Best Self Interests

I have to wonder what a poor guy in a rural area (let’s call him Bob) and a rich business man have in common… they both vote Republican. But why? Why does the poor guy seem to think that voting the same as the business man will benefit him or be in his best self interest?

I think people need to think about which political party really aligns with their beliefs. I can’t see many people like Bob actually having the same interests as the Koch brothers. Think about some of the things the Koch brothers stand for:

  • No taxes on the rich
  • No government regulations
  • No protections for the “commons” like the environment
  • No protections for workers
  • Unlimited money in our elections
  • No free education
  • No social safety net
  • No guaranteed health care coverage
  • Free market that isn’t regulated
  • No tariffs

How can any of these views match what a working person like Bob believes?

Sure I guess in some distant universe far, far away Bob could lift himself up by his bootstraps and become rich and have the same ideals. It does happen but probably not to Bob or the millions of low-wage workers…

So why want no taxes on the rich? Why wouldn’t Bob want government to regulate what companies can and cannot do? It’s his planet, too. Doesn’t Bob want to be protected from his boss demanding him to work 70 hours a week with little pay, no benefits; or else get fired? Bob doesn’t have millions of dollars to spend on our political process so why would he want the Koch brothers to be able to do it? Maybe Bob wants to better himself or send his kids to college so why wouldn’t Bob want affordable or free education? If Bob gets sick or if he has to stay home with his sick wife, wouldn’t Bob want some safety net since he most likely doesn’t have savings since his wage is so low anyway? Wouldn’t he want to be sure he has health coverage no matter what? Wouldn’t Bob want regulations on Wall Street so they don’t fuck all of us over again like in 2008? Doesn’t Bob want to make sure his job stays in the United States and not go over seas where someone can do the same thing for pennies on the dollar to what Bob makes?

The only thing I can honestly see Bob and the likes of the Koch brothers having in common is guns. But this issue is negligible since the Democrats haven’t done anything on gun control. They’re too afraid of the NRA to do something as simple as expanded background checks (which could have prevented mass shootings).

I don’t understand how people like Bob would want to vote for the same interests as the Koch brothers. They’re clearly on two sides of the political spectrum.


Planned Parenthood

I am really getting sick of people attacking Planned Parenthood. People seem to think all Planned Parenthood is out to do is destroy fetus’. They’re for family planning. They’re for helping people. Like 3% of what they do is abortions and yet that’s all they get flack for. They never get any good press. Get the facts.

If they do ANYTHING wrong, it’s like open season. They get flack from Congress, the Republicans, and basically anyone who is pro-life.

Planned Parenthood is one of the only places where women can go and get help and not be judged. (Besides by those idiot protesters who stand out front of the Planned Parenthood offices holding up stupid signs of dead babies; cause that’s effective.)

Women who are poor, women who are in college, any woman can go to Planned Parenthood and get their yearly examinations and mammograms for free; without insurance. It’s one of the only places that does this. They can even get birth control for free.

I know; I did it for years. I didn’t have health insurance for ten years of my life (through high school and college). Planned Parenthood was there for me.

I take offense to anyone who wants to smear them and tear them down. They’re doing good things. Why can’t people and the press see that? They’re helping people.


Quickie On Minimum Wage & When I Used To Earn It

When I was in college my husband (then boyfriend) and I worked this minimum wage job up in western Maryland just so we could be together. We worked 30-40 hours a week so pretty much full time. We earned the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.

I remember getting my paycheck and it instantly going to food and rent and that was it. I didn’t have any left over. In fact I may have owed money.

Maryland is awesome and liberal so since then the minimum wage in our state has risen to $8.00 an hour (soon to be $8.25 July 1st 2015, $8.75 July 1st 2016, $9.25 July 1st 2017, and $10.10 July 1st 2018). I wrote my congressmen a lot of letters regarding the minimum wage in our state.

Using an inflation calculator, if I were a college student working minimum wage now, I’d be earning around $7 an hour in circa 2005 dollars. That could have afforded me a lot better life. I might have actually gotten by without borrowing money that summer.

Well that’s this blog post’s story. Vote Bernie Sanders and vote for a higher minimum wage!


Verizon Wireless “Surcharges”

Isn’t it bull s**t that we have to pay “surcharges.” They’re getting to be ridiculous. These “surcharges” cost me $13 a month. My Verizon bill is almost $200 for two phone lines, 700 minutes, unlimited text, and 6 GB of data on one phone and unlimited on the other.

But these “surcharges” go up every month it seems.

When I hover over the ? on my bill, a bubble appears which explains their surcharges

It states:

Verizon Wireless Surcharges – Includes charges to recover or help defray costs of taxes and of governmental charges and fees imposed on us by the government. Other Charges and Credits – includes charges for products and services, and credits owing.

So it’s the governments fault? I see. The government charges too much in taxes so they need to pass that onto their consumer. Makes sense.

But wait. It turns out they don’t pay taxes! What the f**k? They actually make a s**t ton of profit and still pay no taxes. They even get money back from the government!

At least they create jobs right? Nope. Turns out, their tax breaks don’t even create jobs.

It’s such bull s**t. I think I’m going to start to complain. Why should I pay more to pad their bottom line even more than it is now when they pay nothing in taxes? I pay taxes! You pay taxes! Why should we pay more of “their taxes?”

I’m fed up with this country sometimes. It’s bull s**t.

Spread the word.


Stuff I Still Have From College

Bri and I were talking the other night about the stuff we still have from college. I thought I’d blog about it since I’m a bit bored and would like to update my blog more. So here’s a list of stuff that I still have since college (and some before):

  • Coffee table (acquired in college, was my Mom’s or her dad’s)
  • Can opener (acquired in college, we actually took it from our apartment in Frostburg)
  • Microwave (acquired in college, we bought it for $40 at Walmart)
  • My bathroom tote (acquired in high school, Ricky and I were shopping for his college when I got it for my college for a year later)
  • My pink laundry bag (acquired in high school)
  • My TV (acquired when I was a kid, I’ve had this RCA 12 inch boom tube since I was born basically)
  • size_t (acquired in college, he’s still good although he has diabetes… and yes he’s a pet not an inanimate object)
  • Most our pots & pans (acquired throughout college, we still use the same forks, plates, spatculas, etc)
  • My comforters (acquired in college, my Aunt Ruth bought them for me)
  • Chair (acquired in high school from my mom, the only stable chair we have that we can stand on)
  • Computer Chairs (acquired in college, both mine and Bri’s, we also acquired another one from Seth)
  • Boxes & bins (acquired in college, still are used to store shit in)
  • My messenger bag (acquired in high school, bought from Old Navy, used in high school & college, I’ll have it forever)
  • Spare bed (acquired in college, for Bri and my first apartment in Frostburg)
  • Junk bins (acquired in high school, storage for pens, tape, cords, etc)
  • High school & college papers (acquired throughout high school & college, I saved all my papers & notes from classes I took)
  • Stuffed animals (acquired throughout life)
  • Computer monitor (acquired in high school, was my first, now is Bri’s second monitor for his PC)

This list doesn’t include DVDs and items of the sort. Maybe I’ll update this later if I can think of more stuff I’ve had since college. Pretty cool I still have the same stuff.


What I Am (Like Diet Wise)

One of the happiest like moments I’ve experienced in the past few weeks was watching Real Time With Bill Maher. Maher had David Duchovny on. Duchovny has a new book called “Holy Cow” that he was talking about. Apparently it’s like a children’s book that brings up some very important questions. One of which is the way we raise our meat.

Duchovny said that he’s not a vegetarian but more a lazy vegetarian. Bill Maher questioned what that was and asked if it was when there’s nothing else on the menu, if he eats meat. Duchovny said it’s more like if he goes over someone’s house and if they were having meat, he wouldn’t turn it down since the animal has already been killed and you don’t want to waste it.

That has been my predicament all along. What do I do? Hearing that both Maher and Duchovny did consume meat when in certain situations, I felt a whole lot better about everything. It was probably one of the best moments of my life knowing that others face the same challenges with meat that I do. It was so relieving.

I cannot be called a “vegetarian” since I do eat meat occasionally (when it’s going to be wasted anyway) and since I eat shrimp, eggs, and fish.

According to one article I read, I’m more of a flexitarian where as I tend to not eat meat but don’t rule it out completely. But I’m also somewhat of a lacto-ovo vegetarian where I won’t eat meat but do eat dairy and eggs… then I also eat fish which makes me more of a pescatarian. But I guess if I had to pick title, I’d say “lazy vegetarian.”

It’s difficult to know what I am. I just hope what I’m doing makes a difference to the environment and saves innocent animals lives. It’s also been very good for me health wise. I used to get bad stomach aches at least once a week. Now it’s almost never.

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian (or whatever word you’d choose to use), do it like I did… I did it slowly, over the course of like a year. Apparently this movement is gaining momentum. There are now 16 million vegetarians. That’s AMAZING to me.

But anyway… Thanks Bill Maher and David Duchovny for making me feel less alone!


Staying Away From Moonshine

The weekend before New Years we went over a friends house. We had some beers, had a nice fire, talked, etc. Then he brought out the moonshine… One shot and I was done. And that was all I had. The next day was pretty bad. I think I was useless for the entire day. Maybe that night I was good.

However the feeling kind of hung over until New Years where I couldn’t drink that much. It was a shame too. The party we went to had bourbon slushies and some nice tasting shots. They, too, also had good tasting moonshine. Unfortunately I took a sip and had to pass.

I’m staying away from moonshine. That’s all I have to say about that.


I’m Tired Of Being The Only One Who Cares Enough

I’m going to make this quick but I am tired of feeling like I’m the only one who cares about climate change. The American people elected idiots the other day who plan to destroy the earth even more by limiting the EPA, pushing through the Keystone XL pipeline, etc.

I’ve changed my diet (I’ve been a vegetarian for like three years) because it’s better for the planet, I’ve recycled, I got solar put on my house, I put my life in danger to ride a fuel efficient scooter… I even researched what Halloween candy was more “earth friendly” and gave that out.

No one else seems to care. I have my husband on board for some of it but he wants me to tell him what to buy instead of looking for himself. He wants me to suggest meals. He doesn’t want to do any of the work.

I feel like I’m in this alone. None of my friends are vegetarians. They are all supportive and try to accommodate but it’s still hard.

My family is the same way. I go over there and all they have is meat. We go out to lunch and they all order meat; even my husband.

No one cares. Do people even know the earth is fricken dying? And people still don’t care and do and say anything to remain ignorant.

I don’t even have kids! I don’t have any legacy. You’d think people would give some sort of shit about it since it’s their children and their children’s children but they don’t. I don’t get it.

I’m tired of being the only one who cares. We only have one earth and this is my planet, too!


Obituary For Candi

Candi

Candice “Candi” Cane Musselman, 18

Candi, of Rockville, Maryland, passed away on June 1, 2014, peacefully at her home next to her family.

Candi was born, presumably, around Glen Burnie, Maryland in the winter of 1996. She was a lost dog that was later found near a pawn shop in Glen Burnie by Ann Musselman. She immediately had a new home there with Ann and her two daughters, Janis and Stacy.

Candi mostly grew up in Pasadena, Maryland with her owner, Janis, her family, and a bunch of cats. She later lived in such places as Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Frostburg, Germantown, and finally settling down in Rockville, with her owners, Janis and Brian.

Candi enjoyed car rides, human food, walks, shedding, and, in general, being with people and her family.

Candi will be remembered by her broad smile, her ever happy attitude, the joy she brought into everybody’s life, and her saying, “I’m just a puppy.” Candi had a way of warming her way into everybody’s heart.

Survivors include her owners, Janis and Brian, her brothers, size_t and Wiki, and many others. Candi is preceded in death by Spooky, Tina, Lauren, and Rocky.

Feel free to share Candi stories in the comments below and on Facebook.


Ocean City Beach Mix May 2014

Thought I’d blog about the cool mix I created to get us to Ocean City, Maryland for the May 2014 Crusin’ Car show. The mix was perfect. It was a lot of songs I hadn’t heard in a long time… lots of 90’s stuff. The mix was successful as it got us from Bowie to OC without a repeat.

  1. 311- Amber
  2. Ace Of Base – Don’t Turn Around
  3. Akon – I Wanna Love You
  4. Akon – Smack That
  5. American Hi Fi – Flavor Of The Week
  6. B52’s – Love Shack
  7. Blue Oyster Cult – Burning For You
  8. Caviar – Tangerine Speedo
  9. Cher – Believe
  10. Crazy Town – Butterfly
  11. Destiny’s Child – Jumpin Jumpin
  12. Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane
  13. Flo Rida – Low
  14. Jason Derulo – Talk Dirty
  15. Justin Timberlake – My Love
  16. Kool & The Gang – Hollywood Swingers
  17. Linkin Park – Breaking The Habbit
  18. Lou Bega – Mambo Number 5
  19. Michael Jackson – Beat It
  20. Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot
  21. Nelly – Hot In Here
  22. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  23. Offspring – Pretty Fly
  24. Rihanna – Rude Boy
  25. Rod Stewart – Do You Think I’m Sexy
  26. Rolling Stones – Can’t Get No Satisfaction
  27. Savage Garden – Chica Cherry Cola
  28. Sean Paul – Tempurature
  29. Soup Dragons – I’m Free
  30. Spin Doctors – Two Princes
  31. Sugar Ray – Every Morning
  32. TLC – No Scrubs
  33. Talo Cruz – Break Your Heart
  34. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
  35. Weezer – Beverly Hills

I’ll post pictures on flickr when I get around to it :)


Years Of Living Dangerously

I’m really excited that finally a network is giving some attention to our climate change problem. Showtime now has a series out, Years of Living Dangerously, which airs Sunday’s at 10PM.

The other week the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) shouted saying, “Hey guys! We have a problem here!” and no one was listening. And it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Instead places like Oklahoma, who is now making solar and wind more expensive.

One of the reasons I became a vegetarian was to help the planet. I also ride a scooter, recycle, put solar panels on my house, bought a Prius, bought an electric car, reuse as much as I can, etc to help the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.

I think with a little effort we can do amazing things. For instance why don’t we stop eating meat one or two days a week? Why don’t we plant some trees? Or get a pile of recyclables and take them somewhere if you can’t recycle at your house? I think little things that won’t change your lifestyle can make a difference.

If you have Showtime, make sure to catch Years of Living Dangerously. They have celebrities like Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Chris Hayes, and Michael C. Hall on there who go investigate climate change and its effect. It’s pretty cool. Check it out if you can.

This problem of climate change doesn’t and shouldn’t be political.


The Tale Of Valentine’s Day 2014

I’m not a big believer in valentines day. I let Bri off the hook and tell him not to do anything. It’s a silly holiday, in my opinion.

However this valentine’s day was very different. Bri wanted to surprise me, and that he did.

On Tuesday night Bri went to the store to get groceries. He came home, I unpacked the groceries. Bri then told me to go into Wiki’s room for a few minutes. When he was done, I walked out to find this:

flowers with a note; see note text below

The note reads:

My love,

I wanted to give you a little bit of the beauty you give me everyday.

Love you always

Bri Bri

I brought the flowers into work the next day. Everyone loved them, as usual. Bri gets me flowers about once every other month. My coworkers get jealous and Bri loves hearing stories about what my coworkers say about them.

I thought it was over from there, but I was wrong. The best was yet to come.

I had been experiencing vertigo for a few days where I’d get disoriented when I tilted my head. We finally went to the doctor about it. (It’s nothing, I should be fine.)

When we got out of the doctors, Bri got something from his trunk:

a bear with a note; see note text below

The note reads:

My Dearest Janny

You give me so much love, I can’t return it all myself. This guy is here to help me return some of the love you show me everyday.

Love

Bri Bri

We decided to go to Carrabbas since we hadn’t been there in a while for dinner. He got something out of his car when we got to the restaurant.

I ordered a drink for him and myself. He came to the table and asked me a question: “small, medium, or large”. I was hoping it wasn’t food since I’ve been on a diet for a little while now… I said “small”.

It wasn’t food, it was a hat:

A hat with a note in it

In fact, it’s a headphone hat. A few days prior, we went for a walk and my ear buds kept falling out. Bri had gotten me a hat with headphones in it. (I had one before but our cat chewed the cord.)

The note inside the hat read:

My Dearest Janny

I hope this can keep you warm during the day because you keep me warm every night.

Love

Bri Bri

Hat with note

Once our main course arrived, Bri got out another surprise for me.

He got me what I had been wanting for a few weeks but was too afraid to buy. Some friends of ours have Up bracelets which tracks their sleep, their water, how much they’ve walked, etc. I’ve been wanting one for a few weeks but couldn’t find the right one. The reviews online were bad.

Bri had done his own research and got me one that had better reviews. It’s called Fitbit Flex:

My fitbit flex on my wrist

The app for fitbit flex

It was one of the most amazing gifts. I can’t wait to use more of it. It should definitely help my progress in getting more in shape.

The last gift came after dinner:

A jewelry box

Now anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like jewelry. I don’t wear rings or anything. Bri later said I had a look of horror on my face when he presented this jewelry box to me.

I was thinking, “Oh, great. Another piece of jewelry I’m going to have to pretend to like and never wear.” But I was wrong:

The jewelry box contained a note and two keys

TESLA KEYS! He had them made!

When I bought the Tesla it only came with one key. We went to Tesla to get two more keys. They were able to make the keys but not cut them. It had been on my to do list for months to find a locksmith to get the keys cut since Tesla didn’t do it. (Model S keys aren’t keys; only Roadster keys are actual keys.)

The note inside read:

My Dearest Janny

You are the key to my happiness, so I hope these keys can return some of the happiness you give everydday.

Love

Bri Bri

Tesla keys and the note

I have the sweetest husband. I love him so much.

 


Why America Shouldn’t Be Considered A First World Country

Everybody thinks the US is a first world country. However some things in this country make it less than great. I think that America isn’t really a first world, but somewhere between second and first. We show a lot of the same behavior or characteristics of a country that isn’t first class. Here are some examples:

Healthcare

We’re way behind a lot of other countries who are not first world; like Cuba. The Affordable Care Act did great things but we’re not there yet. Every citizen isn’t guaranteed healthcare yet. Our life expectancy (#51) and infant mortality rates (#50) are still higher than a lot of other countries. Even some which we consider worse.

Women In Power

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the US is 80th in the world in women in parliaments. There are only 20 senators who are women and 79 (or 18%) are in the house of representatives. We still haven’t had a female vice president or president. Even the Philippines has had a women president.

Incarceration Rate

We’re number one in prisoners per capita at 716 per 100,000 population; behind Russia at 490 per 100,000 population. We blow Mexico out of the water. They only have 209 per 100,000 population. We’re less than 5% of the population yet we have almost 25% of the prison population of the world. First world countries start around 100 on the list, but we’re number one in incarceration rate.

Birth Rate

We still have a lot of kids in this country which isn’t like a first world country. And it’s really funny too. Other countries have a lot of incentives for their citizens to have kids, but not in the US. We don’t even get paid maternity leave. The only thing guaranteed for us is under Clinton’s FMLA; and that’s unpaid.

Guns

We have the highest number of guns per capita (and the highest gun deaths). We have 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun deaths per 100,000 population. Switzerland is behind us with less than half our number (45.7 per 100 people).

Income Inequality

We’re not doing well here either. We’re worse than countries like Egypt, Niger, Iraq, Iran. Even India and Ethiopia have better income equality than we do. Our gini coefficient is at 40.8.

Military

The United States is always high when it comes to military expenditures. We’re number one in defense spending. In fact, according to the World Bank, we spend 4.2% of GDP on military. We’re in the company of all third world and below nations. The UK, only 2.4%.


Tesla Car Fires

I’m not getting how news of the third Tesla Model S has sent stocks plummeting and people skeptic about electric cars. I’m doing some math here to try and illustrate why this shouldn’t be such a big deal.

According to Tesla, there have been around 20,600 Telsas sold (including the Roadster; around 2,500 Roadsters were made). 3 Teslas have caught fire… So 1 out of 6,867 Teslas have caught fire.

According to the US Beureu of Transportation Statistics there are 254,212,610 registered passenger vehicles on the road as of 2009. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 152,300 vehicles catch fire per year… So 1 out of 1,669 cars catch fire each year.

I was attempting to find how many new cars catch fire per year but I wasn’t able to find that data as this may seem to some comparing apples to oranges.

I still feel safer in an electric than in a gasoline powered car. We shall see if the NHTSA launches an investigation and what they find.


Dexter’s Ending: Not The Worst, But Almost

I know I’m not the first one to gripe, as I was griping through the entire season and last nights final episode. I’m just confounded beyond belief. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

Let’s start with the Titanic references:

  • When Dexter was saying bye to Harrison, it did sound like “it’s good bye for a little while, only for a little while”. What fathers said to their kids before the kids got on the lifeboats.
  • When Dexter put Deb in the ocean, it seemed like he was going to say “I’ll never let go, Deb, I’ll never let go”.

I don’t get Dexter leaving Harrison with Hannah. That’s like the last person he should be left with. First time Harrison talks back, the bitch will poison him. And why isn’t anyone looking for Harrison? Did they assume he went down with the ship like Dexter?

Didn’t Dexter sell his apartment? Didn’t he give his car to Astor? Didn’t he sell his boat? He was ready to leave a lot of loose ends before he left the country.

What about their stuff? Harrison’s never going to have all of Dexter and his belongings? What happened to the blood slides?

And a lumberjack? Seriously? What did they just throw darts on a dart board with random crappy ideas at the beginning of the season… Oka, Hannah’s back… oka, lumberjack… oka, Deb dies.

Dexter left too many characters hurt by his disappearance. There’s like no closure for that pain. Everyone just assumes he’s dead without ever knowing that he was a serial killer… I will give it this, at least it didn’t leave a lot of loose ends with the characters.

Elway’s asleep on a bus. Last of that awesome character.

Quinn is tore apart because of Deb.

And what about Deb’s body’s disappearance? No one is looking for the body? No one looked at the tapes and saw Dexter take the body?

I get it that Deb was Dexter’s last kill. I get that the whole lumberjack thing was his torture. He thinks that everyone in his life dies. He has no pain now; no nothing; he’s just a shell. Is that his punishment?

What I Would Have Liked To See

I wanted an ending where people found out about Dexter. I wanted an ending where Dexter died by the hands of Miami Metro via a shoot out or something. I wanted to see a semi-happy ending where, years later, Deb and Quin were married and raising Harrison. Where Astor and Codey were a part of their lives. Where Hannah was caught by Elway and he collected the reward. Where the Miami Metro department knew the truth… how some would praise Dexter as a hero and most as a villain. I wanted to see more cameo’s of past characters.

How I’m Imagining The Series Now

Like I said in an earlier Dexter post; the series ended right before the Rita death scene. Dexter and Rita meet and have a nice vacation together and Dexter continues being a hidden serial killer. Everyone’s happy. No one dies. It sucks that Deb doesn’t find “true love” and that Lundy died but hell… maybe I’ll imagine a season where Deb and Quin hook up and get married. I need to watch them again to complete this fantasy. Seasons 5-8 can be thrown away!

Series That Had Bad Endings

Big Love – In the history of all bad endings, Big Love takes the cake. Bill dies at the hands of his neighbor? Who the fuck saw that coming? And there was no closure with the other supporting characters. We never saw Wonda again or baby Joey… just some minor closure with the main characters… Still don’t understand how Margie could have taken a cruise 2 months after her husband dies but whatever. And her “dreams” weren’t reveled until that very last episode. They were in too quick of a hurry to wrap it up.

Series That Had Decent Endings

Frasier – I kinda liked it that he went to Chicago to find Laura Linney. It left me hopeful that he’d finally found love and happiness. It just sucked that he was far away from Martin, Niles, and Daphne. But I loved that Daphne and Niles had a kid. We never saw the other characters again though. No Lillith, no Fredrick, no Bulldog.

Lost – After rewatching it again and again, I like the ending. I just wish I knew more about how Hugo ran the island and if the plane made it safely to the main land. I know now that Jack dies which is probably for the best since he was a douche most of the time.

Series That Had Good Endings

Scrubs – Besides the “Scrubs 2.0” which was kinda funny; I thought they wrapped up Scrubs pretty well. It had a lot of closure. We saw a lot of the characters from before when J.D. walked out of the hospital for the last time. I thought it was nice. And it showed glimpses of their futures.

House – This TV show had an ending that everyone should take a lesson from: live your life. It was great that House faked his own death and that him and Wilson were riding motorcycles across the country together. It was a very happy ending and a good moral. We all need to live our lives more.

Monk – That show had an excellent ending. I loved the fact that they finally tied up the loose end with Trudy. I thought it was great that Trudy had an estranged daughter that Monk fell in love with (as a father). I loved the fact that he found that part of Trudy and how they basically lived happier ever after. He continued his detective work.


New Handle

I’ve been niles38 everywhere since I was like 12. Recently I joined instagram and found out that niles38 was already taken. I know I was late in joining but I really wanted to be niles38 everywhere. There were always a few exceptions (ebay, aim).

I have decided that niles38 isn’t for me anymore. I still like it and I will still have my email as it but I want something new and something that’s free everywhere; hence why I’m writing this blog post.

I need ideas. In another month the domain niles38.com will be available again as I will not be re-registering it. I’m looking for something short and something that’s me. I think LLTM (longlivethemonkey) is long… but maybe I’ll check around to see if it’s available in other places… hey, I have the domain, right?

Anyway internet, what you got for me?


Let’s See How Rediculous This Sounds

As we prepare to enter or affect yet another region in the middle east, it’s nice to know that after 150+ people died at the hands of an evil dictator the US will be there… Never mind that when thousands upon thousands were being killed by genocide in Darfur we didn’t go in or try to help them but whatever.

I guess we never crossed some “red line” with the number of deaths via gun violence in this country to warrant something to actually be done.

The right likes to use that argument for gun violence “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. How about for chemical weapons… “chemical weapons don’t kill people, people kill people”?

Maybe is it that chemical weapons don’t give us more freedom but guns do?

Or how about “the only way to stop a bad guy with a chemical weapon is with a good guy with a chemical weapon”?

I’m confounded.


Janny’s Review Of Motorola Droid Razr HD

Motorola Razr HD

I finally decided to upgrade from my Droid Incredible. I had that phone for over three years and it took a long time for me to finally decide to upgrade. It was the best phone I had in my entire life and I do miss it. However it got slow and had quite a few bugs…

Anyway, this blog post is my review of my new phone; the Motorola Droid Razr HD. I decided to go with the middle child of the Razr’s… it’s between the regular Droid Razr and Droid Razr HD Maxx. I was back and forth on phones at first… I was between the Razr, Razr Maxx, Galaxy S III, and the new HTC Droid Incredible.

So I’ve had this new one for about a week now. It’s pretty cool so far. Having the Incredible first helped. The learning curve was very little. I was able to figure out stuff pretty quick.

The tricky thing was getting my apps onto the new phone, which was why I was hesitant to upgrade in the first place. I actually put an ad on Craigslist for porting over the progress in my one app, Paradise Island. After hooking up with this one cool guy, he was able to root my husbands old Droid Incredible and his new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note II… he was able to get his progress in his island… After I got my new phone I hooked up with him again and rooted my old and new phone and was able to port over my island.

Anyway, on to cool stuff:

  • Basically everything my old phone (Droid Incredible) had that was cool.
  • It has unlimited number of “pages” (desktop screens). They are always to the right. To the left is phone management and settings.
  • The GPS (Google Maps) is awesome. It loads right away unlike my old phone. It takes a few seconds to get your location and destination.
  • I have three browsers: Chrome (came with the phone), FireFox, and Dolphin. I could download these on my old phone but they’re awesome on my new one.
  • It’s a bigger screen.
  • I can unlock and go right to text message, wherever I was before, phone, or camera… no waiting.
  • Front facing camera.
  • It’s light weight and durable.
  • It always has phone, people, apps, text, and camera.
  • The user community is amazing. I can google any question I have and someone has run into the same issue and has a solution.
  • BATTERY LIFE IS AMAZING SO FAR. So glad I didn’t get the Maxx. I can already not put my phone on the charger for two days and be perfectly fine.
  • It tracks data use and you can turn off Mobile data.
  • Loud ring tone. Which is a great and bad thing. At work I need to put it on vibrate since the lowest level of volume is a bit loud.
  • Movie quality is amazing. Youtube videos look awesome.
  • My emails look amazing since it does HTML email… however it still doesn’t load copy & pasted images. It also creates a vertical scroll sometimes depending on the message.
  • Internet speed is awesome since it’s 4G LTE.
  • The speakers are loud! This is really good for getting calls or watching video in semi-loud places. You can actually hear it!

Not So Cool:

  • The email client isn’t the easiest to understand. In fact, I don’t even know how to get to drafts yet. And the settings are hard to find and understand.
  • The settings in general are kinda hard to understand at first.
  • Connecting it to the computer the first time didn’t work. It wanted to install this Motorola software that ended up not working. Since I got the phone rooted, it comes up as two drives, which is exactly what I want and expect.
  • The weather thing didn’t work until I added a city to it.
  • Connecting to WiFi was a lot easier with my old phone. I didn’t need to know the Security thing.
  • There’s no way to clear all in your notifications.
  • I can’t get Skype to work (which is a problem with Skype and not the phone)… I need to figure out better video conference software… anyone have any suggestions?
  • The calendar isn’t as easy as it was in my old phone.
  • Not sure how to change my avatar on texts yet.
  • Desktop still doesn’t rotate.
  • The keyboard doesn’t have the quick keys on the asdfghjkl; like it did on my old phone. It’s taking some getting used to and I need to hit space then backspace to add a period/question mark after my sentence.

Now I have my phone rooted… I still need to figure out cool things I can do with that. I also have an app that should keep the root should I decide to upgrade to the next version of Android.

But all in all I’m loving the new phone so far. Everything’s fast. My island is doing well. It’s good. I’d give the phone 9/10.


The Other Crisis

Before I start this post which I’m sure a lot of people would say I’m wrong on… I would like to say how pathetic it is that our Senate couldn’t pass one of the poorest, weakest gun control bills ever. And, no offense, how stupid some people are who believe the lies from the NRA. It’s daft that a bill that could have saved some lives couldn’t get passed in our country.

Anyway, to start my thoughts about what happened in Boston… I understand this was a terrorist attack but I’m shocked that the explosion that happened in Texas didn’t get covered. In Texas, one of their fertilizer plants exploded and killed 14 people and injured 200. Five times the amount of people were killed in Texas than were killed in Boston. And twice as many were injured in Texas than in Boston… Yet the media, all they covered was Boston.

It’s very sad to hear in our country of business’ not being regulated enough that something happens which costs people their lives. The last time the fertilizer plant in Texas was inspected by Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was in 1985.  Almost thirty years ago.

Due to them not being inspected regularly, the plant could get away with having crappy safety standards, or no safety standards at all. This happens a lot in coal mining and oil. They either pay the fine or don’t do anything at all. The fines are less expensive than to actually implement safety standards for their employees. We saw another example of this recently with the pipeline explosion in Arkansas.

I can’t understand anyone being against this kind of regulation. I can’t understand how anyone can argue on the side of the business. We all want clean water, we all want safe cars, police, etc. We all don’t want to see people or animals hurt or killed. It’s just sad.

It makes me angry that these kinds of things can be prevented. It also makes me sad that more people died from a lack of government regulation than from a terrorist attack; however we’ll always remember Boston. Will anyone remember Texas?


No Glass Ceiling?

My husband, a loving Liberal, does not believe in the glass ceiling for women.

Reflecting on National Women’s Day, I think about how women have changed the work force. Although we have in major ways, I feel like it hasn’t been enough. The statistics simply do not show that women are making that much of an impact in breaking through the glass ceiling.

More women are now going to college and graduating than men. However, women still make less than their male colleagues in the same fields. Only 4% of Fortune 500 Company CEO’s are women. This year women hold only 97 (or 18.1%) of the 535 congressional seats (PDF – 663 KB) according to Center for American Women and Politics.

I think these kinds of barriers can be broken through confidence. I think that if we were to give girls at a young age the strength and confidence they can grow up to be as good (if not better) than their male colleagues. I feel this in my own life, for example, when I was applying for jobs. I wouldn’t dare apply for a job that I did not meet 100% of requirements. However, my husband has applied for jobs of which he’s had little experience.

I feel in order to break through this glass ceiling, women need to be given confidence at a young age. It would also help if we started to elect more women to congress and get more women in top positions, therefore providing more examples that we can do it.

Also to note I did a paper and presentation (PDF – 16 KB) about women in my own field (computer science) in college. The statistics and data haven’t changed much since then.