Early voting started here yesterday and turnout was heavy.  I have hope that TX might not be such a red state this time.  We have no dog in this hunt as it were.  No one on the top of either ticket is from here, and well I would hope that voters got informed about both major parties candidates.  And honestly we cannot afford more of the same here any more.  I would love to see TX flip over to blue this time.  I don't expect it, but yeah I would love to see it happen.

I for one am waiting to see what the McShame/Palin campaign make of Obama going to HI to see his sick grandmother this week.  Part of me is thinking they can't sink any lower, but then again they've sunk lower than I expected, so yeah ... they can.  I am hoping for Senator Obama's sake that she recovers but that he's going there doesn't look too hopeful at all.  

That said I am absolutely amazed at the sliming of General Colin Powell by the republicans since he endorsed Obama.  I am very impressed with the endorsement and his calling out the republican campaign on their smear tactics but damn this man is beyond party.  He's one who many democrats would've crossed party lines to vote for, had he run himself.  Powell gave a very thoughtful nuanced set of reasons for endorsing Barack Obama and race was not part of it.  He also had a very good answer for the 'socialist' thing they've been laying on Obama.  He made the point that taxes are always a redistribution of money.  Taxes pay our Soldiers, they pave our roads,  they put cops on the street, books in the schools and pay our teachers.  Taxes aren't a bad thing even though no one I know likes them much.  

For people like McCain and Palin to make the statements they make about taxes show me they don't have a flipping clue about what the country needs or wants.  They just need to go away.  I HOPE like hell I don't ever hear of Palin again after this election and I hope like hell that the good voters of Arizona vote McCain out when he runs for the senate again or he just retires on his own.  They are both behaving badly, and we just don't need that right now.  I've developed more than a little contempt for them and their campaign.  Some of the crap Palin has spewed has done nothing but piss me off.  I am appalled at the idea that some parts of the US are more American than others.  I find myself cursing more about the racist subtext of their campaign than I ever did about either of the Bushes, and I loathed W with a passion that only one who'd lost a job thanks to him could feel.  When I voted against W it was damned personal, I liked that job!  But McCain and Palin have hit me to a level of dislike bordering on outright hate that even he could not reach.

When did LIberal become a bad word in the US?  When did the idea of fairness, decency and honor become something to laugh at?  I grew up in a very liberal family.  We loathed Reagan and the voodoo economics he espoused.  We hated the demonisation of Affirmative Action that happened on his watch.  We watched our incomes flatline and our bills increase.  My mother told me once that the assassination of Dr. King broke her heart.  I told her the killing of George Moscone and Harvey Milk broke mine.  And we watched the 'angry white men' have their way and their say with voices like Rush Limbaugh who never ever spoke for me or mine.  Rush Limbaugh, the Josef Goebbels of the right wing.  Gods I loathe that man.  

The republican party is imploding and part of me is gleeful at its' implosion.  They've done so much damage with the divisiveness and bullshit of the Rove machine.  I want them to go away and reinvent themselves and get some credibility.  But mainly I want them to go away.  I want Palin to go home and take care of her kids and shut the hell up about taking my choices and my kid's choices away.  I want McCain to go away and get over himself.  I want the makeup of the Supreme Court changed to a bit more center-liberal.  I want so much for a better polity and I want all that damned hate that they stirred up to die with the generation it appeals to. I want the politics of hope, and as I've said Senator Obama has that.  

Roomie asked me why I support Obama, and I told him it's because he speaks to me.  The white woman who married black.  The veteran who still gets asked at the VA, 'where's the vet?'.  The mother of biracial children who see a biracial man poised to take it all.  And the woman who never thought melanin was all that damned important when the dream exists and the attainment is possible.  Someone who wants our politicians to appeal to our best selves, not the baser selves.  We've already been there, done that.  Time for change.  Time for hope.  And damn sure time for a difference.
No problem here. I DON'T want John McCain in my living room on those pre-emptions. I can deal with Obama.  His voice isn't extreme or unpleasant. A nd his demeanor and public appearance is one I can put up with.  McCain?  Not so much. Am I an elitest?  I really don't think I am, but I don't see Palin as someone I want in charge at all.  She is too ignorant of what is going on in the lower 48 to me.  I can accept the biracial dude because in many ways I understant him.  I raised biracial kids, I know what the color line means to them and why self identifyying one way can and does make a difference.  I also understand nuances.  I understand the 'one drop rule' that makes my blond haired blue eyed son 'black' on his dog tags in the military when his mother is proudly Irish-American and his father has pride in his slave roots.

Was this a game changer for John McCain? Probably not. The trend is already in action and it's against him.  He won't win unless some sort of chicanery hits, and that unfortunately is possible.  It'd already happened in 2000 and 2004.  I truly believe the election process HAS been coopted by the right in the US with voter supression and other means including purging the polls. The accusations against ACORN are just filler here while they work behind the scenes to disenfranchise as many as they can who disagree with them.  Will it work?  God I hope not.

It's time for change.  It is time for Americans to take back their government.  It's time to undemonise certain words, like Liberal and progressive.  It's time to put the people first instead of the special interests.  
I have a bumper sticker from the last election sitting in a drawer here.  I never put it on the car because my roommate is actually a republican.  The slogan? 'Republicans for Voldemort'.  It was popular in the last election.  Roomie's ex wife countered there should be one that said 'Democrats for Umbridge'.  Right about now that bumpersticker is looking more appropriate.

I had the thought earlier that Palin reminded me of Bellatrix LeStrange, but then I realised something.  Bella was actually very competent at what she did.  Batshit insane but bloody competent at being a DE.  Poor Sarah isn't.  Not really.  She claims that because some Alaskans can see Russia and that because her state is bordered by two foreign countries she has expertise in foreign affairs.  Hmm I lived in military housing in Munich Germany for 3yrs.  Does that make me a foreign policy expert? Or does that make me an expert on government housing since I not only lived in it there, I lived in it in Georgia(our state Georgia) and here in Texas.  I don't think so myself, but hey if she can puff up her resume, why the hell can't I? Oh right, it's dishonest.

McCain said he knows veterans and they know him and he loves them and they love him.  Funny that.  The major veteran's organisations give him failing grades for consistently voting against us.  Yes I am a vet as I have stated on many occasions in this journal.  I don't feel the love from a man who has canned his whole Viet Nam experience into a platform to launch himself as a politician.  Most vets I know who went to Nam don't talk much about it.  The vets I know from the first gulf war don't talk much about it, same with the current batch.  He promises 100% honesty in his campaign, he reiterated that on monday in Des Moines IA, but his campaign airs ads that are quite bluntly untruthful and gets downright pissed when called on it.  Swears up and down they are the truth.  Makes you wonder what color his sky is in the morning. He reminds me of Cornelius Fudge, the minister of magic who denied the truth of Voldemort's return for an entire book which gave him time to rebuild his operation and continue infiltrating his government.  

But these are not fictional characters and I find myself less tolerant of them because of it.  To me this yr the republican ticket is frankly scary as hell.  They want us to elect a 72yr old man with 1100 pages of medical records, who has had 3 separate bouts of cancer? And a 44yr old ex beauty queen who governs a state with a population roughly equal to Austin TX? They want us to vote for a man known for a bad temper and a woman who can't string a sentence together that isn't a talking point that makes sense.  A woman who can't even name one periodical she reads regularly.  A man who flailed as I said last week harder than the economy.

And for the first time in years the so called 'wedge' issues just aren't getting the play.  In 2004 they used wedge issues to sway voters when they weren't outright stealing the election.  I heard more in that year about gay marriage and abortion than I'd heard throughout the first 4 yrs of the Bush presidency.  And then they went away.  As soon as he was re-elected they stopped mattering with small bubbles of discontent coming up through the torpor.  San Francisco issued marriage licenses, but got smacked down.  MA legalised it(gay marriage) and the world didn't end but a lot of states said they'd not recognise those MA marriages.  And then recently in CA it became legal again through a court decision that tossed out a state constitutional amendment.  Oh yeah they got Prop 8 right now and I hope that bastard goes down in flames myself.  Right now same sex marriage is a bloody patchwork and I am thinking it's going to take a Supreme Court decision like Loving V. Virginia to solve it.  As for abortion? De facto it's getting harder to get one, and the wingnuts are getting pharmacology degrees so they can deny women their birth control perscriptions.  Uh dude?  You get a job, you cannot just decide to do only part of it.  Birth control pills are not just used for that purpose.  

Now we have an election cycle being driven by something the Republicans cannot run, it's running them.  The economy is in the toilet, and there is blame a plenty to go around.  But they cannot change it, and a fix is not going to be quick or easy.  The bail out voted on last night and passed, is essentially a band aid, and it may not contain it longer than the money the 'masters of the universe' are getting lasts.  We have a few very large financial organisations now that quite frankly scare me.  Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America which has already gobbled up many smaller banks and become a superbank.  WaMu went under.  Wachovia was sold to Citigroup which used to be Citibank.  And so on.  It's scary times and the only thing that keeps it from getting worse is that Americans have not run on the banks. There is real fear out there.  And someone leadership that is calm is valued right now.  We had cowboy leadership, and it got us war, wedge issues, and this financial mess.  And I know I like others want to see someone go to jail for it.  I suspect we won't.  But I want those 'masters of the universe' to hurt as much as the rest of us do financially.  

And dammit I think this time that bumper sticker is hitting my car.  Along with an Obama sticker.  
[livejournal.com profile] tayefeth and [livejournal.com profile] celandineb  posted this today and I liked it enough to follow. 

Sarah Palin the Republican nominee for VP could only name one Supreme Court decided case when asked by Katie Couric in her interview.  That case was Roe v. Wade.  I personally can list at least 3 cases that are important.  [livejournal.com profile] tayefeth listed one of them so I will list two I can rattle off with no problem.  I will also paste the wiki link for them so you can read more about them.

Plessy v. Ferguson heard in 1896 upheld the legality of segregation.  Separate but equal became the law of the land as a result of this case.

Loving v. Virginia heard in 1967 ended all race based legal restrictions on marriage.  Overturned state laws in 17 states including VA. 

Link for Loving is:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v_Virginia

Link for Plessy is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v_Virginia

And I took Con Law  back when Dubya's daddy was in office!

I am a registered voter.  I am a Democrat on my registration.  I have been registered as a Democrat for yrs.  And yes I have crossed party lines when I felt the Republican had more to offer.  Party for the most part means something, but there are Republicans who speak my language just as there are Democrats who do not.  I don't think I can categorise myself just on party lines.

I want financial responsibility in my politicians.  I do not want 'tax and spend'.  I want liberal social policies where privacy is respected and my rights as a woman to choose my reproductive future(or past in my case) is assured.  I want my daughter and future granddaughters to have those rights.   I want equality for those who don't have it because when we give equality to others we gain equality ourselves, just as when we dehumanise one segment of the population we enable others to dehumanise us.   I don't mind paying taxes when it benefits us with infrastructure, health care and education.  I do mind waste.  I want a strong defense but not at the expense of our young.  Our best defense has been to be one of the freest nations on the planet, and to have some of the best education going.  

I will be voting Democrat this time again with a candidate who has one hell of a shot at winning because he offers a vision that in this time is as sweeping as anything John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt offered.  He offers change from the failed politics of the Republican right wing, who has literally destroyed an economy and an international reputation using fear of the 'other' as it's basis.  

This time it will not be a vote against.  It will be a vote for

It will be a vote for inclusion which has sadly been lacking since Reagan took office.  It will be a vote for the 'little guy' who never caught a break while the 'masters of the universe' did.  It will be a vote for a woman's right to choose, and be a woman.  It will be a vote for the Muslim who just wants the American dream along with the freedom to wear her hijab.  It will be a vote for the immigrant who came here for the dream, and it's all about that dream ya know?  

It will be a vote for my children.  A son in the military, who is on orders for Iraq, and a daughter who just wants to have a good life with her spouse and the child she is attempting to conceive.  it will be a vote for my ex husband who deals with color every day in a southern state where at 53yrs old he is still referred to as 'Boy' and 'Son'.  It will be a vote for myself, repudiating a hierarchy that thinks that because I am past 40 and not botoxed, drop dead gorgeous, and looking for a man to validate my existence I should STFU and take what my so called betters give me.

I am an American. I am proud of my country even when I can see we can do better.  I served my country in uniform for 5 yrs. I am proud of our diversity where an African-American man can achieve what Senator Obama has achieved. I am also proud that a woman like Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi can get where they got.  I do not include Governor Palin here, because I think her choice by John McCain was tokenism at its very worst.  I will vote Obama in November because he offers something McCain does not: hope.  

I am a daughter of immigrants who made it.  I am a child who felt that she owed her country for the opportunity and paid back in a uniform.  I am a citizen who wants her country to do right, not just easy.  I want all of us to succeed, and a good percentage of my working career has been in state and federal government because I KNEW it made a difference.  

I love my country.  The country my parents came to, to make a better way for their future and their childrens future, and I am damned if some right wing, 'born again Christian' tells me I don't love my country.  Because they are dead wrong.  Liberals love their country just as the right wing nationalists who think 'my country, right or wrong'.  And that's where it all breaks down.  There seems to be an awful lot of fear in the good ole US of A. And that fear has crippled us in some ways.  That fear of the 'other' has held us back.  We are better than our fears, we have been in the past and we shall be in the future.  We will make history in November no matter which ticket.  Either we elect a man of color to the presidency or a woman to the vice presidency.  Personally I am betting on the man of color.  But history will be made. 

I've been pretty outspoken on my political views here.  Like most Americans I am watching our economy go down the tubes and watching the bastards in DC try yet another attempt at armed robbery.  I remember 1988 and the S&L crisis that happened.  As it is, I lost money because I had a savings acct in an S&L that ended up going under.  Oh yeah FDIC insured it, and I got the principal back less interest.  But yeah we ALL paid for that one.  And now they want another bail out, with a bill written well in advance that they want to ram down our throats ASAP!   With no bloody oversight whatsoever?  They don't want to take away the excessive executive compensation or assist the common guy out there who worries about making that ARM(adjustable rate mortgage) payment.  Umm and they want us, the normal people to pony up money through our hard work and tax dollars on our flattened salaries to support these rich white guys? One question ... why?

I mean it.  Why should we pay for the mistakes of the incompetent? Or the thieves?  Why should we mortgage our grandchildren's future for them to take home their 'golden parachutes'?  We've already sold out our children here.  What does it take for people to say this is so far gone wrong that you're not to be trusted? 

McCain never met a deregulation bill he didn't like.  And he wants us to put him in the White House to preside over the failure of his party's dream, with nothing new to bring to the table except more of the same.  This is a man whos behavior this past week has made me wonder if he's all there mentally.  He's flailed just about as hard as our economy.  Do I want him in charge? 

What really set me off is something I found on the Internet and read recently about him.  John McCain has made his POW experience a central part of his campaign.  His speech at the Republican convention told the story of his capture.  What it did not tell was the lengths he has gone to hide certain things about it.  McCain broke. He broke under torture, and he 'confessed' to 'war crimes' in writing and broadcast for the North Vietnamese.  I can't and won't judge that.  I've never been tortured.  Now this is a man who is third generation military, he grew up with it, he lived in it all his life.  And if he'd never been captured by the North Vietnamese, he'd have probably retired as an Admiral, like his father and grandfather before him.  Instead, he suffered the 'kindness' and 'hospitality' of a country that damaged him physically and I believe mentally.  He never expected to break like he did, and when he did he had to live with the knowledge that he'd given up information that perhaps in the long run meant little or nothing, but to him it was information he should not give according to the Geneva Convention.  A playbook the Vietnamese DID NOT play by. 

This had to have an affect on him emotionally.   Such things have meaning to those in the military, and McCain was raised with the ideal of, duty, honor, country.  Sidney Schanberg has documented what McCain has done since in office concerning the release of any information concerning POW/MIAs from the Viet Nam era.  It's not a pretty story and in many ways I find it terribly dishonorable.  McCain has along with past administrations effectively buried the information that yes, we DID leave men behind and yes we KNEW they were there.  Hollywood and Rambo had it right.  I believe he feels to this day, shame and guilt that he 'confessed' in the POW camp.  I believe such feelings have influenced how he behaved when he got into office and was on a committee to investigate POW/MIA issues in the early 90s.  I believe with that behavior he has in fact behaved dishonorably.  I do not feel he behaved dishonorably while in captivity.  What happened to our men in Viet Nam was beyond the scope of how they were trained to behave as POWs.  I believe he feels dishonor because of it, and that dishonor has informed later behavior.  I believe he's never come to terms with what happened in Hanoi and in a very real way he's still there.  I believe the mental scarring, and physical effects haunt him to this very day, 35yrs after he's come home.  And I believe he is NOT fit to be president because of it.  

Link to Schanberg's article:

Found this article a few days ago.  I will link at the end to the MSNBC reprint of it since it is a New York Times article and they want you to register.

I've had misgivings concerning the Republican ticket ever since John McCain sewed up the electoral votes in the primary.  I am not Republican, but I DO watch them to see what they've got and HOPE like hell they throw off the yoke of the religious right that hijacked them so many yrs ago. They've yet to do it, but one can hope that the party of Lincoln will do it eventually.  When he(McCain) selected Palin as his VP running mate, I went straight to cynical here.  First thought? He chose her because she's a woman, and he's trying to get the more disappointed Hillary supporters to vote his ticket.  Now, I did not support Hillary, but I DO respect her and her supporters and I think I'd be insulted if I were one of her supporters to think that he thinks I'll support his VP candidate because she has the same reproductive system I have. Because Palin is NO Hillary Clinton, not even close.  

Now with McCain his VP choice really is important.  Man is 72. He spent 6yrs in that oh so healthy Hanoi Hilton(he loves to remind us of that!).  He's had several episodes of cancer.  And statistically he could pass away pretty much any time now.  Former POWs have all sorts of health issues and he has some injuries that have never healed from Viet Nam.  So yeah, he could go, and whoever sits in the second seat would be the next president.  So yeah his VP choice IS critical.

So he chose someone that a good percentage of the US had never heard of.  He chose someone who speaks directly to the Republican's 'base'.  He chose a woman who surrounds herself with people who are dependent on her good will to stay employed, and governs using personal loyalty to her, not the state, as a guide to whether you are with her or against her. The article I am linking really does explain that. But if you depend on her to keep your job, you'd better agree with whatever she wants 110% because this woman is thinskinned and vindictive, a double whammy of not good for a politician.  The triple on it? She takes it personally.  If you disagree with her, you are against her, even if the disagreement is not major, you become the enemy.  This is most definitely someone I DO NOT WANT in the White House.  

Her personal views on right to life vs pro-choice piss me off.  Her desire to insert the fundamentalist viewpoint into gvt policy pisses me off. I am all for separation of Church and State.  Her lack of experience at anything outside of state and local politics frankly scares me since she's been running her office as governor as a private fiefdom.  Yeah I SO do NOT WANT her or her partner in shame elected.  The sad part? I once LIKED McCain.  Not anymore.

Here's the link.  Interesting reading.
Well Ike came through the gulf coast and I worried.  My daughter and her spouse live in La Porte, which I guess is a suburb of Houston.  His family all lives in that area also.  La Porte ordered mandatory evac on thursday night and they went to his sister's place.  So there they were w/out power on friday night when Ike hit.  Fortunately they all survived.  They returned to their second flr apt in La Porte and are among the 2 million who have no power.  They are under a boil warning for water as the tap water is uncertain.  Phone service has been sporadic at best, neither one of their employer's has power so work isn't happening.  The big concern is with electricity cut off, food is much more perishable.  Drinking water is an issue.  I think in some ways, healthwise the aftermath can be much more dangerous than the storm.  Roads are flooded in some areas, impassible in others due to downed trees.  This of course is devastating the rescue efforts in Galveston and other areas.  Rescuers just cannot get to the people needing the rescuing.

So I sit here in Austin which didn't see a drop of rain from Ike and worry about my daughter and her spouse and his family and hope, that none of the after effects, affect them.  The sister's mother in law lost her roof and a good many things in her house during the storm, she has moved in with daughter's mother in law(she actually HAS power), and is dealing with insurance issues.  Getting groceries and gas is difficult at best.  Daughter told me they waited over 2 hrs in line to get into a grocery store running on a generator and there wasn't much they could get there.  They managed to get ice and coal(to barbeque the thawed stuff in the freezer).  It's a mess and I wish they'd come to Austin where we have electric and good running water and all that.

And even though many Houstonians stayed in Houston, there are still shelters all over TX with people who were evacced.  I find myself wondering if 3 yrs from now there will still be areas not rebuilt like in NOLA after Katrina.  The pics of Galveston show a wreaked community, one that will take yrs to recover if it ever does. And areas along the channel are almost as bad.  It's bloody depressing and I find myself wishing, selfishly I am sure, that my daughter and her spouse would move somewhere where these things don't happen.  
Sarah Palin=Tracy Flick.

I was wondering why Governor Palin gave me such a bad reaction and someone else in the LA Times mentioned the comparison.  It makes sense.   Reese Witherspoon in one of her earlier movies played a character named Tracy Flick and the movie was about an election.  A High School election.  I remember seeing it on DVD with my daughter yrs ago and thinking that chick is evil.  The character would do and did do just about anything to be elected.  Listening to Governor Palin at the convention last week I had the same sense of revulsion towards her that I had towards Ms Witherspoons character, Tracy Flick.  The movie is called 'Election' and it was memorable. 

Palin will exploit everything and anything in her life to get elected.  That announcement last weekend about her daughter's pregnancy?  Yep, that was an appeal to the 'base'.  Her son serving in the military and going to fight 'God's War'?  Yet another appeal to the 'base'.  She's a politician, she knows how to sell herself and her message.  The plane on eBay?  Nice story, but that's not where the plane was sold.  It was sold at a loss through an offline broker.  The chef?  Sorry, I don't get that one.  Most governor's mansions come with staff.  They are there to make the governor's life easier.  I really don't expect Governor Palin to nip off from work the day some dignatory is coming to dinner to cook for him.  That's NOT her job.  

Policywise she is good at slanting things.  As a mayor she had her hands out open, eagerly for federal earmarks.  In her speech she's against them.  Yeah right.  She does walk the pro-life walk though.  She could've terminated her last pregnancy, but she chose a different path.  I will say upfront that her choice is admirable.  That she wants to remove that choice from everyone else is not.  Her feelings that abstinance only sex ed is the way to go is definitely a fail in my book.   Knowledge is power and can save lives.  Just telling kids no is not good enough.

Sarah Palin does not speak to me politically.  She has opinions that are pretty opposite of my own.  I am pro-choice.  I prefer gun control, but yes I DO know how to use them and have.  She supports the war in Iraq.  Something I never could do, even though my son will be there by the end of this yr.  I support the veterans, I always will.  They're just doing their jobs.  It's the politicians responsibility to do right by them.  Something the Republican Party has NOT done.  

I support Senator Obama.  But he has a huge negative no matter how much spin you put on it.  He's a black male in a country that while not admitting it, is racist.  I think he can win, and I find myself really hoping he does win.  I was enraged with the dissing of his community organiser experience by both Giuliani and Palin.  Do they NOT know what community organisers do?  A line I saw somewhere was that: Jesus was a community organiser, Pilate was a governor.  Made sense to me.  Community organisers are the guys that help old people get benefits they've worked for.  They help poor people with housing and such.  They help sick people get to their doctors and get meds.  And they do this for little to nothing financially.  The responsibilities of a community organiser are the ones they voluntarily take up. They are to be admired, and respected.  The Republican Party shat on people who did not deserve that treatment.

Now my friends, I do not expect you to agree with me 100%.  No indeed, if you support her and McCain, you have your reasons as I have mine.  I do not expect to be defriended for expressing myself either.  If however you wish to, I will be sad because I will be missing the knowledge you bring with the differences of opinion.  But I felt the need to express myself here and say what I feel.  So I did.
So, been following the hurricane and all the other stuff surrounding it.  NOLA is a ghost town right now and it appears that for the most part the evac went smoothly.  Seems that Louisiana learned something 3 yrs ago and not only evacced people but they also evacced the family pets.  I really hope that this is all a tempest in the proverbial teacup but, I honestly expect NOLA  will see damage. The good part is most everyone, even the poorest of the poor got out.  Anyone left now chose to stay.  That said I cannot help but remember Katrina and how awful that was.  I think we are all a bit scarred by it and Rita which followed a month later.  I spoke with my daughter who lives in Houston and she was remembering the 10 hrs it took her to get 168 miles to Austin during the Rita evac.  She'd prefer not to go through that one again. The friends I have who lived in NOLA before Katrina never returned there and honestly I think miss the city a lot.  Being born and raised in Earthquake country I think I might have more sympathy for those who went back to NOLA after Katrina.  It's home, and it's hard to leave that behind just because nature likes to fuck with your home. 

I am hoping that this will not be the disaster we saw 3 yrs ago and that the people who took off this weekend for safer territory can return home as soon as possible.  God knows I loved visiting NOLA in the past, and I would hate to see it go away as a city.  I am hoping that the lessons learned of Katrina result in a better aftermath than the last one.  My exhusband works for FEMA and curiously enough(considering how rancorous the divorce was) I am hoping he is safe in all of this. He most likely will be a first responder from what I understand of his job.  I am hoping like hell we don't have another one come right on Gustav's heels like we did with Kat and Rita three yrs ago.  That was stressful for the entire area, and even in Austin we've not forgotten it.  So while this Labor Day weekend has been a serious bust for my area of the world I am hoping everyone else has had a good one. 
So I'm glued to the TV as usual during the games.  Not real impressed with NBC's coverage of the Games.  But then again I've bitched about that for yrs. Did Micheal Phelps get better looking in the last 4 yrs or what? Seriously not only can he swim astoundingly well but Gawd he's serious eye candy.  Just finished watching the women's gymnastics where the US scored gold and silver on the individual all around(they choked on the team event!).  Very happy for Ms Liukin and Ms Johnson, they deserved to win and they showed up with their best skills to do so.  The real story in gymnastics is the Chinese teams.  They got good, real good and it's a treat to see good gymnastics.  Now in the next two days it will be event finals and seeing that should be real good since so many gymnasts are specialising in one or two events, unlike in the past when specialisation was not as common as now.  I'd like to see how Oksana Chusovitina does.  She's 33 and competing in her fifth olympics now. 

Roomie is out of town once again and that makes the house too damned quiet. He's due back in on Saturday .  We have the tax free weekend this week which is a good time to buy clothing. So I suspect we'll be shopping this weekend.

I've not followed the 'Twilight' series and after hearing about the last book and how unhappy people were with it, I am glad I chose to stay away from it.  Not too happy with the push back on the release of the HBP movie, I was actually looking forward to it based on the trailer.
Life sucks sometimes.  It really does.  Yesterday I hit the thrift stores with Roomie and found the perfect computer desk.  Got a $250 desk for the low, low price of $40.  So we cleaned out some of the mess in my office and moved things around(the computer for one) and shlepped the desk into the room and set everything up to find out when I rebooted the computer, the hard drive had crapped out. Okay, the drive was 6 yrs old and out of warranty so that was to be expected.  I think the drive took a week off once about 4 yrs ago, maybe so it really did work hard and it earned it's death.  What came next, well ... that's another story and I will tell it to you.  Roomie had gone out while we were doing the thrift thing and hit our favorite geek paradise;  Fry's.  You want to build a computer? Go to Fry's. You need RAM? Go to Fry's.  He got two hard drives last night at 750 GB a piece.  So he passed me his 400GB drive.  Now Roomie is a Mac person, and arrogant with it.  He put those drives in, in all of maybe 2 hrs.  They were SATA drives, remember this, it comes back to bite me. The 400GB drive he passed me is also SATA.  Now my motherboard supports SATA and I figured no problem right?  Wrong!  WindowsXP would NOT see that drive to save my life.  By 0200 I was furious, frustrated and cannibalising a Mac G4 with a 200GB IDE drive.  So it's now 0445 and I have the basic install of WindowsXP, Firefox 3.0(not liking it!) and I need to reinstall various and sundry drivers here.  Definitely NOT liking that.  And Roomie? His G5 saw his new drives and helpfully asked him what he wanted to do with them.  He transferred his boot disk's files(including OS) over to the first one in about an hr without the hairpulling I've wanted to do tonight.  I still have that 400GB SATA drive in the machine and sooner or later I will get Windows to see it after I find and install the drivers for it.  Right now I can't be arsed to do it. 

What scares me here is my proc is now the oldest part of my machine, it too is 6yrs old and I know when it goes I'm screwed.  They don't make that socket any more so it will mean getting a new motherboard and RAM.  That's gonna hurt like hell even if Fry's is nerd nirvana and inexpensive.  So yeah my next computer will be a nice friendly easy peasy Mac.  I've had it with the PC blues and Microsoft's crap.  And the worst part? I still have to install drivers!

Odd Names

Jul. 25th, 2008 08:43 am
Cruising the Internet this morning and found this one on CNN.  A nine yr old child in New Zealand will be allowed to change her name as a ward of the court. The name? Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.  Yeah. That kid has a rough life.  My own first name is as common as dirt, my last name when I was a child rhymed with an unfortunate attribute, and believe me the teasing was not fun.  My married name had all of 12 letters in it, and I developed a rhythm in spelling it on the phone when I ordered pizza or just when I knew the person I was speaking to would have to spell it.

You have to wonder just what someone is thinking when you see some of the odd names people name their kids. Pilot Inspektor is a recent celeb name for a kid. Poor kid. Some of the names I saw back in the day when I was handling welfare cases were just amazing. I understand your child is unique to you and naming is personal, but think of the poor kid.  When I was pregnant with my children I wanted nice sensible names that would work with their surname and would not open them up to massive teasing.  So my son was one of 4 kids in his elementary classes with his first name.  My daughter's name was unique. During her school yrs she only met one other person with that name. Her middle name was fairly common, and that surprised me since her names are Gaelic. She likes her name these days, and it works with her married surname.

But yeah. Unique names can be a good thing or a real whammy on the kid. Names affect you. And some names just sound better than others.  They just do.  Mary sounds plain to most people, whereas Moira sounds different; yet they are essentially the same name.  Just like Maria, and Marie are all the same name.  My daughter is working on getting pregnant, and because she has some reproductive issues it will take some medical assistance.  When she does get pregnant, names will come up and I intend to have my say with her.  But I know she is sensible and I doubt she will name a kid Apple or some such. I suspect she will think like I did and come up with something the kid and everyone else concerned can live with.
I've not posted here in a good while.  Yeah I know almost or just at a yr. Life has come at me rather fast, and well I was a bit burned out after reading Deathly Hallows.  I expected to see some wank and yeah some wank happened.  Not near as bad as HBP wank  but yeah some folks were unhappy with it, and yes I can and do understand why.  But that's not why I am posting now.

Something happened recently that has infuriated me.  A fan outted another fan in an LJ post and on her website. By outting I mean posting her RL name and connecting it to her screen name/LJ name.  That is so not cool.  I will not link to the site, the post was deleted.  I am just saying no matter what the post was concerning lack of privacy online, fandom is not about exposing people like that, and if this person thinks it is?  She's not part of fandom to me.  This person has been friended by me in the past but as of this posting, I've defriended.  Outting someone in such a manner is just not on as a friend of mine put it last night and I will not condone such actions or stay silent.  This outting appears to be grudge based and that just makes it worse.

So what have I been up to in the past yr? Not a lot. I feel my life has been so boring I didn't want to clog the Internet with boredom.  I followed the last season of American Idol and Hell's Kitchen. I've been reading alot of real paper books, and of course fanfiction.  Seriously I needed a break from active fandom and I took it. I followed the Lexicon trial and of course the Dumbledore is gay stuff, but I really didn't think much on it. I've been thinking back on the HP series and a yr later I can't say I am happy with how it ended but hey we got fanfiction and that's a good thing.

My son goes to Iraq in December and already I am worrying about him.  My daughter is trying to make me a grandmum and well because of her reproductive issues she is seeing a doctor for options.  I suspect I'll be a granny soon enough.  My roommate still travels too much and I still am working from the house.  Not much change there.
Is there anyone feeling like I do right now?  I feel somewhat disconnected to fanfiction.  I've read some of the post DH fic and have enjoyed what I read but for some reason I can't wrap my brain around the preDH stuff right now.  I've lived with Harry Potter for a good long time.  Fandom and the fanfiction produced in it has been a major hobby.  So to feel a disconnect when after GoF, OotP and HBP I was devouring any fic I could get my hands on ... I am thinking this is temporary and in a week I will be most definitely looking at and reading pre, post and everything else under the sun.  But for right now? I am processing JKR's story.  I am satisfied with her ending because it was her ending.  I know fandom will create more endings and I look forward to reading em.  We waited along time for her ending.  Now's the time for all of us to come up with and write our own.
I am outta here for a Potter doubleshot. Gonna see OotP at the IMAX here in town and then get da book.  Will be back early tomorrow morning to catch up on the Potterdammerung(gotta love that term!)  Enjoy the book everyone!
Okay I admit I was massively spoiled by book 6.  And the spoilers to this day piss me off. I DID read the uploaded epilogue online the other day and for some reason I don't feel as if it were all that spoilery.  That said I understand scans of the entire book are online now but I shan't look for it as the epilogue was a bit of an eye strain and well I am not going to read more of the same eyestrain when I will have the book in my hot little chubby hands late friday night, early saturday morning.   I've also stayed the hell away from LJ to avoid the temptation of spoilers and anticipate the meltdown of wank following the release.  So to my flist I am and am not ignoring you, but I am staying away until saturday after I've read through and enjoyed it. I KNOW I will post my reactions then, and yes I will cut so people who read a bit slower will NOT be spoiled.

In other news my son went into the Army last week and is now at Basic Training in the exact same place I was 30 yrs ago; Fort Jackson South Carolina.  I find that a bit ironic or something.  Anyways I hope for his sake the Army works out as he has burned some serious bridges here with his friends and family in TX and seriously NEEDS to grow up.  I also hope he does not see Iraq but that one is a hope not likely to be fulfilled even if he does not have a combat specialty.

So how is everyone else doing??
Not much happening lately. Got the wedding pics from the wedding and yes my daughter looked stunning. I am so proud of her. Lately I've been listening to opera, what with Paul Potts all over YouTube with his stunning version of Nessun Dorma and all that I've had a bit of the opera bug here. I am driving my roommate nuts with it, but he's the one who pointed me to Mr. Potts, so it's on him.

Waiting for the new HP, the new cover art of the kids on the dragon has got me enthused. I am of mixed feelings here: canon will finally close, and that's good, but it's also bad. Bad because it will be over ya know? Ah well, I still look forward to finding out how it ends, who lives and who doesn't. Not going to make ANY guesses here. All of mine have been rubbish in the past so why bother. Whatever JKR does she will do. I will still have the fanon to enjoy and fanon isn't going anywhere.

The zombie thing last week? Some of you on my flist did it so well. I could never be that creative but [personal profile] ginmar almost had me calling a friend of mine in her area thinking it was real. Hers was that good. When I realised what was going on I sat back and really enjoyed the creativity. [personal profile] cluegirlalso had me going but her tags ensured I knew what was going on.  The zombie thing was fun and I hope it happens again in another yr.

Roomie is gone for another week in Houston. Work slowed down here so he has to travel. Neither of us care for it, but well staying employed is a good thing. So I have the house to myself and it's dead quiet.