Thursday, March 31, 2016


I've gotten new subscribers lately, so I thought I'd take a minute and "introduce" myself and my feelings on certain topics, so you, my readers, will know what you've gotten yourself into here. Lol... Let's start with what I have in the INTRO section on my FaceBook page.

1. Atheist - This one *should* be simple, but people get this confused so here's some clarification. I believe there IS NO "GOD"; plain & simple, you'd think, right? Apparently not. A lot of people get atheism confused with Paganism (basically, one with nature), Satanism (not necessarily belief in the Christian idea of Satan; more like the belief in self), &/or Agnosticism (neither believes nor disbelieves in a god). Others fully believe the religion of "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" is a real thing. I suppose technically it is, but it's more just around to poke fun and make a point about the ridiculous nature of religion, in general. As an atheist, I do share some of the beliefs of these other (similar) outlooks, but do not consider myself one of any of them. The *only* thing that can be said about atheists, as a whole group, is that we do not believe in any god. Everything else is individualized.

2. Humanist - Basically, everyone has value... EVERYONE. Your worth in this world has nothing to do with your race, your size, your gender, your job, or anything else. Equality among everyone is a goal, and I actively work to make sure I do my part to push that. I cannot understand anyone who ISN'T claiming, and actively working toward, real humanism.

3. Feminist - Simply put, dictionary definition: "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes". That's it. Again, should be a simple concept, but a lot of people seem to think it's synonomous with "man hater" or think we want to be better than men. Nope. Equality of the sexes/genders (yes, there's a difference), people; that's it! Eliminating the assumed patriarchy in the workplace, home, and everywhere else is a side effect... and so worth it! That said, I have also seen some women (mostly young, mostly undereducated) say stuff to the effect of "we don't need feminism, we can already XXXX". Um, that's because of feminism, and yes, we still need it. Also overheard, "I don't need feminism; I want to be a stay at home mom" (or some other thing with a wrongly perceived lower value). That's cool; no one said you couldn't be both. Feminism says you *can* be a stay at home mom if you want, and a man can stay at home too... and be equally valued! Feminism says you can be an engineer, a teacher, a hairdresser, or anything else... and it shouldn't matter what gender you are!! What matters is that, no matter what your gender, you are paid the same and treated the same.

4. LGBTQ+ Ally - This one takes a bit more to explain to people, sometimes. First, let me educate you, in case you aren't aware: Gender is a spectrum; it's not just boys and girls. Not everyone understands, or agrees with, this statement, but it's a fact. Second, being supportive of someone doesn't mean I *am* one. When I mentioned to a friend that my daughter is (for the second year) in her high school's GSA (Gay Straight Alliance -- all spectrum awareness & support, btw), she asked me if my daugher was gay... Um, no; not that it would matter if she was, but why the assumption? I'm a animal lover, too; that doesn't make me a dog. So, I support equal treatment IN EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. This includes, but is not limited to, using whatever bathroom you want to, and getting married to whomever you want to (as long as there is legal consent on both sides).

5. Pro-Gun - Contrary to those who think I'm "gun crazy" or "a gun nut", I do believe there should be *some* regulation. However, I can argue all day about the laws currently in place & are being introduced; most of them redundant and which do absolutely nothing to protect anyone. "Gun-free zones"?!? More accurate -- "Criminal-friendly zones!" Ugh. If I *can* legally carry, I *WILL* legally carry. I am licenced in as many states as I can currently be so (somewhere around 40, I think, without looking it up), I avoid places I can't legally carry, if I can (like restaurants, stores, etc... that have signs up), and we regularly practice (yup, even the teenaged daughter; she prefers the shotguns, btw). If you don't want to carry, that's fine... but don't you dare tell me that *I CAN'T*!

6. Pro-Choice - Lots of terms going around the 'net about this... and lot of misinformation. Let's clear it up, shall we? Pro-choice is simply the belief that everyone gets to make the reproductive choice for themselves which works best for their own lives. The terms pro-birth, pro-life (HA! no, you're not), pro-abortion, and more get thrown around, but in all honesty, just like religion, YOU get to make the decision for YOU, I get to make the decision for ME, my DAUGHTERS get to make the decision for THEMSELVES, etc. I don't care if you agree with abortions, or think all women who have them are evil/sluts/should be punished/get what's coming to them... IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! Side note - 2nd & 3rd trimester abortions are rare, but more necessary than ever; they are due to medical anomalies, not because the pregnant woman "forgot" to go have an abortion... stop that stupid rhetoric; it's not true. Oh, and adoption is only an alternative to GIVING BIRTH, not an alternative for being pregnant. So, please stop using those guilt tactics; they're not working.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Woooowwww... Thanks for the laugh!

Got a little bit of funny update on the Wildebeest recently...

First -- I *thought*, based on a post she made on her FB page a couple weeks ago, that she was maybe starting to realize her part in all that's now happening to her, and was starting to maybe feel a tiny built guilty about what she did not only to me, but also to my daughter. This is what she posted -- " "The word contrition comes from the Latin contritus (the same root for the word contrite), and literally means “crushed to pieces.” The contrite person has had their once haughty and prideful ego completely crushed under the tremendous weight of guilt and shame. Such a person has “hit bottom” (as 12-step program adherents are wont to say) not only because they can no longer bear the thought of how badly their actions hurt others but also because of their deep realization of how their usual way of doing things has resulted in abject personal failure. That’s why the contrite person is first and foremost a broken person. And, by definition, only by acknowledging personal defeat can a person become potentially open to reconstructing their life on very different terms. It’s been said many times, but it’s profoundly psychologically true. One cannot begin a new life without laying to rest one’s old self." " But then -- I hear she's still pining for MG... ugh. Come on, Wildebeest; let him go. Let IT go. Let go of your belief that you & MG are still supposed to be together. He's done with you; he's been done for quite some time. You'd consider a polygamist relationship with him??! Really? Desperation, much? Oh, and do you honestly believe that "it wasn't cheating when" you slept with him within our marriage, because *I* was (supposedly) cheating on him?!?! HAHAHAA!!! Believe whatever you want, of course, but it's not true. Not that it's any of your business, but in the five years we were together prior to our wedding, I slept with NO ONE ELSE; in the years during our marriage, I slept with NO ONE ELSE until we were officially split, I'd filed for divorce, and he was already with you. I am so glad my wonderful daughter & I are away from you and your crazy... She deserves, and has, so much better than a ridiculous, petty, vindictive, and obviously still jealous woman.

**EDIT** I realize that I should have worded that a little bit different. Since MG and I had a roughly one year break in 1996, there were other boyfriends during that time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Family Update #2 -- The Kids

Gamer Boy -- Maybe I should start calling him "Gamer Man"!?!? I mean, he *is* 23 1/2y now... Anyway, we got a little life update Sunday, when we all converged upon my in-laws' house in Salem. He, too, is on Spring Break; new term starts next Monday. He'll be taking three classes, but has condensed them to two days and a Friday morning. That leaves the rest of his days to work. He found a second job doing janitorial services (have I mentioned his super-clean tendancies?), which goes perfectly with his housekeeping job, and of course, puts more money back into his savings (you know... the one he's using to pay for school since his financial aid doesn't go through 'til Fall term?). Plus, he's probably going to take Summer term off (he hasn't decided for sure, yet); if that happens, he can get even more hours/money saved. He also stated that his roommate may be accepting a job up here, so if he moves out, GB will either keep the apartment and see about finding another roommate or look into taking a one-bedroom in the same complex. He's literally right across from the big mall down there, and the bus to campus stops in front in 15m intervals... so he's not using his truck much. On a not-so-good note, he's been having a lot of trouble sleeping and staying awake in class... doc thinks it may be a thyroid issue, but it may not be so he's scheduling some testing and has a sleep study he'll be participating in. Hopefully, they can figure it out; we're a little concerned.

Squeeks -- Not much to update yet... Ace was supposed to have coffee/visit with her yesterday but had to cancel. Will update when we have something to share. ;)

Princess -- Oh my, has she been busy. We've been (very slowly, because she's still anxious) working on her driving. We haven't gone very far, but are up to 14hrs now. We got her a safety magnet that says something about "I'm still learning; have patience" on it; that seems to help. It sits on the rear driver's side of the car, and I know people see it and back off a bit. If I take her with me when I go to Washington in May, she can probably drive a chunk of the way there & back, too. I've tried getting her into driver's ed, but the first time, she wasn't emotionally ready, and the second & third time, the class was full within a day (she's currently on the waiting list for the one that starts in a couple weeks, but it's not looking good to get in). If she doesn't get in to this one, Summer schedule has more to choose from. If KP gets a few more hours in, they can take the class together, which will make the "outside of class time" hours they're supposed to do a bit easier to arrange, since they do so much together. She's also been working with KP as stage managers for their school plays. The girls did SM'ing for the Winter play (Urinetown), and were in the middle of working on one of the two Spring plays (they were originally doing Complete Works of Shakespeare; Abridged & Updated) when NE (director) asked them to assist Amy in also doing Tempest. Apparently, Amy's co-stage manager had to drop out. So, Princess & KP are at school 'til 7p every Monday through Friday. If there is homework to be done, she brings her laptop and leaves it in NE's office during school. NE promised me no weekend rehearsals (and I'd already warned him about the possibility of driver's ed), but he didn't promise no tech days (like Monday; they were painting set pieces from noon to 530p)... although those are not a requirement, so missing Tuesday and part of Thursday for beauty appointments is no big deal. Starting to figure out Summer plans - there's a trip to Ashland scheduled the week after school lets out (with her drama teacher/director, and some other students, plus a couple chaperones) to see some plays and explore the city, another trip to Utah (this is still tentative) with KP & Mimi packing emergency kits for third world countries, a concert in Ridgefield in August with her "fam" (her close girlfriend group), GrandCamp, possibly another (out of the country? maybe...) trip with Mimi, and we're starting to think of a family trip at some point this summer.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Family Update #1 -- Ace & I

I noticed that the last time I updated was around Santamas... so, here ya go!

(1) We've finally started working on our yard plans! First up is the raised garden beds. We started by designing it on the computer. We then marked and used string & garden flags to visualize the space outside. We dug down a few inches, got the dirt (mud... haha) leveled as best as we could, then used landscape pins to put some pvc-coated mesh (longer lasting in our wet climate) wire down (to keep the moles, etc out; thanks, Amanda, for the suggestion!). After that was finished, we went out "rock hunting" to figure out what kind of crushed rock and what kind of border rocks we wanted. We found rectangular border stones at Lowe's, and bought eight of them for now; those were placed edge-to-edge perpendicular to each other to form the corners of the whole area. Ace & Princess spent 15 minutes making sure those were level (ish). Our next step is to get 3/4" minus and 3/4" clean; the minus will be put down, tamped down, and leveled, then we'll put a layer of landscaping fabric down, get more of the bordering stones to finish the border, make sure those are level, then build the squared "U" shaped beds, place that & level, and put a layer of the clean down. It will hold the landscaping fabric down, be a better pathway around the beds, and will help hold the beds in place a bit. When that is done, all we have left is dirt & seeds...
(2) Our 10y old tv (a 60" Sony rear projection we got for an excellent price from Crutchfield, btw) crapped out about three weeks ago. We've been pricing and comparing tvs for the last year or so, anyway, because we knew this one would go out eventually and Ace likes to spend a long time researching (hence the reason it took us two years to get the yard started). It was about 10pm, and it just went black. The little LED on the base blinked off then on -green-, then off then on -red- nine times; repeat. Ace looked it up; nine in a row is a fan. Ok... there are three fans in there, so we turned it around and tried to turn it on. Figured out it's the fan near the lamp bulb. The following day, we moved the 48" from our room (where it's not being used, anyway) out to the living room, to hold us over 'til we could fix the big one or get a new one.
We figured, "It already doesn't work; what's worse case if we try to fix it? That it *still* doesn't work? We can part it out, then." A few days later, after he'd had the chance to find some videos, we watched one very detailed one together. He asked, "Think we can do this?" I said, "I'm feeling 80% confident." So, we opened her up. Now, keep in mind that the inside of a tv is basically a computer... and my husband has built all of our desktops (plus a bunch before we were together). He also has a degree in Electrical Engineering (one of his three degrees). So, one afternoon, we took it mostly apart - screen off, speaker off, metal plate off, projector lamp covered (to protect from dust), plastic housing off, lamp out, wires disconnected, one of the circuit boards off... now, how do we get to the fan housing? Unscrewed a bunch of stuff, took a bunch of pics of our progress while we had the video up and paused, and we got the housing out. It was really dusty so Ace took it out to the garage and used the air compressor on it. We then put it back in, put it back together up to, but not including, the speaker wires. Turned it on; same error. UGH!
At this point, Ace was irritated, and we'd already settled on a tv (a 70" Vizio 4K model that got super high ratings) so we got that ordered from Costco and he started dinner. About half hour later, he said, "BABE! Come here." So I went into the kitchen. He said, "What if the speakers need to be connected for it to work?" I said, "A continuous loop? It's possible." After dinner, we plugged in the speakers and turned it on again. WOO HOO; IT WORKED!
So, we put the big one back in the living room and the smaller one into the spare room. Ace then said to me, "It's not too late to cancel the Costco order..." I said no; figuring we could sell this one. I was ready for the newer one, anyway. Good thing I did, because a few hours later, it went black again. This time, the fan wouldn't move at all. Ok, then; perhaps the fan's motor was bad. We priced them out and found that for less than $20, we could get a new fan. If, after we fix it again, the tv worked, we could sell it for $200-$250. If it doesn't work, it would be worth maybe half that in parts. Totally worth the price of the fan. So, we ordered the fan and switched out the tvs again.
The following day, while I worked, Ace decided to don his "lovely" Tyvex suit and crawl under the house. He split the cable line and ran the phone line in there, so we can actually use the DVR that's in there, as well as hook up the phone line to the 3-In-One (printer, copier, fax). He has to fax his medical stuff in every six months for his leave, and if the power ever goes out, we may need it for a wired phone (we have a grey one in the garage).
The fan showed up about 3 days later, but we didn't get to it until earlier this week. It was so much easier to take apart the the third time! We were able to replace the fan and put it mostly together in less than three hours. However, when we went to test it out again (yes, the speaker wires WERE connected this time), we got a *six* flashing red LED light error message. Hmmmmm... Ace looked that up, laughed, and said, "Duh." When I asked, he goes, "We forgot to put the lamp back in." HAHAHAH! Ok, then. That done, we turned it on again, and it works fine. YAY! He then connected it to the DVR, the VCR/DVD player we still own, and the computer. He's been playing regular video games, Rock Smith, stuff off Steam, using Netflix, FaceBook, and the DVR for a couple random shows... if it's still in good working order this weekend, we'll put it up for sale (it's a great tv, but way too big for that room); the 48" will go back in there once the 60" is sold.
(3) During all of this, we've been on the phone three times, and chat once, with Frontier -- our DVRs are old (currently one is watch-only, the other records; we can watch/record only up to two shows at a time, and the recordable one is only 180G), the aux/battery back up for the internet went out (we're currently using our house back up, temporarily), our bill was way too high & kept rising, and the speed tests proved we weren't getting the speed we were paying for. They fixed our bill, we're getting upgraded DVRs (two at 500G each, watch/record up to six at a time), a new Aux box for the internet, they sent a new battery, and the upload/download speeds (which now match) are even a bit higher than the number on our new plan... for $100+ savings/month from our last few bills.
(4) After the garden/beds are done, we're planning on putting in a compost bin and redoing our gates. (A) We're trying to figure out what kind of compost bin we want and what type of base we need for it, and (B) We're starting to finalize plans for the two gates -- the one to the left of my garage will be a single panel wood or composite swing style, and the one to the right of my house will be a double open, to allow for vehicle access. Not sure yet if the panels will swing in, out, or both...
(5) We've been able to hit up multiple concerts and shows lately... the last one was Shinedown at the Roseland last week. Standing room only, but great view and not packed up in the "over 21y" area. We also stopped for pie at Shari's before going home. Next up is Jeff Dunham, then 2Cellos. Also, our 12th wedding anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Seven Tenets...

I recently unfriended and blocked a fellow nail tech... Not because of anything nail related, but because of her answer to this question (posed by a fellow nail tech): "If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?" Her answer was "Atheists, because they are the worst evil in this world..." Um, what?!? Of all the things wrong with this world, THAT'S what you chose?!? Ugh...

The only thing that can be said of *ALL* atheists is that we DO NOT believe in any god... that's it. Everything else is separate and individualized. You saying "All atheists..." is the same as me saying "All Christians..." I actually say that I am an atheist, a humanist, a feminist, and so much more. That being said, I am a huge fan of what the Satanic Temple stands for (please check out their website for more information; yes, even you Christians... because most of you have been misled as to what that is, and continue to be fearful of them).

Interesting & informative article... and a reminder that the Satanic Temple DOES NOT WORSHIP SATAN!

And, if you don't want to read the whole article, here are the seven tenets mentioned --

1. — One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
2. — The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
3. — One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
4. — The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
5. — Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
6. — People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
7. — Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

I have no idea why some religious people are afraid of this "Religion" (obviously, they have not done their homework on it); it's much better than the rules most other faiths try to push... and hey, no threats of eternal damnation (man-made creation as that is).