Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Lake Tree

41st IBCT Update

My brother's unit arrived in Iraq last Tuesday. On Friday a report about three servicemen killed in Basra, no names given totally freaked me out...until I got home from work, accessed my e-mail, got out a map, and realized he was actually hundreds of miles away. Spent the weekend feeling really stupid. I need a big black-and-white outline map of Iraq to color in provinces and label cities, like you do with the U.S. in grade school (or used to, anyway).

Chatted with him on Facebook for an hour or so tonight, mostly about Star Trek (don't ask). Here's a photo of him (bald spot and glasses, he says) and some of his fellow soldiers hanging out in Kuwait.

Everything's been quiet so far--he says "war is boring"--and it can just stay that way as far as I'm concerned. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's worse than I thought.

I'm pretty much Bob here (except I couldn't find a quote in WI less than $420/mo, even explicitly requesting pregnancy not be included, and that's waaaaaaay more than I spend out of pocket in a year)--I'm going to be fined a couple months' rent and still have no health insurance (which is not the same as "no health care"...but that confisicated money would certainly come in handy when I see a doctor or a dentist, assholes).

Worse, if I start making more money and decide to purchase health insurance, insurers won't be allowed to sell it to me. The public option is the ONLY option.*

How the hell am I a criminal requiring punishment for not purchasing a product no one is legally allowed to sell to me?!

I got "unfriended" on Facebook this week when I pointed out to someone complaining that his doctor's office charged him for filling out and mailing some paperwork that office overhead needed to process his request--the woman who took his call, the woman who dug out his records (and/or the computer system that holds his records--for a one-doc practice, that software run high six-figures) and copied his info into the form, the phone, the copier, the electricity, the postage to mail his paperwork, not to mention the malpractice insurance--was not free. Apparently this guy is one of those assholes who thinks doctors and their staff should be providing their services to him for free, at a loss to themselves.

And that's where I'm getting stuck. How did we get to a point where everyone believes they deserve free services at a loss to everyone else, and believes punishing people who don't want to pay other people's way is just?

*Now taking bets on how long it will be before hospitals and clinics are legally forbidden from seeing uninsured patients in exchange for cash, thereby forcing everyone into buying the public option or leaving the country to be seen (or, in case of an emergency, being left to die on the street). If I was a doc with a private practice, I would totally be financing an MRI machine and relocating to the Bahamas.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


So much for creating or saving

Congress steps up to deliver another job-killing, economy-stifling totalitarian regulatory bill to The Won for signing--and it will be pushed through partially-read so Nancy and Barry aren't late for their vacations, like that $787B fail in February was.

Imagine trying to explain to any Founder that the government is going to fine him percentage of his income unless he purchases a specific product (...and some of them will be fined anyway for the crime of "household income over the NFL league minimum").

Monday, July 13, 2009

Downtown Syracuse

Eagle Gargoyle

Photowalk Saturday...started at the Erie Canal Museum, where I learned exciting stuff about Syracuse's place in history--the shot clock, traffic light, and Brannock Device were all invented here. Jokes aside, it's a lovely little museum--they have a nice exhibit of antique postcards of the canal, paintings by local artists, a replica barge, and a nice children's activity area.

Then a long walk around part of downtown (the parts not blocked off for the Blues Festival, which was fun until the thunderstorms), with some urban decay, some contemporary bizarro crap, and some fabulous preserved/restored Victorian building frosting, including gargoyles.

While researching some of the buildings, I came across the "Yestercuse" website, which chronicles how the 'cuse used to be a real city, and then it all went to hell starting in the 1960s, much like all the (one-party-controlled) high-tax government-strangled cities along the Great Lakes. Kind of confirming everything I've pieced together over the past three months:
Marvel at the glory that was Syracuse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mourn for the treasures lost over the decades to neglect, corruption, waste, incompetence and indifference.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Government blues

Was going to go downtown to take pictures this morning, stopped to see if there was anything interesting going on...turns out there is:

The mission of the New York State Rhythm & Blues Festival, Inc. is to preserve, protect and promote blues music and culture. This is achieved through education in school programs, community events, and workshops, culminating with the production of an outdoor festival uniting our diverse citizenry in a celebration of American blues-based music. The Syracuse, New York based festival entertains while educating on the role of the blues in the development of popular music in the United States and around the world.

Can't just "play some kickass music and have a good time downtown"--have to "educate" "diverse citizenry" blah blah buzzword gimme a grant!

(I'm also cranky I missed the craft beer festival last night, 'cause I didn't know about it--but that's probably just as well because I don't have my designated driver out here this weekend.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

41st IBCT Update

I didn't take this photo, obviously. :)

The 41st IBCT is still doing some training in Kuwait.

The Iowa Army National Guard 186th Military Police Company was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and again in 2007.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A propos of nothing

The national attention span has really dwindled in the past 25 years, hasn't it...

Holy !*#&$(!

I finally get offline/no media (except SportsCenter this morning...) for 30 hours or so, and all hell breaks loose.

I figure Steyn is right, as usual, and I just feel sick and sad. And I hope it's not because of something about Trig's health.


My first NY wedding was lovely and fun. Friend's bride is a total sweetheart, wedding was sweet, resort and meal were fabulous. The fire alarm went off during the cocktail hour and the hotel had to be evacuated--so they just had their picture taken with the fire truck (false alarm, thank God). *grin* And my best moved-from-Milwaukee friends were there, we had a great time.

Still homesick, but less depressed. Onward.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Read the whole thing, as they say

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

I'm bummed because I'll be going to a wedding this weekend instead of getting to go to a tea party, or even more forts and battlefields. The peach-fuzzed infantryman at Ft. Stanwix who spent a good half hour showing me assorted light and heavy weaponry (alas, not letting me try them out...) mentioned that for the Fourth they read out the Declaration twice, just like people used to do in civic celebrations of the past.

There had better be an open bar...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordless** Wednesday*

O'er the Ramparts

* I stole the concept of Wordless Wednesday from the textile arts blogs. I stopped reading them altogether when I realized there were only two on my list that didn't feature cartoony stitched shrines to Obama every entry...who needs that garbage?

**These words don't count.