Sunday, July 14, 2013

With Great Consequence, the World Spins On

We are having some unexpectedly "cool" temps and rain in Texas this week, and it is wonderful! But rainy days give us much to ponder. For example, yesterday Abigail and I took a walk in the early morning hours. Some of our neighbors in the area have learned to run their sprinkler systems in the hours before ten, and so there were puddles in the street from their sprinklers. Good, clean, tap water. Abigail did not drink from them. Even toward the end of our third mile. But when we were nearly home, there was a trench that appeared to have been dug into the mud when a car jumped the curb, and it had filled with water from rain this past Thursday. She planted herself in that muddy water, and drank deeply from it. I've asked this before, why she who shivers at bath time as if she is being beaten, will drink as if parched and dying from thirst from the muddiest puddle she can find. I must conclude that there is something animals driven by instinct can taste in the minerals from the mud that they like or need. Any other theories, or any studies to answer this one? We do put mud masks on our faces-maybe they know something we don't about drinking mud?

And can anyone tell me the why of all our vitamins, and now some actual medicines, such as indigestion treatments, being in the form of gummie candies? I had some jelly candies at a British themed shop yesterday, and I'm just not crazy about the texture. What gives?

There is a very handsome guy who narrates some TV programming on channels I like to watch (Discovery, The Science Channel) who also shills for a certain car manufacturer. They are now advertising a large "dollars off" promotion on oil changes, with a mail in rebate. Why don't they just have a sale? Do they use a mail in rebate because they know some consumers will find that to be too much trouble, and they won't take the dollars off?

I went to the grocery store last week, and noticed a new shop in the perimeter stores around the Super Target in my neighborhood. It is an "E-cigarette" shop. I know some heavy duty (3 pack a day) smokers who gave up smoking using e-cigarettes, and that's what I thought they were for. But I also know someone who had a job interview a a famous "breast-aurant" and she told me that the wait staff were all in the break room smoking e-cigs as she was leaving. So are these thing a tool to quit smoking, or a way around smoking bans? Are they now a trendy thing to do, like a hookah bar? Am I so out of the "cool" loop?

I have overheard a couple of conversations at work recently that truly bothered me. One had to do with jury duty. I have never heard anyone talk about jury duty who feels, as I do, that this is the obligation of a voter who believes in our constitution. Everyone I've ever heard talk about jury duty complains vehemently of what a disruption in their lives it is. (Pardon me, please, if you've heard this before,) but I have been registered to vote since the Ford administration, and have never, ever been called. And I would be honored to serve my community as a "jury of peers" called to administer justice. Yes, it would disrupt my regular schedule, and my pay. But it is also what the framers of our constitution set as the way of guaranteeing justice (though it sometimes fails) is not administered by a ruling class who has no idea what the stories of our lives might lead us to do. An impartial "jury of my peers" is an important part of our democracy, and I wish more people would see it as such. We can all find ways to be thrown off a jury if we wish. But if you were accused of a crime, wouldn't you rather have people who understand your life, and don't look down on you from some ivory tower judging your guilt or innocence?

Another overheard conversation was from a coworker whose husband was in an accident in which he struck a horse with his car. She was ranting angrily that so many people's first question was, "Is the horse okay?" "How could they not care about him being in a car accident," she asked. Here is my take: Her first comment was NOT, "My husband is in the hospital because of a car accident." It was not, "My husband was killed in a car wreck." So it was clear from the get-go that he was not seriously, if at all, injured. If he had been killed or seriously injured, she would have been with him, and not there to talk about the accident, and her friends, family and coworkers would have heard about it from someone else. In that case, our first response would have been, "Poor ___." That is my first comment. Secondly, her husband was surrounded by 2000 pounds of metal with support beams, seat belts and airbags to protect him. The horse's body was struck directly by that 2000 pounds of metal. Who had the greater chance of being seriously injured or killed? When I lived in the corn belt, every year I saw the result or heard of people I knew who were involved in accidents with deer. The bodies of the deer were always left as evidence all over the highway. The cars were usually seriously damaged, and the humans were almost never seriously, if at all, injured. The biggest losers in this equation are always the animals, who have no protection from these killing machines that we drive around in. Yes, insurance rates go up. But the animals lose their lives, not the humans. Can we consider this before we get our feelings hurt that people ask if the animal is hurt, when it is fairly clear from the beginning that the human is okay?

My blessed state, with its colorful characters, and history, and beautiful mix of landscape and climates, and diversity of pioneering peoples-the Germans, The Scots, the Mexicans, etc.!!! We have been so much in the news lately, and for all the wrongest of reasons!!! Our legislators confiscate tampons and not guns in a heated debate about a horrible anti-choice bill being foisted upon the women of our state by a majority white male, majority bible-thumping legislature. We have been a laughing stock before, thanks to our moronic governor, who is trying hard to stake out his claim on a hyper-conservative national base for a presidential run in 2016. This is a man who shot a coyote for "menacing" his large golden retriever on a run, when he was running with a cadre of gun-toting Texas Ranger security people, and was never questioned for the lack of veracity of his story by anyone, despite the fact that his story completely lacked veracity. He is an embarrassment to anyone who treasures truth, intelligence or integrity. But enough of that-he won't  be our governor anymore after next year, so he's America's problem, and he's about to find out what a tiny minority the Tea Party actually is in Greater America. So, I want to talk about the Second Amendment as practiced in Texas. Texans, male and female, love their guns, and see our state as a place where the Old West is alive and well. I know a woman who recently got her CHL (concealed handgun license) and was proud enough to all but take it out and show it to us all at a recent lunch. Good for her. I have no problem with her carrying a gun for protection, and I'm glad she took the responsible path to have one. I hope she never has to use it, but in case she does, she's covered. Unless she's on a trip to Florida, and shoots a warning shot hoping to use their "Stand Your Ground" law. But I digress. The Texas state legislature has some women in it, and some people of color, but it is primarily white and male. These particular white males long for a time when women were seen and not heard, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. They continue to jam through legislation based on their fantasy world, and even though some voices stand up and make some noise, they are drowned out and out voted. It is not going to be long before these men are going to wake up and realize that lots of women in Texas carry guns. And they will be legitimately afraid of that contingent of women in Texas. They are going to take up legislation to ban the CHL for women, because they are not going to want, no matter how much a minority of women in Texas may be pro-choice AND pro-second amendment they may be, and bunch of pissed off, armed women running around this great state. So, ARMED women of Texas BEWARE!!!! They've come for your choice, next they are coming for your guns. Governor Rick Perry doesn't have much time left, and he can't have you running loose with his infuriating miscarriages of justice for women forced into law late in the evening on a weekend being left to digest. If we don't rise up now,  we may never be able to. It's time to bring Texas into the 21st century. Am I wrong? Dare we wait to find out? Whatever else we do, we can't let them convince us that this has anything at all abortion. It doesn't, in fact, most folks who are pro choice don't like abortion. It has to do with keeping us under control. They may cloak it in lovely language about looking after women's health, but when a "Good Ole Boy" tells us we need him to look after us, remember who Texas women are, and that we may or may not be armed, but they don't really want to mess with us. We can look after our own "health care choices," thank you very much.


Yer Cousin Carrie said...

I use an e-cigarette, especially at work when I can't step out the backdoor or when I'm using the company car that you can't smoke in.

(Yeah I'm smoking again)It's a life saver for me, or I'd go crazy. You can buy flavors, pretty much any flavor you want. I didn't like the fruity flavors, I like the ones that replicated tobacco flavors, I've never been a menthol smoker so flavored doesn't do a lot for me. That being said, when I had flavor at my disposal, it's fun to use the dessert flavored ones in public, so that it at least smells good. I went to a live show in St. Louis and used a cinnamon roll flavored cig and the lady next to me said that she was going to complain about it when I took it out but then realized that it wasn't a cigarette and she enjoyed smelling the vapor. That's the thing, that's not smoke coming out, it's just water vapor with flavoring in it. The nicotine in the e-juice doesn't come out with the vapor.

I can't seem to just stop, even though I really like the e-cig. There are so many kinds of them, the cheapo kind that are disposable, there are the kind that you can replace the tips on and recharge the battery part and then there are the kind that you have to "twiddle" with all the time. That's what we had when I was married. Blah, too much work, you have to buy e-liquids to put in a filter, and then drip the e-liquid onto the filter all day so you don't lose Vapor. Frankly at this point I'll just keep with the one that you buy tips for.

They ARE a good thing, IMHO, because for some people it is incredibly hard to quit smoking, those of us with a higher chance of having addictions to something. I've smoked since I was 13 and have only not smoked for about 5 months since then. The addiction to cigarettes isn't in the nicotine so much as all the other chemicals that are in the cigs.

There is a whole subculture of e-cig folks who make their own super e-cigs, and hundreds of different ways to make e-liquid, recipes, (my ex-husband made a recipe for an e-liquid that tasted EXACTLY like a Root Beer Barrel that I loved, but it was more of a treat than my regular vape) places to order their batteries, to order their e-liquid, you can go to certain places that deal with e-cigs and buy bottles of pure nicotine. It's expensive, it's highly dangerous, you have to work with it outside, with a fan blowing on you, and gloves and well I just think it's best left to professionals.

I have the set up to do my own at the moment, but it's old stuff now, the liquids I have are old now so they wouldn't work right anyway.

Yeah, people are probably using the e-cigs to get out of the smoking ban and when they leave work, they light up. I do it, as I said, and I've done it in front of customers and nobody has said a thing.

Vonnie Shallenberger said...

Thanks for the info, Carrie! I think I would find my hubby's inability to quit less loathsome if he would use the e-cigs because I wouldn't have to deal with the smell.

Yer Cousin Carrie said...

Vonnie, buy him a disposable and ask him just to TRY it. Tell him I asked him to. If you do it right, and I have, you can switch from cigs to e-cigs pretty easily. At this time, I'm not quite ready.

it will be soon though.

Vonnie Shallenberger said...

Will do!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I'd ask about the horse too!