Twitter Messages

Tweet of the Moment …

https://twitter.com/#!/ExJon/status/186221602726346752

Earth Hour ………………….. *snort* HAHAHAHHAHAHA …

How about this – how about retraining yourself to conserve energy every day of the year? I know that Earth Hour is a day to remind people of that fact, but geez louise, people – sit in the dark for an hour?

Consider these …

Light brings safety. There are safer ways to make a statement and raise awareness than to create a controlled time when thieves and rapists know they will be harder to spot.

The energy spent raising awareness about Earth Hour just might cancel out the energy saved that hour.

It is perversely amusing to see thousands of Earth Hour adherents generate illumination during Earth Hour by lighting candles and making bonfires. Isn’t the very premise behind Earth Hour to REDUCE carbon emissions? Where is the logic in eschewing clean-burning electricity – and by the way, 96% of the electricity in the province of Ontario IS clean-generated – in favour of illumination obtained from a power source (i.e., open fire) that generates completely unfiltered CO2 emissions?

Indeed, most of the candles sold in Canada are made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct. Thus, illuminating one’s house with paraffin candles is equivalent to letting a diesel engine idle.

Oh, and how’s this for an inconvenient goof? Turning off the lights in a skyscraper only to reactivate those lights an hour later actually consumes MORE power than letting those lights remain on for the duration of that hour. Oh sure, it makes for a nifty photo op – but what, pray tell, is the point? Is Earth Hour simply about feel-good optics rather than tangible solutions?
Source: Huffington Post of all things

But hey, if participating makes you feel good, knock yourself out.

Life-condensed

I’ve Sort of Been Obsessed by These Lately …

… YouTube makeup tutorials.

I know, right??

I’ve never really been a “girly girl,” though I do like to get cleaned up occasionally and look nice. The thing is, I’m almost 47 years old and I STILL really don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to makeup. (Or clothes, for that matter). I mean, I can apply it, but we’re talking basics. I have no skills when it comes to getting creative with makeup. One of my earliest roommates was a pro at hair and makeup. I always admired the way she applied eye shadow and to this day, her hair ALWAYS looks nice (we’re friends on Facebook). The woman NEVER looks bad – how is that possible?!?

But I watched her, a lot. She probably thought it was creepy, the way I would watch her, but I learned a lot from her without her actually “teaching” me.

But still. The basics.

I don’t know why, it doesn’t make any sense, but I’ve been wanting to try false eyelashes. I don’t know, they’re sexy. I have no idea where I would wear them other than work and how weird would that be for me to show up to work one day with false eyelashes on (though don’t put it past me – I might just do that someday).

The problem? I have NO idea how to apply them. And they’re not going to rip out any of my existing lashes, right? Because I don’t have a lot to lose to begin with.

And lipstick? I’ve ALWAYS had a fascination with lipstick but I haven’t played around with them very much because they’re a crap shoot. They’re expensive to begin with and what if you buy the wrong color?

Money wasted.

And there’s another problem I have – I have no color concept at all. I’m not color blind, but when it comes to shades and what looks good with my skin color – I’m a complete newb.

And then there’s the problem of applying it. I always put too much on and it globs and then it smears and it just looks gross. So I’d like to learn some tips on how to apply it and make it STICK.

I’ve been watching this gal’s makeup tutorials. She has a lot of really neat tips and tricks, but the whole time I’m watching these videos, I’m thinking in the back of my head, “Geez, how much money has she spent on all of this makeup?

When Kevin was in the hospital in Columbia getting his pelvis rebuilt, me and MIL lived in the hospital. And part of the luggage that my MIL brought along was her makeup bag … correction, CASE. That sucker was the size of a small suitcase. And here I was, with my puny little makeup bag. Though I have no desire to reach the point where I have to carry a suitcase around to house my makeup, I’d still like to experiment a bit and break out of my same-ole-same-ole.

I think I’m going to buy some false lashes and maybe a soft, neutral shade of lipstick to practice with. If I have enough courage, I might vlog it or take some pictures.

If nothing else, it might amuse you to see how BAD I am at playing the “girl” card.

Chicago

So … About Our Chicago Trip … Part One

We didn’t really have a reason to go to Chicago – in fact, I hadn’t really aspired to go to Chicago in my lifetime. The biggest reason I chose Chicago was because it was simply a destination on the Amtrak route and I thought, “what the heck. Why not.” And since the whole purpose behind the trip was to experience the Amtrak train … we went to Chicago.

And I chose Amtrak mainly because when I started thinking about our last big family “hurrah”, (not implying that the boys will never go on vacation with us again, but let’s be real – they’re [nearly] 20 [!] and 17, and we’re reaching a point where they don’t really WANT to hang out with mom or dad anymore … which is normal. I get it), I wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy. And by everyone, I mean Dude.

Dude HATES to fly. He used to be deathly afraid of it. And though it still scares him a bit, we’ve been on so many flights now that he at least doesn’t feel like he wants to vomit whenever we fly anywhere anymore.

Both boys used to be crazy about trains. Especially Dude. When Dude was about three, he was absolutely OBSESSED with trains. Whenever he was around trains, he would actually tremble with excitement. And when we set up the train tracks, he would sit for hours and simply watch them go around and around.

It was almost spooky how obsessive he was. (I wish he would get obsessive about his future, but that’s another post).

Jazz was also crazy about trains. Though not AS crazy as Dude. He was really into the Thomas Trains and in fact, we have a huge plastic tub of Thomas trains/tracks that I have INSISTED on keeping so our grandkids could play with them someday. (Though from the sounds of it, I might only get grandkids from Jazz because Dude is pretty adamant about NOT wanting kids. This attitude sort of crushes me [did I sour my son on kids because of the mistakes I’ve made with him? I worry about this], but I’m hoping he outgrows it. Because after all, I felt the same way when I was his age. Kids were okay, as long as they were someone else’s).

I remember my mom telling me how much she and my dad enjoyed riding the train down around the Branson area and I thought, “Amtrak! That would be a different sort of experience.” And that’s when I started looking into Amtrak routes, etc.

Since there isn’t an Amtrak station in Springfield, I started looking at St. Louis and voila! Chicago was a nearby destination.

That was the thought process behind going to Chicago. No offense to Chicagoians, but I hadn’t really thought of making a trip up there until that moment.

Let me preface this trip account by saying, we enjoyed the train ride. Yes. It was LONG. (Five and a half hours to get from St. Louis to Chicago). But it wasn’t AS long on the way back and I think it was mainly because I kept myself busy. I had a little trouble reading on the train at first, it sways and is sort of bumpy, and I had a little trouble focusing on the words, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t that bad. Even though I get motion sickness being a passenger in a car going across town, I never once felt nauseous on the train. And I think it was mainly because we could get up and move around and the area was so big and comfy that I didn’t feel cramped or closed in.

Riding the train is cheap. I don’t mind telling you that it cost $200 dollars for all four of us round trip. That’s about a 1/8 of what it would cost to fly. So, if you can endure the time factor, and just prepare yourself to keep yourself busy the entire trip, it’s quite worth it and we will definitely ride Amtrak again in the future.

I was a little worried about the type of people who would ride the train; it is public transportation, after all. And I’m sorry if that makes me sound like a snob, but I’m just keeping it real here – you know there are always those “odd” people who seem to gravitate toward public transportation, but quite honestly, it was simply regular janes and joes and everyone was quite respectful of everyone else’s space. In fact, I was surprised by how quiet everyone was (though there were the two college-aged girls that sat directly behind me and Kevin and who would NOT SHUT UP the ENTIRE TRIP back to St. Louis. And I must have counted A MINIMUM of 500 “ums” and “likes” in their conversation. Really girls? How about helping to dispel the whole valley-girl college image by using adult language. Thanks).

We rode the Texas Eagle train up to Chicago. It was a double decker sort of thing and though it was cooler than the Lincoln Service train we rode back, it was more cramped. The Texas Eagle had a scenery car and a dining car and Kevin and I sat in the scenery car on the way up to Chicago, though there wasn’t that much to admire since the weather was overcast and rainy on the trip up there.

There weren’t that many little kids on the train, but the few that were on there really seemed to love it. I think the parents loved it, too, because the kids could run around and they didn’t have to stress about losing them – where were they going to go? It was a relatively safe place for them to stretch their legs.

We didn’t take advantage of the dining car. The meals were extra and though we still had to pay extra for the snacks on the snack car, the prices weren’t that bad, really. They also gave away small bottles of water so overall, I was pretty happy with the food choices.

You had to go downstairs to use the restroom (on the Texas Eagle – the Lincoln Service was just a one-level train), and the restrooms are like airplane restrooms. Unfortunately, I was in the restroom quite a bit on the way up there as Mother Nature seemed determined to mess with me at that specific point in time, but that’s TMI and moving on …

No Wi-Fi on the train. That sort of sucked. In fact, it would have been pretty AWESOME to have Wi-Fi but oh well. You can’t have everything. The boys spent most of their time fooling with their 3DS’s, listening to music or sleeping.

In fact, it was sort of hard NOT to sleep on the train. With the constant rocking back and forth, it was hypnotic and whenever you walked through the cars to get to the scenery/snack cars, there were a lot of people stretched out and fast asleep. (The train had quite a few people, but there was still enough seats where you could claim two seats to yourself and since there were no armrests between the seats, you could actually lay down and go to sleep).

I had meant to take some pictures on the train, but I just never got around to doing it. (I was pretty distracted fighting off Mother Nature on the way up there and on the way back … well … I don’t really know why I didn’t on the way back – lazy I guess). I felt a little weird taking pictures, I guess, because there were so many people and the few pictures that Kevin took with his phone sort of made the people around us uncomfortable and in fact, one guy moved away from us.

So boo – I dropped the photographer ball on that one.

So that’s my overall impression/thoughts on the train ride. I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to spend the time to get somewhere. It’s like driving somewhere, but WAY more relaxing and comfortable. The prices are reasonable and as long as you take plenty to occupy yourself, it’s not that bad at all.

Next, I’ll tell you about the crazy man in the St. Louis train station who would not stop doing chair exercises and about the guy who asked Jazz if he had any weed on him.

And the weather? Was not that nice to us.

More later …

Work Stuff

This is What Happens When You Don’t Read Your Emails Very Carefully

You show up to a company meeting at 7:30 when it’s actually at 11:30.

AAAARGGHHH!!!!

I got up an hour early. I ran my butt off to get ready in time. I EVEN BOUGHT BAGELS!! And I drive into the parking lot and it’s like, “what the hell?? Where is everyone?”

And yet. I still go into the building. Why? Because the last time we had a 7:30 meeting, I was the first to arrive. Then, 7:30 came and went and STILL, no one was there except me and my boss. And finally, at about 7:45, people starting filing in.

So I thought, “Hmm. Maybe everyone is late, AGAIN.”

I walk into the building. The lights are off.

This is not a good sign, I think to myself.

I sign onto my computer and bring up the email about the meeting.

11:30!!

AAAARGGHHH!!!!

I was so embarrassed, that I hid in a bathroom so the early morning gal, the gal who comes in and turns on computers and lights, wouldn’t see me. I think I might have gotten away with what little dignity I have left.

So, lesson friends, read your emails.

Don’t skim them, like me.

*sigh* I’m such an idiot.

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Quadropus

Quadropus

Got a single glove and no hope of finding its match? Some easy sewing will transform it into a four-legged octopus.

Materials

Single glove
Needle and thread
Dry rice
Hot glue
Large pom-pom
Buttons
Wire
Ribbon
Felt

Instructions

First, tuck the thumb inside the glove and use a needle and thread (an embroidery needle works fine) to sew it shut. Fill the glove with dry rice, then tuck the cuff inside.

Stitch all along the cuff’s edge, then pull the thread tightly to close the top. Knot the thread.

Sew or hot-glue a large pom-pom to the top of the glove. At the base of the quadropus — where the glove’s fingers attach to the palm — pinch the sides together and sew a few stitches to hold them. This will help make the body rounder.

To make the tentacles, attach buttons to the undersides of the four fingers with hot glue. Sew or hot-glue on button eyes and a felt mouth. Make earrings by threading stacks of buttons onto pieces of wire; tie ribbon around the pom-pom for a head scarf, or add a felt brim to the pom-pom for a hat.

Work Stuff

Helping Our Veterans Shouldn’t Be This Difficult

The doctors I schedule for help a lot of veterans.

Which … cool.

Only. Any time we do anything for them, we have to run it be the VA office/organization so that they (we) will pay for their office visits and any tests that need to be done.

I’m totally cool with that. In fact, I would RATHER pay for our veterans, men and women who have sacrificed their LIVES in order to serve our country than say, people who sit around with laminated homeless signs and beg for a living.

(True story. We passed a man on the streets of Chicago with a laminated homeless sign. Now look. I realize that people fall on hard times. But there are so many programs, charities, churches that exist for THE SOLE PURPOSE of helping these people get back on their feet and off the streets. But let’s be real – when you have taken the time to seek out/make a laminated homeless sign, that tells me that you’re not really looking to get back on your feet but are perfectly happy to beg for a living. And THAT, I have a problem with).

Our veterans SHOULD be taken care of. We owe them. Period. But I get so frustrated with the process. There is so much red tape to go through – needless red tape. It takes FOR.EVAR to get anything approved for our veterans and it just shouldn’t be that way. These brave men and women not only deserve to be taken care of, they deserve to be taken care of in a TIMELY manner.

And trying to get physical therapy approved for our veterans is darn near impossible. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Because the whole reason they come to our doctors is so they can heal and get better and what better way for that to happen than to be taught how to strengthen their weak spots and make them whole again??

It’s all so ass backward.

And the vets that visit our clinic? Are the nicest people!! They are always so pleasant and respectful … it just breaks my heart that it takes SO LONG to help them.

Life-condensed

Guess Who Turned 17 While I Wasn’t Looking …

JAZZ!!

IMG_1236

(The first thing he said when he saw the cookie cake with the train? “You know I AM 17, right??” HA! I know it’s a little childish, but I figured since we just got off a train … ?)

My youngest son is now one year from being a legal adult.

I can’t even stop to fathom that – I mean, doesn’t that mean I’m old??

Don’t answer that.

We went to Chicago for his birthday. (Well, not really for his birthday, per se, but we told him that. However, how many teenagers can say they rode the Amtrak train for five hours on their birthdays…. hmmm??)

When we got back into town, we headed over to my in-laws for cookie cake. My MIL picked up the cookie cake and we told Jazz we were going over there to pick up some tax return stuff.

He didn’t buy it, of course.

“I just think this is an excuse for ma-ma and pa-pa to see me,” he said.

Can’t get anything by this kid!

We didn’t stay long. We had, after all, just been on a train for five hours and a car for an additional three hours so we were all pretty pooped. But it was a fun break and I didn’t feel guilty for NOT getting the kid a cookie cake.

The boy likes his cookie cakes.

IMG_1243

Happy 17th birthday, Jazz! We adore you!

Work Stuff

I Will Not Be Bullied. Period.

Kevin sent me a link at work today …

Number of Flu Cases Drops by 50 Percent in Greene County MO
(Springfield, MO) — The number of reported flu cases in Greene County is now on the decline after a two-week peak period.

On Tuesday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported 71 cases from March 18-24, 2012.

That’s down from 138 the previous period and 137 the week before that. A majority of the cases have been Influenza A.

Out of the recent 71 cases, 16 of them were among residents ages 5-14. Fifteen were between 15-24 years old.

There have been 479 reported flu cases in Greene County since September 18, 2011.

Shortly after he sent me this article, we got a company-wide email stating that the suspensions had been put on “hold.” But they still reserved the right to implement the plan if the numbers rose in the next few weeks.

*snort*

And can you believe that 479 people out of 275,000 people in my county constitutes an “epidemic??”

Really?

I have become the clinic mascot over this thing. I had a nurse stop me today to ask me if I had heard anything. I was the only person in the entire clinic who hadn’t taken the flu vaccine. And the final tally? Ninety-five percent of the employees at the hospital I work for had taken the flu vaccine.

That’s a lot of cattle mindlessly sticking their arms out for a shot of poison.

The conversations have been interesting these past few days. This was the first year that the hospital had implemented their new policy and from the sounds of it, they have some major tweaking to do. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects NEXT flu seasons round of poison vaccinations.

I’m pretty sure I’ve annoyed a few people at work with my talk, and firm disbelief, in this whole vaccination process. Some of these people have been getting flu vaccines for 30+ years and they don’t exactly appreciate my speculation on a possible correlation between getting vaccines every year and all of these mysterious diseases that we haven’t found cures for and no one knows where they originate.

I’m not saying there IS a correlation, but can you confidently tell me there isn’t some sort of connection??

Food for thought.

I also think people are a little annoyed that I wasn’t reprimanded in some way. Though I don’t think they WANTED me to get in trouble, I think they were EXPECTING it and when I didn’t, they were annoyed. After all, if this all washes under the bridge, then what’s to stop more people from refusing the vaccine next go-around?

At any rate, it looks like my job is safe … for now. I’ll stop talking about it … for now.

But just know this – you take my choice away or try and bully me into doing something I think is morally wrong and unnecessary? I will fight you tooth and nail.

Period.

Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos?

by Dan Gallagher
The most common Scripture that people refer to regarding the use of tattoos is Leviticus 19:28, “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.” Although this seems clear in the New International Version of the Bible, we will gain a better understanding of this verse by looking at the actual Hebrew from which it is translated.

This audio teaching will cover these main points: It’s a Matter of the Heart, Wrong Motives, The Motive of Rebellion, The Motive of Rejection, Tattoos Will Not Change Who You “Really Are,” What Should I do if I Have an Ungodly Tattoo?, “Captured Flags of the Enemy,” and Seven Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo.

Click the arrow to listen.

Related Article

Video Series

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Facebook
Twitter
MySpace
YouTube
iTunes
Amazon
iPhone

Politics

Are You Thinking for Yourself? Or Are You Allowing Others to Think For You?

If you haven’t been paying attention, if you haven’t been reading, listening, watching the debate about Obamacare, then you’re a poor excuse for an American. Because we have reached a critical moment in our American history. We’re on the precipice of fundamental change. The question is, how many of us will sit on our asses and allow it to happen?

Not me.

Dude. *tap-tap-tap* You. Yeah, you. Are you paying attention? Turn off your reality smut-TV for a moment and pay attention to what is going on – it’s ugly and it’s going to affect you PERSONALLY very, very soon.

Let me tell you something, whether you like Mark Levin or not, you should listen to him right now. He has been dissecting the debate in the Supreme Court and it’s terribly interesting. It’s especially interesting to listen to Mr. Levin’s opinions because he’s a Constitutional lawyer and knows what the hell he’s talking about.

I’ll tell you something else – I’m so thankful that this is happening now, in the age of the Internet and blogs, because a lot of this information is coming from the Internet and blogs and NOT from “traditional” news outlets. Why? Because news “outlets” only spoon feed you what they want you to know. At least now, the information is out there, if only people would click outside their Huffington Posts and New York Times and read it.

Knowledge is POWER, people. Try it sometime.

Obamacare: Two Years Later, 2 Million More Are Projected to Lose Insurance

Obamacare oral arugment

Obama: Mandate is Not a Tax, It’s a Penalty
(Unless you’re arguing in court and then it’s not a “tax”, but a “penalty.” So, I guess it depends on the venue as far as what it’s called. Either way, it’s not good for us, the people).

Health care law endures tough questioning from swing justice at Supreme Court showdown

Kennedy: Individual Mandate Fundamentally Changes Relationship Of Gov’t

Justice Roberts: Can the government make you buy a cell phone?
(Why not? Why stop there? And the government WON’T stop there, people. THAT’S THE FREAKING POINT!!!!!!!)

Solicitor General Coughs, Stumbles, Stutters Through ObamaCare Defense

Justice Scalia to Obama’s solicitor general: ‘We’re not stupid’

Be sure to read the comments on these articles – they’re even more interesting than the articles themselves.

And for the love of God, THINK FOR YOURSELVES. Stop relying on the government to tell you what is good for YOUR life.