Oh no.

My list of RSS feeds I read on a regular basis is gone as my computer crashed.

So what am I going to do? It will be hard to reconstruct that list. I have significant lists that I read to keep myself up on various streams of interest.

Update: Hurray! It’s so wonderful to have a tech genius husband. He saved my preferences and I was able to get NetNewsWire for my computer again. Didn’t lose any of my blogs.

I Hate Google

Once again Google has decided that my teaching site is malware. So once again Google keeps my students from seeing the website. Stupid Google.

And Safari and Firefox buy into Google’s stupidity, so that I cannot work on my own website without getting malware notices that do not allow me to update my site.

I have switched to Opera as my default browser because of this. Stupid Safari and Firefox.

Interesting Reading

Australian “Angel” Saves Lives at Suicide Spot about a man who watches for the suicides, smiles at them, and invites them in for tea.

The Love Letters of John Wooden. He’s been writing his wife of 53 years a letter each month on the anniversary of her death. He’s been doing it for 25 years.

Things from the 50s that some of us older folks remember from the 60s and 70s. I remember 19 of them. (There are pictures, so it’s easy.)

17 Afghans have disappeared in the US. I hope they are looking for a good life and not to cause trouble.

The Hobbit of Flores was a direct descendant of Homo sapiens. The folks just got smaller in order to survive on the island. How do we know? There was major dwarfism and gigantism on the island for animals that were “normal” size off the island. Why should humanity be any different?

I do wonder, though, what the positive biology of getting smaller and less smart was. How did that help them survive on the island?

Benign Delusions

My wife and I often have very different recollections of events. And not just the little details. Sometimes our shared memories don’t even feature the same mammals, themes, or points. The scary part is that we don’t realize these differences until we have some reason to compare memories, which doesn’t come up that often. Every now and then there will some independent way to verify whose memory is accurate, and it is sobering to discover how many of the problems are on my end. A lot of my so-called life is apparently a patchwork of delusions.

The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.

From Scott Adam’s blog at Dilbert.

Sadness balances understanding

One of my all time favorite bloggers is retiring as a blogger. I can’t even comment on his last post to tell him I will miss his writing.

Before it goes away, you have a chance to go read the amazing things Varifrank wrote.

I’m going to be going through my blog and cutting and pasting the best of his work to the posts that talked about them. (Unless he comes here to tell me I can’t.– Don’t, please.)

I’m thinking he’s thinking things like this:

I spent the morning at an old friend’s grave
Flowers and ‘Amazing Grace’, he was a good man
He spent his whole life spinning his wheels
Never knowing how the real thing feels
He never took a chance or took the time to dance
And I stood there thinking, as I said goodbye
Today is the first day of the rest of my life

I’m gonna stop looking back and start moving on
Learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, without any net
That’s what I’m gonna be about
Yeah, I wanna be running
When the sand runs out

Cause people do it everyday
Promise themselves they’re gonna change
I’ve been there, but I’m changing from the inside out
That was then and this is now
I’m a new man, yeah, I’m a brand new man
And when they carve my stone, they’ll write these words
“Here lies a man who lived life for all that it’s worth”

I’m gonna stop looking back and start moving on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, without any net
That’s what I’m gonna be about
Yeah, I wanna be running
When the sand runs out

by Rascal Flatts

don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who’s who and so-n-so’s that used to be the best
At such’n’such … it wouldn’t matter much

I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…

Nicole Nordeman- Legacy

I wonder when we first bought into this
So satisfied with status quo
Have we convinced ourselves that this is all there is
Well all that is within me says we were meant to break free

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

We were never meant to compromise
Settle for mediocrity
This life was never meant to be a waste of time
Well all that is within me says no more just existing

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

No more complacency
No more just settling this time
Goodbye to atrophy
For we were meant to be alive
Alive
Alive

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Oh, Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

The one I first thought of, though, was Don’t Blink by Kenny Chesney.

Don’t blink
Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you’re twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your “better half”
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don’t blink

Enjoy the ride, Varifrank. Your thoughts and your words will be sorely missed.

Happy Friday the 13th!

I’m off work today, watching the dog, listening to the rain, and presently cold because my hot flashes dropped off just now.

I’ve read on the internet this morning and have seen no good news, except that I did see a wonderful blogger write about her life with a transparency that made me cry: The Anchoress Online.

And there were some funny billboards at Hot Air. One was the DNCs and the other was Ed’s and another reader’s. Funny, but sad (since it’s about politics and our economy).

“So this is Christmas”

Andrew Luckabaugh could hardly contain himself. The Fairfax County 9-year-old was aboard a Boeing 777 at Dulles International Airport, bound for the North Pole. Soon, he would be meeting Santa Claus and telling the big guy what he wants for Christmas this year.

Read the rest.

The whole song about “so this is Christmas” just sang in my head while I read this post.

You missed the debacle.

Since the blog was down, I was not able to write frantically about the water main to our house busting and filling the street.

So, just know it did. And we were without water when I really needed a shower. So I grabbed clothes and went to a friend’s house. (Thanks, friend!)

It’s supposedly fixed now, but the water is brown. Well, the hot water is brown. Hopefully it will clear up soon. My boys need showers and so does my hubby.

When you move, everything gets lost.

That’s what happened to my blog this week. Everything was moved to a dedicated host site and apparently the people changed settings when they moved it.

But it should all be fixed now. I certainly hope so anyway, because I need my blog.

Twitter

I admit it. I’m a luddite.

I joined Twitter, but I can’t figure out how to follow people. I’d Tweet this, but no one I know knows I am on.

I went to a poetry reading

and my style of poetry seems to be back in.

That made me sit down and write.

I am thinking about doing a poem a day. And posting them online. (Aren’t you lucky?)

I thought about getting a new domain name for it, but I am not that interested. If I keep it up for a year, then I might.

A diary for a non-linear thinker.

One of the bloggers I read regularly has written about his creation of a diary for himself which was “not linear.” He does a lot of thinking/brainstorming/planning and playing to come up with his visual diary. I enjoyed his discussion on the history of the days of the week and the pictures of his ultimate artistic endeavor in this venue. I’ve shared the post with friends who are diarists/journalists. And I thought I should share it with my online readers too.

Commenting on blogs

I have commented just a few times on a particular blogger’s posts. And at least once before my comment was removed from her post. I was confused, since I had been very polite and didn’t think what I said was bad.

But I just let it go and went on (after an extended period of sorrow and navel gazing to try and determine what I might have done to upset her in the comment). Then today I thought I would comment on a particular post. And the post was important enough that I went and re-read the post with comments later, in case some of the comments might be relevant to my situation. And AGAIN my comment wasn’t on the post.

I figured out, though, that if I went directly to the post, then my comment was visible. And in that view it is the only comment. But if I go to her website and read through it and find the comments, my comment does NOT appear.

I don’t know what is going on with that, but it was very odd.

I don’t know why it does that, but apparently it does.

A vicious and lightweight attack

Yes, an attack can be both vicious and lightweight.

The article begins:

I assume John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential partner in a fit of pique

We all know what assume does, right?

McCain vetted Palin. McCain looked at Palin. McCain chose Palin in a fit of brilliant political strategy.

the Republican money men refused to let him have the stuffed male shirt he really wanted.

Has this author ever heard of McCain? He does what he wants when he wants. I don’t think the Republican money men (whoever they were) would have much influence over who he chose. And I’m not sure they (whoever they are) would have seen the brilliance of the pick McCain made.

She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn’t already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America’s name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right.

Whoa! See what I mean by vicious? That’s in the first paragraph.

Yes, my vote was sewn up by the Republicans. I would rather potentially waste my vote on a candidate I didn’t like than not vote and perhaps risk being the tipping point for a candidate whose platform I vehemently oppose.

But I wasn’t giving money to the Republicans. I never have. Until the weekend Palin was chosen as VP. At that point, I saw that there was a chance we could win.

Am I white trash? I’m white. I’m a registered Republican. I am voting for McCain/Palin. I was energized by the Palin pick.

I’m also a PhD in rhetoric. I’m a homeschooling mother. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, Second Amendment sister, member of the NRA, concealed carry holder… Yes, I like Palin. A lot.

Am I white trash?

No.

And if Heather Malick (working for Canadian Broadcasting Company) thinks that Americans who are small government, prolife, pro-family, pro-gun, anti-ESCR, anti-human-caused-global-warming are white trash, then she really needs to get away and meet some people besides her friends.

sexual inadequates

When you don’t have anything that makes a point, always resort to unverifiable name calling. So that’s what she calls Republican men.

Er, thank you, but I know plenty of Republican men who aren’t sexual inadequates.

And, even if they were, so what? What does that have to do with anything except this author’s stereotyping?

It’s possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she’s a woman.

First of all, some women will. Not many, but some.

Just like some people will vote for a man just because of his race, or not vote for him for the same reason.

Second of all, she is disregarding the very real value that Palin brings to the ticket, conservatism. Women who are conservatives didn’t like McCain. He’s not, to our lights, a conservative, regardless of how the left viewed him before he turned out to have a chance to win the election.

Palin is a conservative. She’s a conservative on every issue that matters.

But do they not know that women have been trained to resent other women and that they only learn to suppress this by constantly berating themselves and reading columns like this one?

Er, no. Women have not been trained to resent other women. Why do you think that? Because some of us didn’t like Hillary Clinton? That wasn’t resentment; that was acknowledgement of the extreme differences in our beliefs.

Who trains women to resent other women? Their mothers? Not usually.

But maybe the answer is in her next sentence when she talks about “feminists.” She, she says, is a feminist who can understand that women can nurse hatred.

Anyone can do that. Men, women… It doesn’t matter. That’s different from being trained to something.

How can someone who SAYS she’s a feminist, then immediately say this!?

Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn’t even female really. She’s a type, and she comes in male form too.

No, Palin was not a sure choice. That made McCain’s pick of her gutsy and brilliant.

But there is no way I’m a member of Citizens for a Tackier America.

And what kind of feminist (maybe one trained to hate women?) would denigrate a woman simply for being popular?

Palin is a type? What type? Oh, you mean a white trash type?

There you are wrong. Palin is a person. Types are literary constructions. Believe me, if Palin were a construction, the press would have effectively shredded her by now. She’s not and they haven’t been able to.

You see, Palin is a person. She’s a Feminist for Life. (So am I.) She’s a mother. (So am I.) She’s a wife of twenty years. (So am I.) She’s hot. (So am I.) She’s smart. (So am I.) She’s a member of the NRA. (So am I.) She’s an avid hunter. (Not I.) She’s the mother of five. (Not I.) She’s been a union member. (Not of my own volition.) She’s a politician. (Not I.) She’s not a type. She’s a winsome, articulate, educated, self-directed, impressive woman.

That’s why Heather Malick doesn’t like her.

She’s too secure in herself. She didn’t get there on some guy’s coattails. She isn’t proabortion. She’s pro-small government. She sees she and her family have made something of themselves and want others to have the opportunity to make something too, on their own and only if they are willing to put out the effort.

She’s not a Democrat. That’s the only reason the vitrol spills from this article. Because Heather Malick doesn’t understand that “woman” doesn’t have to mean “Democrat.”

That’s not Palin’s problem. It’s Malick’s.

The author is wrong-headed on many more things, but this is all I can stand to deal with now.

A lefty is spammed

for saying what she believes. Read all about it at Advice Goddess

Just a teaser:

The worst thing about this for me is learning how naive I’ve been in pooh-poohing right-wingers when they tell me how the real fascists are on the left. Again, I take people as individuals, but I’ve learned that there are a whole lot of people who call themselves “progressives” and “liberals” who see speech they disagree with not as a reason to speak out themselves, but as a reason to work very hard to intimidate the person who’s spoken from speaking their mind again.