Monday, March 25, 2013

Dear Mr. Sirota

My Twitter name is Butterose and you may not remember me from our Saturday March 23 exchange because I know you exchange like that with many, many online users. However, you and I had an exchange that left me feeling as if I'd been run over by a Mack truck. That particular experience left me feeling that way because what you did made absolutely 0 sense to me, and it didn't result in any change of my opinion that you nitpick over the drone issue.

In case you think this is intended to be a "poor, poor, pitiful me" complaint, I accept responsibility for what happened simply because had I not said a word to you, I wouldn't have been noticed. However, I am an American Citizen so I've been raised with the idea that I'm allowed to speak my mind as long as I'm not yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater. Apparently saying (in my opinion) you nitpick the drone issue and overlook the war issue is equal to yelling FIRE!

I agree, it really wasn't necessary to do that, but it also isn't slander or lying. Which are among the kinder things you said about me in response.

In the category of things you should know about me before you jump into things with me are this. I have NO influence on Twitter because I want none. I'm a 63 year old grandmother with a great deal of experience in life. I was raised in a Republican household and chose to work for the Democrats at the age of 14. Probably, now that I think about it, because of the assassination of President Kennedy. I joined the Young Democrats of America in 1964. Kneejerk emotional reaction? GUILTY!

Also, I'm somewhat lower on the financial foodchain thanks to my age and numerous years of "trickle down" economics. At a time when we should have been saving for our old age, we were using that money to keep my husband's business afloat. We have managed enough for our needs except for healthcare and as Hubby says, at least he had a job when others didn't, even if it didn't pay him. How many YEARS has our Congress failed to address the economic issue? How many times has Congress tried to repeal the ACA? The one thing I actually can't afford for myself, healthcare, is the one thing they've spent their entire time trying to destroy.

You believe that drones are killing innocents in other countries. Call me amoral but I'm more concerned with the gun violence on our own streets and the deaths of thousands here. I'm also devastated by our own loss of a loved one in Iraq and the loss of the grandchildren of many of my friends in the same place as well as Afghanistan.

Last week in a couple of very small villages here in CNY a 64 year old man took a shotgun and shot 6 people in 2 separate businesses. He killed 4 of them. These villages are less than 25 miles away from me. My grandson was in school here and the school locked down due to the violence. Dying on my own street at the hands of someone who has issues and a gun is quickly becoming a possibility. There's far too much wrong with my OWN life for me to be concerned about drones. I laud you for your commitment to YOUR cause but it isn't MY cause and can't be because I live a completely different life with opinions that are based on MY circumstances and yes on MY emotions.

I live in a rural area where cable isn't available to me so my internet is provided by satellite. Given the rapid fire of your tweets to me, I know yours is much faster. Since it is much faster and my eyes, at 63 require I read slower, I would have 2 to 3 more tweets to read before I could even begin to post a response. This lead to your further frustration and your decision to say I was gross and pathological because I refused to acknowledge your accusation and apologize.

You don't further YOUR cause by browbeating others that disagree with you. You fail to acknowledge that their lives have any input into their opinions and by doing so you destroy any ability you have to help people see things your way.

You latched on to the Rand Paul filibuster because he agreed with your opinion on drones. I am unimpressed because his overall ideology indicates to me that his position on drones was nothing more than a ploy, yet YOU accused me, without any knowledge of me, of being a Hillary supporter and a Dem lover. Was this because I do not agree with your focus on drones when there is so much wrong with things that actually affect my  ability to keep on breathing and enjoy doing so? I don't know because I'm not going to assume anything about you.

I'm not asking for an apology from you. I am telling you something for your own good maybe. Your arguments may have merit, it's getting lost in your incessant need to fight people over every little nitpicking thing. Slow down, listen to what they say and then tailor your arguments in a way that allows their feelings some validity and they MIGHT be willing to think about what you say. Change is hard work, but it can happen. When you mistreat people simply because you can there will never be any change. Think about that.



Friday, March 22, 2013

How Do You Spell Relief?

Meet my new best friend.  Isn't he cute?

On Monday, March 11, I was getting ready to leave the house and as I was walking down the steps an invisible gremlin slammed my left knee with an invisible sledgehammer. I didn't go to work, of course, since the ability to walk is extremely necessary to my job. After the what felt like a sledgehammer incident, I wasn't walking too well.

Initially there didn't seem to be an explanation for the problem. No immediate swelling, just the inability to put ones heel on the floor and walk. I did what I'm supposed to do when faced with an injury. Well, almost what I'm supposed to do, I treated it myself instead of calling the doctor. Old habits die hard.

I did the usual Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation thing and actually got to the point where I could put the heel down and limp a little. Not ideal but that was OK. I have a compression cuff for my knees since I have arthritis, so I was going to be fine. For the whole first week I'd have times when it would feel almost normal, except for a feeling that the kneecap was being pulled to the outside of my knee. It was a little swollen, and there wasn't much pain, just that pulling and a feeling that the joint wouldn't work when I needed to stand up after sitting for a bit. Which I attributed to arthritis, since it tends to stiffen the joints.

Last weekend I took it easy and on Monday I was in much better shape. Nothing like lying to yourself is there?

Monday night the knee started to give me pain and by 8:15 PM I felt as if I was coming down with some sort of horrendous virus. My whole body was aching, I had cold chills and was exhausted. Hubby decided he was taking me to Urgent Care where I discovered I had a 2nd degree sprain of the Medial Collateral Ligament. Explains why the swelling was where it was and the pain was shooting down the shin. That ligament connects the thigh bone to the shin bone on the inside of the leg.

The doc there told me to get myself to the friendly neighborhood Rite Aid for the brace, take an NSAID like Aleve and don't be so stubborn next time. He did offer me a script for a small amount of the good stuff just to kill the pain, but he smiled quite broadly when I said I didn't need it. I wonder why?

The brace is a godsend. I can walk right while wearing it and it isn't uncomfortable at all until I've had it on for 7 or 8 hours. It stabilizes the sides of the knees which reduces the stress on the lateral collateral ligament which has been doing the work of both ligaments. I've got to wear it for at least 2 weeks and take the minimum dose of store brand Aleve for at least 10 days. All doctors now say the store brands are exactly the same as the good stuff and much friendlier on one's pocketbook. Since my problem is a sprain and not a tear I only need moderate stabilization while the sprain is healing and the anti-inflammatory does it's work.

Hubby asked me if I learned anything from my little adventure. I told him I sure did and I was going to stop at Rite Aid after next paycheck. Seems to me that with arthritis in both of the knees I have, I just might need two braces. Oh! And more Aleve.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some People Really Shouldn't

Hubby's friend Mountain Man had himself an idea.

He said: "Hey, this small Acer Netbook is on sale. Why don't you buy one and I'll scan your receipts into it so that you don't have all those papers getting lost"


Hubby: "Yeah, that sounds great, let's go."

And they did, and we now have this cute, little 10" Acer Netbook that Mountain Man is not using to scan receipts into. See? I know Mountain Man. He does things on HIS schedule or not at all. Hubby wanted it done on his schedule since he's the one that actually MUST be available when the customers call. So, we are now stuck with a Netbook set up to make PDF files out of customer receipts and not all customer receipts scanned in. And I still have mountains of paper receipts that he keeps making copies of.

There's a problem with creating the files the way he did because as a PDF file, there doesn't appear to be any way to add a new receipt to a file which means creating a new file for every single receipt. *sigh*

Plus, Hubby decided HE wants to learn to do this since I am such an unreliable sort of bookkeeper. Somehow he seems to think that I'm supposed to have the information on things like: jobs HE scheduled for himself without telling me, and then there's the clients that don't want a written receipt. Which I'm supposed to be able to find a copy of when he wants to know something.

He is, of course, bringing this same skill set to the desk when trying to learn how to do this. Which means he can't grasp even the basics without written instructions and then he still has trouble. He's nervous. Ever try to teach someone something when they're nervous? Don't try it, trust me.

We are on week 2 and the letter D. Hub still doesn't grasp that all he's doing is creating an image of the receipt, going to the proper alphabet section to open and name a folder to store the graphic in. He simply doesn't get it because computers are designed to drive us crazy and he has NO sense of humor about that.

In order for him to get it, the screen he looks at and is working with MUST remain EXACTLY the same in looks and behave the same every time. And that ain't going to happen. EVER! With that thing, all you have to do is breathe on the keyboard and stuff changes. Poor man just can't figure out what's happening and I spend a lot of time fixing the problem for him. When I can figure out what the computer decided to do to him, that is.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Sequester, Where The Poor Become A Sacrifice To The Civilized Conservative's God

I believe it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said he liked to pay taxes because with them you buy civilization. The problem seems to be in the definition of civilization by today's society. It appears that a bully segment of society have determined that civilization is allowed only for those who are capable of enjoying the material richness of civilization and don't want to pay for it. Somehow or other they, in the name of their God, take it upon themselves to judge those less equipped to enjoy material richness and find them unworthy of the fruits of their civilized existence. Well, the words God and Greed do start with G.

I suppose if I researched it long enough I could find some ancient people who refused to care for their old and infirm. When times were rough, they left their burdens alone to die and feed the prey animals that were needed to feed the rest of the tribe. There were, of course, human sacrifices to appease whatever gods they held dear. They seldom used the elderly in those, having the notion that only the best and brightest of their clans would be considered worthy of the gods. However, those civilizations died out and if mentioned at all today are usually thought of in terms of lacking civilization. They are termed barbarians, savages or to be somewhat kinder, primitives.

If you've been kind enough to read this far I'm assuming you are asking yourself what all this has to do with the Sequester? Allow me to list just a few of the cuts for you and maybe you'll see what I mean.

$175 million will be cut out of Low Income Home Energy Assistance funds (LIHEAP)

$65 million was cut from Impact Aid at the Department of Education

$60 million was cut in salaries and expenses at the Farm Service Agency at USDA

$57 million was cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account at HHS

$56 million was cut from State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grants at the Justice Department

$53 million was cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

$50 million was cut from the Home Investment Partnership Program at HUD

46 million was cut from the Rental Assistance Program at the Rural Housing Service

$40 million was cut in Science and Technology at the Environmental Protection Agency

$33 million was cut in money for Native American Housing Block Grants

$28 million was cut from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at the Dept of Labor

15 million was cut from FEMA's Disaster Assistance Direct Loan Program Account

12 million was cut from the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor

2 million from the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

Instead of closing loopholes in the tax code which continue to allow the civilized the joy of making a choice between the red Mercedes or the blue, we CUT the ability of our nation's poor not to have to make the choice between paying rent and having heat. For 2 of my 80+ year old clients, that Rental Assistance Program allows them to actually have a roof over their heads that isn't from a cardboard box or some rat infested slum, but in order for the civilized to remodel their mansions to include car elevators, my clients are being forced to face that risk.

I suppose that the Conservative notion that families or churches need to do more to care for their elderly and infirm is going to be trotted out as a justification for those cuts. The problem I see with that is some of those cuts affect the family's ability to earn enough money to manage to feed, house and clothe their children let alone take on the extra mouth to feed. With the cuts in OSHA, job safety will become a real concern. When workers have accidents due to the benevolence of their employers whose responsibility it will be to see to it that the work environment is "safe", where will the income to care for them come from?

Well, at least all this should resolve the illegal immigrant problem. Why would anyone want to sneak into the US where if the assault weapons don't kill you, the e coli in our food or an accident at our workplaces will?