Steven Vanderhoff (aka, Xenolith) in a comment a couple of posts down:

Heroditus, I have to thank you. And I'd like to let Mr. Anonymous know that I have personally thanked EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has sent me a generous donation. Whether 5.00 or 100.00. AND, I appreciate those who can't afford it sending me five dollars as much or more than those sending me 500.00 who can! For those who doubt my veracity in my claims that disability is not paying me SSD after having been determined eligible on October 10, 2013, please request my validating documentation at I will gladly send you not only my own correspondence with the SS administration, but that of the office of Senator James M. Imhofe, and my lawyer, Michael Bell. As to the incident itself that caused my disability: I was shooting at a range with my son in law, and we swapped guns because "You just HAVE to shoot this AR-15" and he shot my .12Ga. When we put the guns away, he left one in the chamber of my shotgun. When I took it out of the trunk 2 days later and 200 miles away, it caught on 'something', (I still have no idea what) and discharged approximately 10 inches away from my right shoulder.
If you choose not to assist me, that is between you and your conscience. But you WILL NOT impugn my honor as a veteran and a DEDICATED member of the III who will STILL stand for YOUR fucking freedom!
Steven C. Vanderfuckinghoff AKA Xenolith!
So, that's how his shoulder was destroyed.  Not his fault, not at all.

And, like I said: my aunt was found for last summer, and hasn't seen a penny yet.  I'd love to see internal memos to see if it's because the money's just not there, and why, or if TPTB are just punishing people for not toeing the line--my aunt is a fundamental Christian conservative, and as for Steven...well.  He's one of those the government has labeled a terrorist.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Who is my neighbor?

I hold myself--not the government, but myself--responsible for doing what I can to alleviate need I see in my neighbors.  A year or so ago, it was literally across the street: we had Bob and June Wheeler move into a house on the corner across the street that should have been torn down years ago.  They had nothing.  Literally nothing.  Only barely enough clothes for their kids.  No water, no electricity--the house wasn't up to code, and they couldn't afford to turn on their utilities, anyway.

We fed them all summer.  Took June to pick up an antibiotic prescription.  Helped literally as much as we could, up to and including attempting to get them signed up for the aid that they desperately needed, and what we couldn't afford to provide.

And then, we helped them scrape the money together to put gas in their truck to move in with her mother, most of the state away from us. 

It is my responsibility, when I see need, to do what I can to alleviate that need without endangering my own family's survival. 

That's why I linked this guy's GoFundMe page.  From what I gather, he is a patriot.  He has worked, and worked hard, all of his life.  He had an accident--which he didn't cause through bad behavior, mind you--and can't work any longer. 

In the Bible, Jesus was asked, "Who is my neighbor?"  He told a long, beautiful story about a man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead, and how people who should have stopped and helped, didn't.  How somebody that, by all rights, should not have felt obligated, stopped.  It wasn't the government that helped.  It wasn't the church.  It was an ordinary, everyday individual.

The main point was, and still is, that we are all neighbors.  We are all supposed to help one another back up when we fall.  We are all supposed to nurse one another back to health when we're sick, clothe one another when we're in need, and feed one another when we're hungry.  We aren't supposed to shrug, say, "Well, I pay taxes--let the government do it," or "Isn't that what the church is supposed to do?" 

I can help Steven at the end of the month.  I can't help now.  He needs as much help as he can get, as fast as he can get it. 

He is my neighbor.  I am doing what I can, even if all I can do at the moment is to help get the word out.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Yet another good cause

This guy's GoFundMe page was linked over at His Wiser Angel's page, then over at Wirecutter's.  He's in trouble, financially--had his shoulder destroyed, and is pretty much completely unable to work.  He's asked for enough to pay medical bills off, and a few other things, but not as much as he needs to completely clear the board where what he owes is concerned.  From his own words:

My right shoulder was destroyed in September, 2012. I have not been able to work, and even though I went to court last October and was found to be disabled, I have not received any financial aid to date.They put in a metal replacement, but there is no muscle to attach to allow movement, and aches constantly. My wife only makes $9.00 an hour, and even though my landlord is a good man, I currently owe him $1600.00 in current and back rent, my electric will be shut off February 3rd, because I had to choose between that or gas, and heating my home won. I have just been served notice I have to go to court on February 28th for $6,747.13 over medical bills I can't pay. And of course I owe the IRS over $6000.00 and the State just over $1,000, but they can hold their breath. I have already sold anything I ever had worth anything, so there is nothing left for them to take. 

For the past several days, I've been eye-balling our budget, trying to find where we could pull out a few dollars to donate, but I simply can't find anything that hasn't either been spent, or been earmarked for something we have to have.  And it won't change until I get paid for the first time for the semester on the last working day of February. 

I know that not all of my readers can afford much, if anything.  I also know that not all of my readers read Wirecutter or Angel, and might have missed the page. 

The guy isn't asking for a lot.  He's asked for ten grand out of the more than fourteen he owes various agencies and such. 

And even ten or fifteen can help.  I just don't have the ten or fifteen to spend, until after 2/28.

If I had it, I would give.  I would give as much as I had.  Why?  Because while I don't believe that it's the government's place to hand out my money to people, I do believe that it is my place to help take care of my neighbor, as The Good Samaritan did. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

random ramblings

So, my pixie has yet another cold (not nearly so bad, this time, thank God), and the imp had a short-term, indeterminate lower tummy bug.  Both kids are tired, cranky, and all-around bad tempered and clingy.  The upside to this is that the imp has been much more affectionate and cuddly (something he rarely is with me).  The downside is that both kids only want Mommy, and there's only so much Mommy to go around.  The imp is 37 lbs (at nearly four feet tall!!!), and the pixie is 31 lbs.  The two together make up about half my weight.  And they're both tall.  I literally cannot have both kids on my lap anymore. 

Kinda sad, really. 

I've ordered a few things for the imp on Amazon--a new pair of headphones that won't let him damage his hearing by turning his tablet all the way up, and a new game cartridge.  They should be arriving today, and he's definitely looking forward to them. 

I'm also going to get onto the VTech site and order a couple of other games for download--the pixie needs alphabet games, and the imp needs phonics.  I'm thinking about possibly some language things, too, but am having trouble deciding which languages. 

I'm also needing to download some learning goals for the kids, and try homeschooling them this summer along with the VTech games.  I've heard rumors that the private schools in the area are heading toward Common Core with everything else. 

Oi vey.  Our poor kids.

My roach issue inherited from a nasty, evicted neighbor's rental house being stripped back to the studs is currently in another one of the lulls--the numbers have fallen off a bit.  I'm placing more baits* around where the cats and kids can't get into them* in anticipating the numbers increasing again in a couple of weeks.  The high point will be lower than it has been, if my research is correct.  We may be bug-free by spring, especially if Odysseus can lay down a barrier around the foundation outside.

We spent Wendesday trying to get stuff done.  We got the Walmart shopping done, then realized that we'd forgotten to drop off the big, black trashbag full of charity clothes.  While on the way to do that, I noted that Odysseus's window was cracked a bit.  I drew his notice, and he tried to put it the rest of the way up...only to have the cable between the window motor and the window break.  Window dropped about two inches.  We got it edged back up, but got no more shopping done.

We also checked out an SUV...but didn't buy it because it needed about a grand's worth of repairs, and the seller wasn't willing to drop his price at all.  Yeah, not a buyer in that case.

Our cats have been demonstrating their utility with much enthusiasm, over the past week.  I think they've caught half a dozen mice, each.  Around Wednesday, I found Cricket and Shadow fighting over a mouse that had been half disemboweled.  I took it and threw it away, noting absently that it looked like it had been nursing a litter. 

Well, Thursday, Odysseus told me that the cats had done in two more, and I found a third as soon as I got home--one that looked like it had been in somebody's mouth, and was missing a hind leg.  It was maybe an inch long: a very young one.  Odysseus said that the other two were no bigger.  Yesterday, each of the cats caught another tiny mouse.  Shadow demonstrated that she prefers her meaty treats a bit bigger, with more meat.  She ate the back half, and left the front. 

The dog has been quite grateful that she's an indoor dog, yesterday and today.  It's raining, here, a cold, fine, sometimes-freezing precipitation that's been near constant since it started sometime either late Thursday night or early Friday morning.  I've given her fresh bedding, and she's wanted to spend most of her time in it.  With a smoked pigskin chewy. 

So, I didn't manage to get any grading done.  I had clingy, sick kids, a dog that knocked over a semi-broken bottle of mopping solution**, and laundry to do.  By the time I was done, I was feeling too brain dead to be able to get any done.  I still have 42 papers to grade.

I haven't managed to get any writing done, either.  I should be able to do some next week, though.  The next paper isn't due until the thirteenth.

*My baits--the ones that work--are a mixture of boric acid and powdered sugar, in a milk jug lid.  One of the cats has a massive sweet tooth, and I can't keep the pixie out of the kitchen.

**Since there was mopping solution on the floor, I got the mop, squeegeed it up a bit, then rinsed the mop in the sink.  Then, I mopped most of the rest of the kitchen.