"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Monday, September 28, 2009

Government health reform

Until their wishful thinking dreams about national health care are dashed (so those incumbent legislators can get re-elected), those who truly believe in the cause should be doing the following:

1. Paying the health insurance premium for an uninsured family in their community.
2. Donating money to not-for-profit free clinics so that they can provide more services to more people.
3. Donating money to not-for-profit hospitals so that they can use the funds to pay the bills of uninsured patients.
4. Donating healthful food (not the crap most people give) to food banks to provide better nutrition for those needing help.

I have no statistics, but my educated guess is that most of the proponents of a government funded option do not or are unwilling to do any of the above. But they have no qualms in forcing everyone else to foot the bill of a national program.

The problem with a government funded "option" is that private insurance companies will reduce their presence in health care and eventually only provide catastrophic coverage. Why should insurance companies take on the expensive first dollar health risks of individuals if the government is willing to do so?

This is the very thing that has happened since Medicare came on the scene. Just try getting a private insurance policy for someone over the age of 65. It is nearly impossible. Unless that person is still covered under a policy through employment, there is virtually no option for health insurance other than Medicare. The only private policies available are Medicare supplement policies. Those policies provide coverage over and above the initial benefits that Medicare pays. The risk the insurance companies have is greatly minimized by the government funded program, so why would they include that coverage if the government is providing it?

Therefore if you're over 65, you are locked into the government program unless you are wealthy enough to pay doctor and hospital bills with your own money. The very same will happen if a government option is forced upon those under 65. The result will be NO options. Just government plans with, perhaps, private catastrophic insurance.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Roadside Fall Beauty

Some people in these parts consider them weeds. I call them wildflowers. I took these pictures as the mower was headed toward them to cut them down.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Long Meme: Part Two

From Sunday Stealing:

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? I prefer to eat in my sleep or sleep in my food

28. Do you look like your mom or dad? Dad with the exception of one part

29. How long does it take you in the shower? to do what...????

30. Can you do the splits? ouch, no

31. What movie do you want to see right now? The Informant. It was filmed in Central Illinois

32. What did you do for New Year’s? ate and drank

33. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Don't know, don't care, and it's not in my Netflix queue.

34. Do you own a camera phone? yes. It comes in handy for blackmail.

35. Was your mom a cheerleader? No, we all have marching band genes in our family

36. What’s the last letter of your middle name? E

37. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 8

38. Do you like Care Bears? only when they're hibernating

39. What do you buy at the movies? a ticket

40. Do you know how to play poker? I hate card games.

41. Do you wear your seat belt? Yes, because I want to get decapitated when I'm in an accident (since I must have the seat so close to the steering wheel). Stinkin' laws!

42. What do you wear to sleep? a cat on my stomach

43. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? shootout with deaths on the interstate highway

44. How many meals do you eat a day? 1-5 It depends on how hungry I am.

345. Is your tongue pierced? No, I put enough disgusting things in my mouth as it is

46. Do you always read MySpace bulletins? I quit MySpace years ago. The cool people are on Facebook or Twitter.

47. Do you like funny or serious people better? I like serious people who can lighten up and funny people who can take things seriously

48. Ever been to L.A.? once, that was enough

49. Did you eat a cookie today? Does a Fig Newton count as a real cookie?

50. Do you use cuss words in other languages? ellhay, esyay

51. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? I don't steal anything

52. Do you hate chocolate? No one hates chocolate.

53. What do you and your parents fight about the most? They're in their 80's and I don't believe in elder abuse.

54. Are you a gullible person? Only if you have a bridge to sell.

55. Do you need a girlfriend to be happy? I told you, I am not gay.

56. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what what would it be? actress in musical comedy. There's no business like show business like no business I know. Everything about it is appealing.

57. Are you easy to get along with? I'm always easy

58. What is your favorite time of day? sunset over the prairie

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some day my prince will come

When I was a little girl, I wanted to marry Prince Charles. Not because I thought he was cute (I'm not crazy), but HE WAS A PRINCE! What little girl in the 1950's didn't want a prince to come and carry her off to his castle to live happily ever-after? Fortunately the 1960's arrived and altered my opinion.

Our parents and siblings were about the same age, so over the years I still felt a bit of kinship. The Prince and I grew up together in different parts of the world through the same decades of turmoil and change.

Years later he married a woman with my first name, and their sons were born the same years as my daughters. Could there be a fateful union of his princes and my princesses?
Prince Harry celebrates his 25th birthday today and my younger daughter has hers a few days later. But she isn't getting 50 million dollars for a birthday present.

For some women, a title of Prince and 50 million dollars in the bank can make a guy very appealing, even if he is red-haired and freckled and a bit on the wild side. They might pursue the guy because of their love of money, power, and celebrity, not for the love of who he is inside those trappings.

I don't think there will be a union of Charles' and my children. Fortunately, my daughters understand that fairy tales don't often have happy endings, that money isn't everything, that a title doesn't make the man, and you don't even need a man to be happy, but men sure are nice to have around when you find the right one.

So happy birthday to Harry and happy birthday to Jean. May you each live your separate lives to the fullest. And, Jean, I think you're the real one with a Royal Flush.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't know whatcha got til it's gone

Some of my clients often complained about their jobs at a local manufacturing plant. None of their complaints were life-threatening, but just wishing they could "take this job and shove it" because working somewhere else always looked just a bit better.

I always reminded them of the excellent pay they were getting compared to other area jobs and the fantastic retirement and health plans provided to them, despite some increases in deductibles and changes in retirement payouts. I told them they actually had it pretty good and those benefits might outweigh the daily grind of a typical factory job. Truth be told, I was actually a bit jealous, being a sole-proprietor business owner without employer paid health coverage and matching 401k plan.

I'm not sure they believed me, until one day this summer the plant closed, and the jobs and benefits were gone. All of a sudden that crappy place to work looked pretty darn good.

Jobs, like friends and relatives, are often taken for granted. We never realize how important they are to us until they've disappeared. The one good thing about this recession is that appreciation of what is really important is being brought back into focus.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Long Meme: Part One

Thanks again to Sunday Stealing:

1. The phone rings. Who will it be? land line - a telemarketer; cell - a daughter

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Always -to the cart rack in the parking lot where I also take the other carts that someone else left out

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? I'm a very good listener.

4. Do you take compliments well? absolutely not

5. Do you play Sudoku? I don't understand Japanese.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? probably

7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Yes, in Wisconsin where I was the main course for 10,000 mosquitoes

8. What was your favorite game as a kid? kick the can

9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew she was married, would you? I'm not gay.

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? No. My husband would be so disappointed.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? I like to pursue knowledge.

12. Use three words to describe yourself? thirty-five, twenty-four, thirty-five

13. Do any songs make you cry? Every one of them when sung out of tune

14. Are you continuing your education? Every day I attend the School of Hard Knocks.

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Go ahead. Make my day.

16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? I've had my picture taken in a photo booth, but I have never taken pictures there.

17. How often do you read books? Every day I read part of a book

18. Do you think more about the past, present or future? future - it's something to look forward to

19. What is your favorite children’s book? my childhood - Nancy Drew mysteries; daughters' childhood - Where the Sidewalk Ends

20.What color are your eyes? blue

21. How tall are you? 5 ft 2, yes eyes of blue, could she, could she, could she coo?

22. Where is your dream house located? in my mind

23. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? credit card

24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? last year

25. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? 25 miles to a "green" house on the prairie

26. Do you like mustard? country Dijon

The last 3 questions totally bored me. Hopefully part 2 will be better.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No death panels, just care for the greater good

Here's an excellent commentary about one Obama advisor for health care reform, who happens to be the brother of White House chief of staff.

If you want real health care reform, just get government out of health care completely and watch the costs become more affordable and the care become better.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stop the War

Oh, I forgot. The Obama Administration has proclaimed that there is no longer a War on Drugs. Everything is pretty much the same; they're just going to avoid using that phrase.

More and more law enforcement people are waking up to a fact that we libertarians have always known: the war on drugs is useless and expensive and drugs should be legalized.

Harry Browne, the Libertarian presidential candidate of 2000, preached this message , but few voters were intelligent enough to listen to reason. If you want a brief history of drugs in America, read his excellent article here.

There may drug addicts

but there are also drug funding addictsBoth groups illustrate a lack of restraint and both groups prove the war on drugs is not working.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It can be nasty, but I still go out to eat

I am sometimes a bit obsessed with food. I like good food, sometimes on the gourmet side, but most often it comes down to just being picky about fresh, wholesome, and unadulterated things that have been prepared and served properly.

One bout with food poisoning a number of years ago yielded subsequent years of cautionary noshing and a mistrust of people's kitchens. When a meal causes one's body to hurl feces and vomit simultaneously every 15 minutes for over 36 hours, along with the feeling of the devil driving a spike through the center of one's body, one just doesn't forget - ever. Follow that initial day with another day of dry heaves, and another week of gagging at the very thought of food, all the while having no energy to get up off the bathroom floor...well, you get the drift. And yeah, I should have gone to the hospital, but I'm tough and it was quick weight-loss method.

So now I avoid potlucks and homemade baked sales like the plague. In a previous job, I visited many homes (by appointment, too) and what I saw in some private kitchens would shut down any public restaurant.

Nothing say homemade more than preparing dinner on a counter where the cat's ass had been just seconds before.

I once took a food sanitation course to get a license as a food service manager. I scored 100% on the state exam because I was totally committed to safety. At the end of that course, our class visited an area restaurant and we were allowed to test various areas of the kitchen to see if it met standards. Based on what we found, I could not believe the restaurant actually volunteered for this activity. I went straight to the meat, destined to be placed on pizzas. The temperature of the sausage was 71 degrees. I guess that just made for quicker cooking time in the oven. By the way, that establishment is no longer in business.

We have all heard stories of food service workings spitting or flicking boogers in customers' food or dropping food on the floor and re-plating it. Generally, though, this is in retaliation to an obnoxious, over-bearing, smart-ass patron.

I rarely go to buffets, but when I do, I use the following rule: serving spoons and eating utensils - right hand; finger foods - left hand; and go always early, before the animals get there. You know, the ones who wipe their noses or cough in their hands and then pick up the next serving spoon. Or the lady who can't quite reach the food in back and allows her boobs to nest in the salad bowl. Or the kid who sticks his finger in a dish, licks it, and then goes on to the next dish and does the same while mommy laughs at how cute he is.

My latest restaurant observation was a woman who, as she walked by a set table with napkins placed over the flatware, accidentally brushed one of the napkins to the floor with her purse. Ever so politely, she picked it up off the floor and placed it back over the flatware for the next unsuspecting customer. And there was the guy who brought his dirty plate when he went back to the buffet for seconds, put some food on it, then decided he wasn't that hungry after all, and scraped the food off the used plate - back into the serving container for someone else to enjoy.

I've come to the conclusion that eating in a restaurant is still probably pretty safe, until the customers arrive and screw everything up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Free for all

It works every time. Just promise a bunch of no-gooders something free and they come running out of the woodwork. The police used the scam in Ft. Lauderdale and saved themselves some detective work.

Next time they should try free food -
They would get twice the crowd: