Monthly Archives: November 2016

Parenting

Father in Training (Hometown Heartbreakers Book 3)” by Susan Mallery –

“Her head snapped up. “You’re not a parent. How would you know—” 

“Having a child of your own doesn’t give you instant access to magical skills, so quit acting like it does,” he interrupted. “I might not have raised kids, but I’ve been around them my whole life. I see messed-up ones on the job just about every day. You make it sound like you were out with me while the house burned down. Chances are, even if we’d never met, you still would have sent the kids to camp. They wanted to go.””

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Some Parental Advice

“Father in Training (Hometown Heartbreakers Book 3)” by Susan Mallery –

“She ignored the images and instead wondered if she would ever learn how to be a parent. It felt as if every time she got one mothering skill mastered, her kids grew a little and needed something else. Maybe she should spend some time with Lindsay alone. They could do the female bonding thing.

 Or she could just curl up under a rock until all these problems went away.”

I’m not really a parent despite the fact that I have a stepson. He’s only 4 years younger than me, so it really doesn’t count. But, I can definitely say a few things about being a parent which y’all real parents need to take heed of instead of getting pissed off at all the non-parents who give unasked for advice.

The most important thing to do is TALK TO YOUR KIDS AND NOT IN THE “STRUCTURED” BIRDS AND THE BEES WAY! If you EVER feel like you don’t know your child, guess what? You failed at parenting. Period. Because you never took them out and talked with them in a conversational sense. You probably spent a lot of time talking AT them and getting pissed off because their replies weren’t what you wanted to hear. You probably have never considered that your child’s opinion ever mattered.

I grew up with a dad who had conversations with me all the time. I didn’t really speak to other people, but some of my fondest memories are of playing catch in tyhe backyard and marvelling afterwards at how our conversation would start with something silly, morph into whatever had been happening at school and end someplace completely different. This way of conversing is how my dad got to know me and we still have lengthy conversations on everything.

NOTE: The question “How was school today?” will ALWAYS be answered with “Fine.” regardless of how verbose your child actually is. I didn’t realize until my senior year that this was the case, when even though if something cool did happened, I wouldn’t tell him until sometime later during dinner or whatever. There’s just something about that question and others like it that made me not want to talk about school or anything else.

My mom,on the other hand, while we did have plenty of nice conversations, she never took them as an opportunity to know me. Christmas, for example, is always a fight with us because she disregards everything I’ve told her in a multitude of different settings about wanting ONE good gift rather than the piles and PILES of CRAP she’d prefer to give me. It’s like I’m the opposite of Dudley Dursely getting upset because he got one less gift this year than last year, before he’s even opened any, while I’m fuming as I open ANOTHER individually wrapped hand towel that won’t fit in our tiny house! Last year I told my mom to bring my gifts to my grandma’s to open (rather than going to my parents to open them), hoping to guilt trip her into only giving me thoughtful gifts in public. I told her to give me whatever was important to her to open there and stuff whatever she couldn’t help herself about in our car for me to open at home. After the second stupid christmas ornament that is HER style, NOT mine, I stuffed all the rest of her gifts in the car unopened and told her off when she wanted praise.

My dad has never bought me a crappy present because he knows what I like. I’ve pretty much given up on my mom getting over herself enough to even care what she buys me. I hate how commercialized Christmas is. My dad says I should just accept my moms gifts with a smile to make her feel good, but you know what? If I’m going to Hell for being ungrateful, I’d rather go down swinging for wanting LESS than letting her EVER think that its acceptable for her to further indebten my parents to appease her shopping addiction.

 I cringe at the debt my parents are in, with their tiny house that’s filled to the gills and falling apart, and I’m sorry if I seem like a Scrooge when I break down in tears and beg for the day she spends a quarter (less?!?!) of what she normally does on dozens of gifts for me and instead buys ONE decent oven mitt (one that actually protects the hand instead of  a decorative set that is barely better than a dishtowel and comes with a towel that doesn’t actually dry anything, which she’s given me and wonders why I throw them away) and nothing else! Hell, I’ll break out in Hallelujahs if there comes a year when she gets so upset with my ingratitude she refuses to buy me a single damn thing! She’ll never understand why, but that’ll be the year I finally like Christmas.

Anyway parents out there, during this season of family, I hope you take the time to really get to know your children and maybe start listening when they tell you things that you don’t want to hear. Don’t be like my mom who still thinks more presents tells me that she loves me more and doesn’t listen when I tell her that the more she buys me the more I feel she DOESN’T love me because she’s disregarding MY feelings on the subject.

Lives Worth Saving

 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling –

“I’d like to appeal to all our listeners to emulate their example, perhaps by casting a protective charm over any Muggle dwellings in your street. Many lives could be saved if such simple measures are taken.” 

“And what would you say, Royal, to those who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be ‘Wizards first’?” asked Lee. 

“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,’” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.””

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Muggle-born Registry

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling –

““‘Recent research undertaken by the Department of Mysteries reveals that magic can only be passed from person to person when Wizards reproduce. Where no proven Wizarding ancestry exists, therefore, the so-called Muggle-born is likely to have obtained magical power by theft or force. 

“‘The Ministry is determined to root out such usurpers of magical power, and to this end has issued an invitation to every so-called Muggle-born to present themselves for interview by the newly appointed Muggle-born Registration Commission.’””

It starts so innocuously…

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“Draining the Swamp”

Trump wants to put term limits on Congress. While this is a noble cause, I think it’ll ultimately need a Constitutional Amendment to make it stick (Executive Orders are ficklethings which the other party will always claim is Executive Overreach).

I think that a more productive way to make Congress work better would be to make the salary of ALL elected officials be based on the average salary of their constituency. So, if a Congressman, for instance, wants a pay raise, they have to increase the average salary of their district.

And, since I don’t feel like making another new post, I shall add a comment here on a slightly unrelated topic: the next Supreme Court Justice. I saw a news article which said that Sen. Lindsay Graham recommends that Trump look towards the Senate for his Supreme Court Justice pick and that Ted Cruz would be excellent. While I know that the rules for picking a Justice are relatively loose, I don’t think having and using a law degree either for prosecution or defense is enough to warrant the position. I think that you should have to serve as a lower judge, first, so that the Senate has actual judgments to base their decision on, not just a batch of cases that the person decided to work on. Judges should be non-partisan and should be able to make fair judgments regardless of their personal opinions based on the laws. Prosecutors and Defense attorneys are inherently biased and while that’s an okay start for a lower court, the people on the  highest court need to have a broad selection of judgments on their resume.

Trump the Puppet

Have you noticed something about post-election Trump? He just doesn’t sound like himself. He seems pretty flat and not as animated as he was on the campaign trail.

Oh wait. There were times on the campaign trail when he did act like this. It was during those times when his campaigns were trying to make him seem more fit for office and made him read off a teleprompter.

For me, the big boisterous Trump is the real Trump. You can see him during one of those telepromted speeches during that moment when you can see in his eyes that he’s just said something that he likes and he gets really excited and repeats it 3 more times, going off script for a minute before returning to the puppet reciting his lines.

I guess his ability to be a puppet is a good thing because it means that he can be controlled.  But at the same time, Americans have an electoral college to elect the president for a reason. We don’t have a parliamentary system where we elect our representatives who then elect their leader. If we wanted a puppet controlled by Congress, why not just have a parliamentary system?

What is kind of hilarious is reading the opinions written by people who’d opposed Trump during the election who now want him to unite the country. In order for him to take their advice, he’ll have to alienate the people who voted for him. But those things that Trump got excited about during the campaign are the very things that they want him to now oppose.

Is Trump going to renig on building the wall? Probably not because it fulfills so many of the things he got excited about on the campaign trail: it’ll create jobs and keep out those pesky foreigners. But why couldn’t he build it as a private citizen?

Trump v. Clinton

Below is a comment I just wrote to someones blog. Her premise is that voting for Trump was an act of Love because he’ll do so much stuff for women and minorities even though he’s actually said some disgusting things about women and minorities and made few concrete promises about anything that would be guaranteed to help them.

But I didn’t bother commenting on that. It’s a waste of breath to debate what people think Trump might do that’s positive when the reality of what he’s actually said is so opposite. People can live in their fantasy world as long as they like; I’ll just roll my eyes.

No, my comment was on Trump’s tax returns and other financial data. Maybe I’m petty, but if there’s one lie I want Trump to be caught in it’s about his net worth and business practices. After reading Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power I have zero confidence in Trump’s business practices and it feels like that’s the ONE pass he gets (“Yeah, we know he’s immoral, liberal, etc, but at least he knows business“). I just don’t get how anyone who considers themselves to be a fiscal conservative could vote for Trump when it’s only his word that says that he is the great businessman he claims to be.

By the way, Trump is really paranoid about people speculating on his finances and to me that’s very telling. If he’s as good a businessman and as rich as he claims to be, why not prove this to the world? Why does he have to resort to (possible) fabrications? Please don’t say that he’s humble. Humble people don’t say “I donated Millions to charity. I’m so generous it’s ridiculous!” Humble people say: “Yes, I donated money to causes X, Y, and Z and let me tell you about the amazing things they do!” and then they go into specific details.


My point about his income is that the ONLY data that currently exists on his business practices indicate that he’s a shitty businessman. There is nothing to prove that he’s actually worth what he claims he is now especially when in the mid 1990s his bankers put him on a $400,000/year ALLOWANCE so that he could maintain his image so that the banks could sell his property for more money (let everyone pretend that his buildings were worth more than they actually were). The ONLY thing going for Trump is that he’s supposedly a good businessman and like I said, without proper financial statements, that’s a load of hot air.

Trump Airlines: customer survey cards said that what customers wanted was to get from point A to point B in a timely manner. Trump spent millions not on increasing efficiency, but on gold plated sinks and carpet so plush the flight attendants complained about how difficult it was to push the beverage carts. Trump told them to push harder.

Trump Taj Mahal: Even though he already owned and operated 2 casinos in Atlantic City, he decided to open this monstrosity. Before it opened, an industry reporter wrote an article that predicted record profits for it’s first 3 months then it would quickly go into bankruptcy because it’s operating expenses exceeded it’s earnings potential. Trump threatened to sue the writer’s employer if he didn’t retract the article or be fired. The writer was fired. One day after the Taj opened, gambling regulators halted the gambling operations because they’d lost over a million dollars in chips. Gambling was illegal there for a few days while the chips were missing. They were found when someone realized the bag they were in had been used to prop open the door of the counting room because it was too hot in that room because the room was too small for that operation. Why was the room too small? Trump didn’t want to spend the money to move walls to make the room the proper size. By the way, the regulators were being nice to allow that room’s door to be propped open in the first place since it’s supposed to be kept closed.

Trump’s other two casinos were doing okay in the market before the Taj was built. After the Taj, suddenly he had 3 casinos who had to steal each others customers in order to make bank. Meanwhile, Trump had installed one of his wives as the manager of one of the other casinos (I can’t remember which one) and she spent most of her time and the casino’s money remodeling. And then they went bankrupt.

At least half of the “TRUMP” buildings in the world aren’t owned by Trump. He doesn’t even invest his own money in them. Some other group of investors just get Trump to license them the use of his name. This cushy arrangement for Trump means that he gets to take in a fabulous salary and make important decisions about the appearance of “his” buildings all without risking his money. He pretends to be an investor while other people actually take the risk. In one case, the hotel/apartment building had to make bad financial decisions in order to keep up with Trump’s image demands (spending too much money on gold plated sinks, expensive Italian marble) because it was cheaper to comply than lose Trump’s endorsement. This was during the housing market crash. The building’s investors were having trouble making ends meet, so they requested that Trump let them skip paying his licensing fee for a month or two and they’d pay him with interest as soon as they could. Trump told them that if they didn’t pay him he’d sue, which would mean the investors would lose even more money, so they did what they could to pay him. Within a few more months, that building was looking for a new buyer and the investors, some of whom were folks like you and me deciding to buy a condo in that building in order to sell it for a profit later, were out a lot of money. But not Trump: his contracts ensure that he gets paid first as soon as things start heading south and with 8000 lawsuits under his belt, he’s not shy about going to court.

In fact, our President-elect will be in court on Nov. 28, 2016 to possibly finally settle the matter of Trump University, where Trump as spokesman promised folks that they’d learn how to be “just like Trump”. There are fears that what comes out of this trial will be enough to go for an Impeachment and he’s not even inaugurated yet.

Now, you wish to call Clinton a traitor because she didn’t release her emails. Well, her emails as Secretary of State never had a hacking attempt on them, while the State Departments servers are attacked thousands (millions?) of times a day. So, her emails were actually safer than other government officials just because hackers didn’t know where to look for them. Also, have you ever heard of this thing called a home printer? It is utterly ridiculous to call Clinton a traitor because her emails were on a private server when her emails COULD have been on the government server and she could have printed out all the juicy secrets and mailed them to whomever she wanted to in a non-descript #10 envelope. Maybe even with security tinting. It’s actually easier to tell when someone has done something wrong via a computer than when they’ve done something analog. Hell, she could have even skipped the printer queue and hand written the secrets she was so desperate to share and not left any digital trail. But there would be a paper trail, in a manner of speaking. So maybe she just verbally told the secrets to her buddies in a secret location where no cameras could catch her. If someone can prove that something nefarious actually came out of those emails, THEN there’d be a story, but as it is…there’s nothing, just as the FBI keeps saying.

I guess I’ll end on the Trump Foundation, which the state of NY has every right to take Trump to court over because he was illegally collecting money from donors when his foundation was only supposed to be spending his own money.

$1,000,000 Bible Tract

As I opened a letter today to reply to one of my pen pals, a Bible Tract fell out. It wasn’t a surprise given who this pen pal is, but as I browsed the Tract, I couldn’t help but giggle.

The Tract in question is one of those “$1,000,000 Question” ones; it looks like a $1,000,000 bill (U.S. Currency), with the pitch on the back. This one has Thomas Jefferson on the face, which immediately struck me as odd because when he was running for president of the US, his opponents people (because it was the “people” who did the campaigning, not the candidate back then) labeled him an atheist.

Thomas Jefferson wasn’t an atheist, but he’s certainly not the first president (or other founding father) I’d associate with an Evangelical Bible Tract! I mean, this is the man who literally cut apart a Bible (possibly 2 or 3 because I think he included the Greek and Latin (and Wikipedia hints at the French as well) translations) to create the “Jefferson Bible” which reorders the story of Jesus into chronological order (combining Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John into one continuous story) while removing all the supernatural events. This was his way of making sense of Christianity.

So, reading the back of this tract made my head explode because it includes “Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death”, but Jefferson ended his Bible with the tomb stone being rolled closed, which means that he rejected the resurrection of Jesus, a key tenant of traditional Christianity!

But, I think that LivingWaters.com has received complaints about this particular Tract because it’s not amongst the 65 Tracts that are currently up for sale (this post was written on 11/6/2016). I found this out when I went to find a link to the Tract and see what it’s “billed” as. It looks like they’ve replaced Jefferson with Benjamin Franklin (who apparently wrote a letter now titled: Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress).

I’m starting to think that maybe I’ve missed the point of these particular Tracts. Maybe we’re supposed to reject the front part ($1,000,000 and the “stately Statesman”) and instead focus on the message on the back…I guess I need to ask this pen pal for clarification.

Overs and Unders

“The Stitching Hour: An Embroidery Mystery” by Amanda Lee –

I don’t know how other shops are, but I’m always giving customers their overseas without charge because I’d rather they be used than be recycled.

“Riley and I thought it best to leave Angus at home this trip. We shouldn’t be gone long, and he was—as Riley had pointed out—another variable that could call the accuracy of our count into question. On the chance that more than one key ring was missing, the prosecutor could ask, “How can you be a hundred percent certain that your dog didn’t carry off one while you were counting them?” Riley really did think of everything.”

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