Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Some of you who know me personally, know that my hubby is working over in Europe for a few months.  If you aren't aware, it means you have been on Facebook with the same frequency as me.  ( close to never). He will be leaving Germany today and heading over to Amsterdam for a few days, then back to Germany then onto Paris.  

Anyhow...I decided to get into character for my own upcoming trip over to Germany and the Netherlands.   I haven't quite mastered any of the foreign (well..foreign to me) languages yet but I am great at universal sign languages.
 Not only have I practiced extensively on my sign language but have also taken to driving on the wrong side of the road to get a feel for it.

Note to Overland Park, Olathe and Leawood Police Departments...Hey guys!   You have missed more than a few opportunities to issue "improper lane usage" tickets.  I am just curious if you guys are OK? 

My long time readers might remember my husband is Dutch. His Grandparents (on both sides) brought their families over to the U.S.  and settled in an area of Illinois where several other Dutch families had settled. Then they all set about marrying each other and having a few hundred kids.  My husband being one of those kids has 100's of  Dutch Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.    For those that aren't familiar with some of my previous stories...let's just say that 1st and 2nd generation Dutch aren't keen on their kin marrying 1st or 2nd generation hillbilly...errr..I mean Irish that happen to have ties to the South.  While things have loosened up nearly 50 years later, it used to be that Dutch people were highly encouraged to  marry Dutch people. 

 BUT...Over the following 42 years,  I have worn them down.  I am the acid rain that chips away at their porous limestone.  I have gone from not being allowed to hold my babies within the Dutch church to being able to be buried in their cemetery. Yep, there is going to be one little Irish lass layin' among the resident (albeit dead) Dutch. Talk about making big strides in ingratiating myself.   But, it's sort of a  shame really, that for total inclusion, I have to die.  But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.   (BTW....I came to really like his family and assume they reciprocate on most days.)

As to my upcoming trip...I have, in fact, been to both Germany and the Netherlands before but not for an extended period of time, nor have I gone to the area of the country where his relatives still live.  I think maybe that sign language might come in handy. 

So for today...Crabby Pants and I are morphing into being more Deutsch-like  wishing everyone here:

And to hubby...over in Germany/Netherlands:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Touchy, Touchy, Touchy

Earlier this week, I was reading a blog that had a post about Maria Kang.  After that I happened to see several interviews on various entertainment/news shows questioning her about her latest comments on her Facebook page.  I am sure many of you are past wanting to hear another word on a year old brouhaha concerning the fit versus non-fit firestorm she created.  I, on the other hand, can't seem to get past how people continue to react to her. 

For those of you that haven't been following this story...let me catch you up to speed. Maria Kang is a 32 year old mom of three that has a blog, that promotes fitness. Late last year she started a social media frenzy when  she put up her picture in  skimpy workout gear with the "What's Your Excuse?" caption emblazoned above her and her three cutie-pie sons.

You would of sworn she personally whacked each and every unfit person in existence with a stick that said. "You're a slob!" Yes,  she started a sh** storm of controversy.

On  Maria's Facebook page nearly THIRTY-SIX  THOUSAND comments ensued and a portion of them were angry.  Of, course, there are those that endorsed her for being pro-fitness and praised her for her healthy lifestyle. (Note: the comments on her FB page seem to be friendlier than the ones on blogs or news venues...guess the writers felt safer to be nasty when the site wasn't linked directly to her.)

The more interesting of the comments continued to come in by the thousands.  They appeared on blogs, newsvines, websites and were Facebooked, tweeted and retweeted. Even on the CNN website more than 6, 724 people had something to say about the article. Fit Mom Brings Out The Bullies

Thought Number One:  Why Are So Many People So Angry?

After a year and thousands of comments, Maria is back in the news.  In response to being called among other things: vain, self-absorbed, bitchy, and narcissistic, ..... as well as.... a  horrible mother, an attention whore, a slut and a fat-shamer, she issued an apology of sorts on her web site to those that she might of offended with the "What's Your Excuse" line.

I've been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I'm a bully, I'm fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I've caused women. I get it. SO here's my First and Final Apology:

I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business', have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won't even mention how I didn't give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a 'bigger' issue than this photo. Maybe it's time we stop tip-toeing around people's feelings and get to the point. So What's Your Excuse? - Maria Kang

This week, Maria has been on a number of news and entertainment shows being interviewed about both the original picture as well as what many deem an insincere apology.   On her blog, Maria, stated " I didn’t know I would be featured on Good Morning America,  Inside Edition  or defending myself on the  Today Show. I never imagined talking to hard news stations like CNNFox NewsGeraldo Rivera or  Megyn Kelly about the impact this single photo sparked across the globe. I wasn’t prepared for every past and present action taken to be analyzed and criticized by the media.

So here are my thoughts on it.....

I don't understand the venomous comments  being dispersed by  both men and women.  Even on the Today Show the anchors took pot shots at her.

  Hoda Kotb said, "I think there are lots of examples of people that look great, but there's something about the tone, and showing the body, that grosses me out."

She's far from alone:

 Facebook commenter Shaunalee Brown-Chavez summed her thoughts up with what many have expressed about the photo, writing:   I think this picture and the presentation along with the caption was off putting and upsetting. There are thousands of other ways to show off a fit body without wearing a bra and underwear for the nation to see. Secondly, "excuses" come in every shape and size. I think for most women it's about priorities, not excuses! My kids are my first priority. If what you say is true you are a very busy working mom with no nanny. Where are your kids while your spending all your free time working on you? Finally, you don't have a daughter. I think if you did your message would surely be a different one. Would you want someone telling her she had no excuse for looking a certain way? What if she didn't look like you, and some woman made her feel bad about it? I'm sure you would change your tune. Your apology is a joke and as worthless to women as your initial post. Put some clothes on and spend some time with your children.

Here's my thoughts:

Sure she put herself out there to be noticed. She is peddling fitness at her blog and she is her own best example that her methods get results. Does she seek exposure? Sure she does, She is promoting herself,  her fitness products and ideas. Had this been Jillian Micheal's website we would see the same "no excuses" approach. These women look great and can promote themselves and their ideas about fitness using their sculpted bodies to validate their approach.

Keep in mind,  that Maria runs a not-for-profit company for fitness and does fitness modeling. This is, at least in part,  her career. 

If Maria was an artist and had a blog showing off all of her paintings, or if she was a writer that was writing novels ...would people jump to the conclusion she was neglecting her kids in those pursuits? (She says she works out about 30-60 minutes a painting or writing might take at least an equal amount of time.)
What's with all the name calling  and aspersions being tossed about to readily?  How do people come to the place that they are comfortable with words like bad mom, narcissistic, fat-shamer, bitch, self-absorbed  or vain.  Really? This is over one picture with one caption.  Aren't some of the name callers being a bit presumptuous in assuming any of their adjectives actually apply to Maria?

I, for one, admire that she has that type of discipline. Good for her. I am a fit person that will never have a body that looks like that.

BUT.... If I don't measure up and I am OK with where I am...good for me.

AND ..... If I am not happy with me, tearing her down isn't the solution.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Lessons Learned

We All Know About the Hazards of Smoking

A 45 year old man from Trinity, TX didn't get the memo about how dangerous smoking can be.  Oh, maybe he wasn't overly concerned about long term damage to his lungs but he should of considered the hazards in smoking while pumping gas.

James Lee Taylor had a bad start to his Tuesday, when he stopped to fill up at a Valero gas station in Trinity.  After running into station to buy a pack of cigarettes, James began to attempt to put $5.00 worth of gas into his Mustang.  Things quickly took a bad turn when he lit up a cigarette.

The gasoline fumes ignited quickly burning off his facial hair including his eyebrows, melted his cigarette lighter, caught the gas pump on fire, ignited  his flip-flops, and charred the side of his car.

A fast thinking Valero employee came out with a fire extinguisher while another turned off the gas supply to the pump.  After police arrived, thanks to someone calling 911, it was discovered the James had outstanding
warrants for his arrest.  On top of all of if his day wasn't already in flames, it was discovered that he wasn't carrying any car insurance.

Prior to his incarceration, he told Officer Randy Wheeler that he had always smoked while pumping gas and this was the first time anything like that had happened.  He went on to say he wouldn't smoke while getting gas in the future. 

  Who would of thought that smoking next to a gas pump could possibly lead to trouble? Evidently not James Lee.  

What Better Example?

Jessylyn Domingo probably didn't plan on being  part of the training for a California college that was conducting classes in emergency preparedness.  According to administrators for West Hills College Lemoor in Fresno, CA that is most certainly what she did, though.

While the students were preparing for the next drill, they heard that someone was outside the building  having
Seems we've arrived early
a baby.  Don Warkentin, President of WHCL  told the press that the other students thought it was  part of the training.

It soon became apparent to staff and students alike that Jessylyn was actually having a baby on a bench on the college grounds. 

Domingo said she was assisted by a man on his way to the training. The man was Charles Freeman, a registered nurse and district director of health care. He had been  alerted to the situation by Leo Orange, a learning skills program assistant. The men helped Domingo deliver her baby and wait for an ambulance.

"I was really impressed with the mother," said Freeman. "She was really calm and had a sense of humor."

Baby Landen Alexander weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 inches long at birth.

What are the odds of having your baby while an emergency preparedness class is going on? She really knows how to bring "show and tell" to a class.

Thou Shall Not Steal

Stealing from the office fridge has always been met with disdain but rarely are the police called. A Pennsylvania man  didn't get the memo, evidently that office refrigerator theft doesn't warrant a 911 situation.

An unidentified man called the police in Upper Macungie, PA  on October 10th,  to report that his Strawberry-flavored Jell-O snack was stolen from the break room refrigerator at his workplace.

The gelatin heist occurred at the Wakefern Food Corporation warehouse in Beinigsville, according to the Upper Macungie Township Police Department.

The 39-year-old victim told cops that theft from the shared refrigerator was an ongoing problem, though it is unclear whether comestibles other than Jell-O have previously been boosted.

The Jell-O theft, which was discovered around 11:30 PM by the victim, is an “open investigation,” a police spokesperson told TSG. While cops do not rule out the possibility of a future arrest, it seems unlikely.

I wish they would of released the 911 tape on this.  Which is the bigger tool...the guy that had the police come out for a snack sized jello theft or the guy taking food out of the fridge? 

 She Is Someone's Favorite Teacher

University of Iowa officials are investigating a teaching assistant who inadvertently emailed nude pictures to students instead of homework answers.

Tom Moore, a spokesman for the school, said the math department TA attached the nude pictures to an email sent to 28 pre-calculus students instead of the solutions to some math problems, the Iowa City Press-
Citizen reported Thursday.

Moore said he could not speculate on any consequences that could result from the investigation.

"Ultimately, as a student, any discipline [if it occurs] would be non-public under [the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act]," he said.

Some students sympathized with the TA, whose name has not been released.

Now there is a TA that really knows how to rock the T&A. She probably taught the whole class a valuable lesson.  Look at your message before hitting the SEND button.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Worms Crawl In

You might be relieved to know...I am not going to shower you with righteous indignation this morning but  I have  made a pop-cultural observation. There is some new lunacy appearing on the horizon.

I was talking to my walking partner a couple of days ago and she was telling me about a trend that is popping up around the Dallas area.  People are dressing up like animals as a social meetup kind of thing. She said that some of the people at her work were talking about it and they can hardly wait to leave work so they can run home and  get their costumes on. (fun?)

As luck would have it, the very next day, I was having coffee here in Kansas City at my local Panera Bread Company, and low and behold the guy in front of me has a sheep "hoodie" on.  I am calling it a hoodie because I haven't a clue as to what else to call it.  The lamb's wool (hopefully faux) hood came over the guys head and shoulders and had ears. This isn't to be confused with those cute little hats like Crabby Pants wears.  This is more like a guy wearing a dead ewe on his head.  It times like this I need Google glasses because I, frankly, don't have the lady balls to pull out my Iphone and take a picture.  To appreciate it you would of had to of seen it. What made this even more fun was the fact my 76 year old coffee buddy said "Oh, look it's one of those people that dress like animals." See, even my older lady friends are more in the "know" than I am.

In order not to be totally devoid of  knowing about any current (albeit bizarre and useless), trends, I do a  little searching on Google and come up somewhat empty handed.  There are numerous articles about a  subculture called  Furry fandom where people dress up as  and anthropomorphize animals, but that has been around since 1980.  So why now...why am I hearing about this twice within a couple of days?  Well, maybe it's because:

A.  I've been living  under a rock.
B.  I am the least trendy person on the planet.
C.  I couldn't give a rat's patoot about dressing up as an animal.
D.  The human race's collective IQ is dropping faster than a rock pushed over by a Boy Scout Leader...oops that's a whole other post.


E. A very odd song from Norway is stuck in everyone's brain and  is causing some rather bizarre behavior.

BUT before I meander back to the idiotic song that may or may not be prompting people to look like this guy at the mall, let's talk a bit about earworms.

Thought Number One:  Haven't We Been Here Before?

 According to Wikipedia
An earworm is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include musical imagery repetition, involuntary musical imagery, and stuck song syndrome.The word earworm is a calque from the German Ohrwurm

Every so often some music becomes the "song you just can't get out of your head".  This isn't news. What is interesting is that there have been a few recent studies about WHY music lends itself to get stuck in our brain and who is more susceptible to having tunes repeat over and over in our brains.

James Kellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Business Administration, has done research on earworms  and he's found that as many as 99 percent of us have fallen prey to them at one time or another Kellaris says women and people who are neurotic, tired or stressed are most prone to earworm attacks. (EXCUSE ME??? Did he just insinuate that women are neurotic?  Or am I just being neurotic?)

Researchers also aren't sure why some songs are more likely to get stuck in our heads than others, but everyone has their own tunes that drive them crazy. Often the songs have a simple, upbeat melody; catchy, repetitive lyrics; and a surprise such as an extra beat or unusual rhythm -- the same factors that made the songs or jingles popular in the first place (like the Chili's, "I want my baby back baby back baby back ribs" jingle, which made Kellaris' list of the most insidiously "stuck" songs).

There are a number of lists that have picked out what songs are the most likely to cause earworms.  Just a few of those that appeared on some of the lists:
  • YMCA, (Village People) 
  • Who Let the Dogs Out, (Baha Men),
  • We Will Rock You (Queen)
  • It's a Small World After All (Sherman Bros./Disney Studios)
  • Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepson)

Thought Number Two:  The Quickest Way to Commercial Success is to Create an Earworm

Crabby Pants does love to be in the spotlight...even if it's with a psycho.
Remember last year, when the most annoying "earworm" worthy song exploded in the U.S.?
Park Jaesang, a rather unorthodox South Korean that is considered more of a comedian in his own country, brought to us a catchy little number called Gangnam Style.  Park, who performs as Psy (short for psycho) had limited success in South Korea as by Korean standards,  is considered  too old at 34 to be a commercial success, plus  he had been busted for marijuana and had avoided serving in his  country's mandatory military service. His first album got him fined for "inappropriate content" and the second was banned.

Never fear...if all else fails..take it to America. 

Park might of missed the money train in Korea but he managed to catch it in America when You Tube started running  Gangnam Style   which has earned a whopping  1,799,129,117  hits since it's release.  Along with it's Internet success came a lot of exposure and a lot of record sales.  Not bad considering the fact that no one has a clue what the song is about.

But it seems that a lot of Americans couldn't get enough of Psy. The American rapper T-Pain was retweeted 2,400 times when he wrote "Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is.

Which brings me to the "whole animal costume" thing.  The latest version of a earworm taking hold and not letting go is the newest import from Norway What Does the Fox Say.  

The brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, members of the Norwegian comedy group Ylvis, produced the song and music video "The Fox" to promote the upcoming third season of their television talk show Tonight with YLVIS on TVNorge.  It was meant as a comedic gag.  I guess the joke is on them that Americans will latch onto anything.


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Friday, October 18, 2013

Looking For Happiness

You have to wonder...well, technically you don't HAVE to, but for the sake of today's post, let's say you do wonder why people do the things they do.  It's always interesting to look at what the impetus was to make people act on an idea.  (Should I point out that not ALL ideas are good ideas?)

The first story today caught my attention because a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was telling me about an estate sale she attended.  She said there was a really pretty vase (pronounced voz for the  elitists out there)  that she had her eye on.  It wasn't very expensive so she thought she would buy it.  She happened to notice that it had a lid which is odd for a vase so she asked the estate coordinator about it. It was actually an urn with the remains of the owner's mother.  The coordinator said they had discussed it with the family and it was for sale.  My friend put it back on the shelf.

Which leads me to the first story...

Ash and Dash

A man caused a lockdown at a Florida mall earlier this week when he spread his fiancee’s ashes in a Sarasota LensCrafters.

According to police, the man entered the LensCrafters store located in the Westfield Southgate mall and spread the ashes before immediately leaving on Tuesday night. Since clerks did not know what the substance was, the police and the fire department were initially called and the mall was temporarily shut down.

However, fire department officials quickly determined the substance was not harmful.

“There are protocols that law enforcement must follow for Homeland Security and it was the response by law enforcement and emergency personnel to show that the matter was not dangerous,” said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. “We are relieved in this case that the substance was not harmful.  Hindsight is always 20/20 but in these types of situations our response was necessary and appropriate.”

The man’s fiancee had died a few months earlier and had a connection to the LensCrafters, according to the police. The man was not charged and was offered grief counseling services. (Well..wasn't that nice of them to offer?)

 The article did mention that the local laws dictate  that spreading ashes on a private property  ”could be construed as establishing a cemetery.”  Well, Lenscrafters might want to make sure they don't need to change their sign.  

Note to family members:  I know we have already had the discussion that my ashes should not be sold at a garage sale or an estate sale...or any other kind of sale. Do we need to discuss that just because I spend money at Target and Walmart doesn't mean I have a connection to those or any other stores??

Do You Need a Hug?

Have you heard about a new trend making the rounds called "cuddle parties"?  It about people getting together in a non-sexual way to just cuddle.  Yeh, hugging and snuggling with no second act.

Now this idea has gone into business mode. There are a number of  designated cuddle establishments, staffed with professional snugglers popping up all over the country.

One such place of  "hugs for sale" is getting ready to open in Wisconsin and there seems to be some suspicious minds that believe it is a front for more nefarious exploits rather than mere cuddling.

According to WMTV:  The Snuggle House is in the final stages of inspections before opening but already with nearly 100 appointments made.

The city of Madison is concerned the business has the potential of prostitution, but The Snuggle House promoters assure the naysayers that  their services are strictly non-sexual.

Staff says their clients and employees go through background checks, and there will be video surveillance in each room.

But a city of Madison attorney says their lack of training or a business plan raises a red flag. (I suppose it would be trashy to infer that might not be the only thing this type of business might be raising)

The Snuggle House plans to officially open by next week.

Sounds like some of the more dirty minded Madisonians might need a hug. 

The Sub Will  Be Needing a Sub

KDKA-TV  reports that Bellevue Police Sgt. Mike Hudson says 26-year-old Christopher Chiappetta, of Pittsburgh, was arrested Wednesday after he passed out in front of a classroom of  students. Chiappetta was working in the capacity of being a substitute teacher at the Pittsburgh area high school for the day. He made the mistake of  using heroine right before work.

Authorities say they found four baggies of heroin in Chiappetta's pocket and marijuana in his car, and that he confessed to using heroin around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Chiappetta faces drug charges as well as an endangering children count.

He's being held at the Allegheny County jail, unable to post $10,000 bond. No attorney is listed on court papers.

There are certainly some lessons to be learned might be about how to hire substitute teachers. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Role Models and Heroes

I was recently talking to Grandson #1 and he was telling me about how great his parents are. It turns out, at least according to him, that his dad is the most fun parent EVER. Yes, in the eyes of a six year old,  my son-in-law is the most fun guy on the planet.... but that's not all...his mom (aka my daughter) is the smartest woman in the world.  Of course, I ask for clarification. I say, "In the whole world?"  He assures me that he has included every other person in the world and she is the smartest.  He went on to say "His mom is never wrong."

NOTE:  In full disclosure, I think both his parents are fun and smart. If either has a problem with aforementioned assessment,  they need to take it up with their kid and get the 411 on how they were graded.

Anyway,  at six years old, I am sure the day will come that he will not be so adamant  about his mom being beyond making mistakes or his dad being the most fun EVER, but for now I am not going to mention any of the  "oopsies" that I might have knowledge of. ( Another NOTE:  yes, daughter, the details of you wrecking two cars in the same week when you were 16 is safely tucked away...for the time being.)

I love that G-Boy #1  has this image of his parents.  That's how it should be. Don't kids deserve role models? 

First Thought:   Where Does One Look For Role Models?

I am firmly rooted in my belief that all kids of all ages deserve to be surrounded with good role models. It's a given that the people in their day-to-day life such as family, teachers, clergy, etc. should be setting a good example for them to follow, but what about the people they see and hear about outside of their daily lives. 

As a child of the 1950's, I grew up in an era far more shrouded in naivety than today's world. I am sure there was plenty of  foolishness going on even then,  but the media didn't have the capacity to splash every spicy detail across the airwaves.  With limited television programming and NO Internet we had the luxury of believing in our heroes minus the scandals.   Little people believed that their parents knew everything, that the  "good guys" on television would triumph over evil and the the bad guy would get defeated in the end.

Even if the 1950's were WAY before your time, I am sure you can remember some sports heroes prior to the term "performance enhancing drugs" or those of you with really good memories might remember  when elected officials were considered leaders and not politicians? 

Needless to say, a lot of our heroes, role models and idols have come and gone. They rode off into the sunset just as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans did but without singing "Happy Trails to you until we meet again."

Times have changed.  Kids today are not as clueless as those of us that grew up before technology   .  How could they be?  They hear and see so much more than we did and much of it deals with content that is geared for a more mature audience.

I am not saying there aren't people out there that are aren't heroic, or noble or deserving to be placed in the category of being a good role model.  We hear about giving, caring people in the news on a regular basis.  What I am talking about today is about celebrities that no longer want to create a positive role model.  Whether we are talking sports, entertainment, and even public figures, there seems to be a trend that people that have gained fame and recognition often do what will get them noticed.  Any publicity is good publicity, so I hear.

Thought Number Two:  Why do people want to be notorious instead of noteworthy?

I don't know why, as of late, that  being a role model is a bad thing?

Recently, I have listened, in part, to several  interviews from actors and actresses that were "child stars".  Repeatedly they say they are trying to distance themselves from their childlike persona. Nearly any of the Disney kids have gone to some type of extreme makeover to let us know they are no longer friends with Micky and Minnie Mouse.  Who knew that "wholesome" is such a horrible thing to be associated with? 

The most recent example of that is Miley Cyrus.  She wants to assure everyone that she is a grown-up and that the sweet Hannah Montana is gone for good.  We got it...Hannah turned into an oversexualized freak show. BUT...the crowds still come out enmasse for her. 

Why are fans still fans?

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Failure is a Bitter Pill

After reading some of the odd news articles this week, it occurs to me that perhaps, some of these poor slobs that found themselves being apprehended must look back with regret.  Sure, it stinks getting caught in the commission of a crime, I suspect. (I don't have first hand knowledge but I am assuming that is the case.) But wouldn't it even be worse  if everyone that read the account of the crime,  thought "What a dumbass!"

So in our effort to help "criminal-want-to-be's" not to appear quite as stupid,  Crabby Pants is offering some remedial criminality classes. Here at TAOBC we are all about promoting the idea  "do things to the best of your ability."  Seriously...if you are going to do something, do it at least well enough that you don't cause people to spurt coffee out of their nose because they are laughing at you.  

 So....Just to clarify....  This class isn't about teaching people to break the laws...this is a class to teach people that are already criminals from further embarrassing themselves with the extremely stupid decisions that lead to having their mug shot appear in the likes of  The Smoking Gun or The Huffington Post.

Let's work together to insure that you are the laughing stock of your cell block. 

So to all you lowly law-breakers out there that  are up for a little self-improvement......Welcome to Remedial Criminality

 Jumping the Gun

After Jimmy Dewayne Whipple of Port Charlotte, Florida called deputies to report a stolen firearm on Tuesday, deputies learned he was a convicted felon and thus prohibited from possessing guns, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office reported.
Arriving deputies also noticed some illegal stuff at Whipple's home, such as a smoking pipe,  a grinder, a container, and four small smoked ‘joints’ on a coffee table.  The grinder's contents tested positive for cannabis. according to the report.

Deputies also reportedly found a pill bottle that contained a drug for which Whipple did not have a prescription.

Whipple was charged with possession of firearms by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and possession of drugs without a prescription. 

Basic rule of thumb..... Don't invite cops over to your home if you have  illegal drugs sitting about. Your home may be your castle but it's not supposed to be your pharmacy. 

 Dis-tracked  Driver

A Louisiana man  got distracted while driving because he was shooting up heroin at the same time rammed into the back of a police car on Monday. Ronald Caplina was driving about 40 mph when he crashed into the lieutenant’s police vehicle.

The Slidell police officer sustained minor injuries from the accident which happened at about 4 PM, according to WAFB. The officer was monitoring traffic and was parked on the shoulder when he noticed a  car veer off the road and head straight toward his car.

The impact pushed the police officer's vehicle several feet, causing minor injuries to both the officer and Caplina, who was not wearing his seat belt.

Slidell Police tried asking Caplina why he was distracted, but he could not give them a clear answer.

Police discovered a fresh syringe, along with suspected heroin, inside the vehicle and Caplina had fresh  track marks on his arm.

Police believe Caplina was distracted because he was injecting heroin at the time of the crash.

While it's never a good idea to hit a cop car, it makes it significantly worse, if you are shooting up heroine.  

With Friends Like This....

After 25 beers — maybe more, police say — a Springfield, Missouri  man fired a handgun from a vehicle, trying to hit a snake slithering across the street.

Two shots hit the car’s roof, one struck a passenger’s head and a fourth shot actually made it across the street, court documents say. While , Erin Moad, the passenger, was not seriously injured, according to the documents, he had to of been disappointed that the story focused more on the snake than the fact some drunk shot him in the head.

Tyler C. Parker was charged Tuesday with second-degree assault as well as one count of “unlawful use of a loaded firearm by an intoxicated person.”

Deputies were alerted to the July 20 shooting when hospital staff reported a suspicious gunshot wound.  According to court documents, Parker admitted to shooting across the farm road at a snake while sitting on the door of the vehicle. He allegedly said he had drank 25 beers or more.

If convicted, he could face as much as 11 years in prison.

I did find it interesting there are a lot of articles about this and nearly all of them focus on the fact the guy was shooting a snake while hanging out the car's window.  The fact, he shot his friend in the head seems to be a sub-plot.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Weighing In On Old

Another day, another study, ... Yep, just within the last couple of days the Journal of Eating Disorders released a study that says that women of ALL ages complain more about being old than being fat.  When
people are disparaging themselves about age, this is being referred to "old talk."  The Journal of Eating Disorder is concerned that the same type of negative body image issues i.e. anxiety, depression, eating disorders, can now be attributed to women to feeling old.

Turns out that even women as young as 18 are now talking  about  feeling old or complaining about the effects of aging.  Although, it might not surprise you that those teenie-boppers are amateurs in the department of "old talk"  compared to the groups that have a little more age on them.

Carolyn Becker of Trinity University in San Antonio, TX led the study which surveyed over 900 women from America, Britain, and Australia.  Their ages ranged from 18 to 87.  The questions they were given dealt with  "fat talk", "old talk" and overall body dissatisfaction. Sixty-six percent of the women say they engage in "old talk" some of the time.   As you might expect the women over 46 talk the most about being old.   (I don't really think they needed a study to figure that out.)

NOTE:  According to one of the articles pertaining to this study, it stated that men were not  included as their initial research showed men were more comfortable with aging.  There seems to be a prevalent attitude that aging in men makes them more distinguished. Proving once again, that life is not fair.

Thought Number One:  Fat

You might remember the post a couple of weeks ago,  Native American Summer, where I was talking about Rush Limbaugh justifying his remarks when he called Oprah fat. His theory being if you are part of a group that shares a common denominator, you get to talk about the denominator.   Since he is fat, he says he wasn't disparaging her.  He was merely pointing out the fact she is...well...fat.

But we all know it's not nice to call someone fat.  The politically correct thing to do is acknowledge that people come in all shapes and sizes.  Uh-huh...that's how it is supposed to be.

click to enlarge or go to Twitter 

 The problem arises that, while obesity might be off the table from the sense, we should not judge people, be biased or prejudicial regarding overweight people, the AMA slapped a huge stigma on obesity by calling it a disease.

As you might imagine, that didn't go over in a big (no pun intended) way for people like Marilyn Wann who has spent years advocating for "fat acceptance".  Marilyn who wrote a book Fat!So? along with
Marilyn Wann
other fat advocates have voiced their disapproval of linking "being fat" with having a disease.  On the Twittter thread #Iamnotadisease, there is an ongoing debate whether obesity should be stigmatized by being called a disease. Of course, there are also, those in favor of the change as it provides funds for research and now insurance will have to pay for some of the costs associated with health problems resulting from obesity.  

Thought Number Two: Old and Ageism

According to the study, half the women in the 18-29 age group "occasionally" refer to themselves as old.  By that standard, I am old.  (Sure according to them I would be ancient, but then a 18 year old calling herself old is coo-coo from my vantage point.)
Lucy was using an analogy  with an  old
vehicle being an old body.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with youth, so it makes sense that gray hair and wrinkles are met with a certain amount of disdain.  Fixing the "flaws" of aging is big business in America.  Just last week the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released data that 14.6 million procedures were done last year related to fixing signs of aging.  That is up 5 percent from the previous year. 

While there are the self-proclaimed fat advocates that are upset with being disparaged due to body size, I venture to guess that people are less vocal about how aging is viewed. I might even go far as to say...and I know some people out there aren't going to be happy with my next statement but here goes....obesity is within a lot of people's control while aging is not within the control of any living person.

As for the issue of  "old" being the new bias, more so than fat, .... I was listening to an interview with the Editor-In-Chief of Self Magazine, Lucy Danzinger that was saying that "the opposite of old isn't's healthy and energetic."  She went on to say, "It's like having a car.  You can't necessarily get a new vehicle, but you can take really good care of the one you have."

I don't dispute that we all need to stay healthy and fit but why is aging considered a flaw?  How did we get to a place where having a plasticized taut skin or expressionless Botoxed faces, better than having some natural signs of aging?

From where I sit, I think aging is unavoidable.  I can continue to workout  as vigilantly as I do.  I can stay thin and fit, hopefully but I can't halt all the natural body changes that go with getting older.In theory, I can prolong their onset.

Being fit isn't quite the same thing as being young...but it's still a good thing to be. 

  Hey Gina!!!  Gina has been my trainer for about 5 years now.  She can't reverse my aging but she can keep everything else in check.  Maybe aging will be considered a disease some day and I can have my insurance company pay Gina. 

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Let's Talk About Words That Start With C

Today let's talk about some C words. I am sure you all are thinking C is for Cookie but today we are talking about some other C words.   Typically, on Friday each week, we talk about the news stories that are found under the heading of weird or odd.  But you and I know that each week this brings forth some crazy. Once in awhile, I see some cute, some creative, some classy or classless,  but for the most part articles classified as "weird news" contains some "crazy".  This week is no different.

Let's start with the Word...CAR. be more specific, we are talking about a crazy man carrying a gun in a car.

 Most of us have seen an erratic driver but have you ever pulled up along side of one, only to see a gun pointed at you.

David Kolloar was driving on Interstate 75 in  Madison County, Kentucky  on Monday and noticed a car driving in and out of the emergency lane. The car at one point  was appearing  to swerve into another car on it's left.   David pulled out his phone and started taping the situation.  He thought that he would have documentation available so he could call the police.

What he didn't expect was as he moved forward the erratic driver got next to him and lowered the window.
David hit his brakes to miss getting shot at. When he safely got off the road he called the authorities.

He said he wasn't trying to be a vigilante but he was worried about the safety of himself and others on the road.  His actions did lead the police to track down the gun toting driver.  Investigators found Dr. Perrin Dobyns in Indiana where he was arrested. 

Police credit Kollar for the quick arrest because of the video and his awareness to get the man's license plate. The rest, they said, fell into place after they were able to confirm the man's identity and vehicle with Indiana State Police.

 "We're not sure where he was coming from, and he had about another hour-and-a-half to two hour drive back home. So, there's no telling what actually could've happened after he left Madison County," said Trooper Robert Purdy of the Kentucky State Highway Patrol.

 Police tell us that Dobyns works at the Branchville Correctional Facility, in Branchville, Indiana. WKYT contacted a local Sheriff's office who told us that Dobyns is actually the prison's doctor.

(Update: On Tuesday the doctor was returned to Kentucky and charged. He was to appear in court on Wednesday.)

How ironic is that...the gun toting doctor worked for a prison.  BUT according to the reports, they fired him. Clearly going from being a prison doctor to being a prisoner, isn't the ideal career path.

Cleaning Up the Evidence

An Oklahoma man was arrested on burglary charges after police matched his DNA to used toilet paper found at the scene of the crime, police said.

Charles Marqull Williams was charged Wednesday with burglary in Oklahoma County District Court for
allegedly stealing from an area home, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported.

Police said the suspect broke into the home, took several items, and used the bathroom before taking off.

Unflushed feces and a used piece of toilet paper on the floor were found at the scene. (on the floor, really??...Oink, Oink)

Police matched DNA found in the messy bathroom to Williams

How embarrassing for Charles, to have to admit "not flushing" got him thrown in the can.  TSK TSK...but aren't we curious if when the cops told him how they found him did he say "OH CRAP!.

And Last but Not the Least (crazy that is) is the Word Cheating

A married man reported that he had been robbed during a sexual encounter with a prostitute.  She, allegedly, picked his pocket of $9000.00 during a sexual act.  Evidently his attention was diverted at the time.

According to the Brisbane Court documentation, Navnish Bansai was approached while he was eating
supper at an Indian restaurant by a woman who asked him "if he was up for some fun".

They chatted a bit, negotiated a price and then proceeded to get into Boansai's car and drove to New Farm Park.

According to the victim, he claims that while the hooker was providing him with a service, she stole the 9K from his jacket pocket. She then got out of the car and ran across the soccer fields.

Bansai, who represented himself in court said the reason he had so much cash is that he had taken the money out of his wife's checking account to buy himself a new car.  The prosecuting attorney in the case said it was a "doozie" of a story.

The woman was located and Bansai got most of his money back but then.... he was arrested and charged with public solicitation of a prostitute.

Isn't there an old saying that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client?  What a great example.  What a fool!! I wonder if he will represent himself in the divorce hearing as well?  (that's just a guess on my part.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wasted Whining

Thought Number One:  Two New Things That Are Happening (or Not) in the government today.

I consider it such an irony that the very day, that the Healthcare Marketplace is open for business the Federal government is not. (Surely, you all have heard the news that the Federal government is now closed pending the ability of our Congress to work together and pass a budget.) 

For those of you that aren't aware of changes in how Americans are to be insured let me explain.  Starting today, there is a government website that offers various insurance plans for those that are either not insured by their employers, self-employed or uninsured.

As luck would have it,  I and my husband are self-employed.   While it remains to be seen if that is a good thing or a bad thing as far as insurance coverage goes, we currently buy a pricey (AND I MEAN PRICEY) individual  insurance policy to cover us. With that being said, it costs a lot but pays things very well. See there...that's me looking at the positive.   You didn't think I had it in me, did you?

However, I must tell you that I  remain ever hopeful that somewhere on the new Marketplace there is an equal policy that might offer either a financial advantage or a coverage advantage.. Yes, I know that is being OVERLY optimistic.  The funny thing about this "market place" is that no one seems to know much about it.  The Dallas Morning News had a sneak preview of the rates and it looks like for a "middle of the road" plan for my age group it's about $1300.00 a month to get insurance.   I have no idea if that is true or not as I can't get on to the sight yet.

Why?  Because this is what it looks like.

OK...not off to a banner start but I wait...

and wait


and then sure enough...I get a page to fill in all my pertinent information and create a user ID and a passcode.
(even that wasn't easy...symbols, numbers, capital letters, and lower case numbers involved)

Then the next page is security questions.  BUT the security questions are MIA

Care to guess what I do?  Go on take a guess....

Mainly  because I love a challenge, am a glutton for punishment and I  am already tired of this system, I decide to hit:

 I will spare you all the

There were a lot of those before I was told:

Thanks for your interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace.  we have a lot of visitors trying to use the website right now.  That is causing some glitches for some of the people trying to create accounts or log in.  Keep trying and thanks for your patience.  You might have better success during off-peak hours, like later at night or early in the morning.  We'll continue working to improve the site so you can get covered.

Though Number Two:  Must We Continue to Make Everything So Difficult?

Dare I hope that the day will come that politicians will work less on their political ambitions and work more on the well-being on their constituents?

In the meantime...I continue to try to see into the future as to what to do about my insurance.

In lieu of not being able to look at the Marketplace, I am now resorting to Plan B. 

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