Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Culture of Anger and Happy Birds

I was reading my old local rag this morning (that would be the Ogden Standard Examiner, if you're interested) and came across a story about at trucker who was stabbed in the chest by another trucker.  Using a screwdriver. 

Why?  What had the gentlemen with the tool in his chest done to earn this?

He drove too slowly, apparently.  The other trucker, frustrated, whipped around him, then cut him off, got out of his truck, stomped back, and stabbed him in the chest with a screwdriver!

Calm the hell down.  I'm serious, if you have ever, EVER considered shooting, stabbing, beating, or otherwise accosting someone because their driving isn't to your liking, you need to hand those keys over to a sane person and take the damned bus. 

Hand your firearms over, too.  You're one of the scary ones who shouldn't have them.

Had someone last night tell me that the news is slanted, they only report the bad, never the good.  That things aren't as bad as they seem, it's just that the news broadcasts focus on the awfulness instead of the goodness.  This is an argument that has long bothered me.  See, asking the media to report every time something good happens is like calling your doctor every morning and shouting, "Doc!  Ever few seconds I breathe out!  And then in!  And then out!  And my heart?  It's beating 70 times a minute!  And I feel good!  And nothing hurts!"  Okay, that's great, it is, we're all very happy about that, but it's not news.  It doesn't possibly affects us ("Officials warn us to be on the lookout for a 6'2" bald male wearing a dark gray Kenneth Cole suit with a predominantly grey Brioni silk tie and matching pocket kerchief. Witnesses report he offered a woman in line at 7-11 the 56 cents she was short on her morning donut, then, after paying for his coffee and fuel, he smiled at three people.").   It's not unusual or surprising.  It doesn't need to be brought to our attention in order to perhaps inspire us to action.

I'm not saying the news hasn't gone a bit over the line when it comes to the orgy of coverage some awful things get, but to suggest that the news should focus on happy, good things?  That's silly.  Sunny, mild weather is nice, but it's the hurricane and its attendant 11 inches of rain that means to do me harm.

On the subject of silliness, the "end of the world" bull is hitting a fever pitch.  I wish there was some way to inspire these folks to send me all their money.  After all, the world's ending, what do they care?  I think my only fear is the "self-fulfilling prophecy" crowd.  You know, the ones who would decide to use that date as their "going out with a bang" date.  In other words, I'm not scared that the Mayans were right, but I am a little worried that someone might do something in order to try and prove that the Mayans were right.

And speaking of proving people right, don't do this.  Don't decide that, because someone thinks ill of you, you may as well live down to their expectations.  How childish is that?  "Well, if you already think I'm having an affair (or stealing, or not trying at school, or whatever), then I might as well just DO that!"  How incredibly immature is that response?  It's a common one in folks I've known, and it drives me utterly batty.  If someone downs you, if someone assumes the worst about you, just tell them they're wrong and continue being YOU.  Really, what do you prove by becoming the scumbag they say you are?  Besides that you're stupid?

A small note for the "if the teachers had been armed" crowd.  Please read up on the Fort Hood disaster.  A base full of highly trained soldiers, with weapons galore, and that guy managed to shoot up 45 people (13 fatally) before a couple of Army cops put an end to it.  Those were highly trained soldiers, and they couldn't stop a shooter.  You expect a group of kindergarten teachers to do better?  I'm not dissing teachers, I love them, but they're not soldiers, and even soldiers struggle with a shooter scenario.  So stop being silly.  Arming teachers is a ridiculous idea.

It's so close to Christmas, and we're all getting a little antsy.  Thinking about moving the date up a few days, opening the presents early.  Like Friday, maybe.  Or tonight.  Maybe claiming that space between Hanukkah and Christmas as our own holiday.  Maybe naming it "Impatience."  It has a nice ring to it.

Had Dreamfield's angel hair pasta with Italian chicken breast and Wegman's tomato basil sauce.  We carefully measure servings, and augment the pasta with julienned carrots, which makes for a bigger, tastier, healthier meal.  Hubby made cheese crisps in the oven--you just grate up parmesan or asiago cheese with some Italian herbs, put one tablespoon of cheese in each muffin pan spot, and then bake it.  Super tasty, and I can do that and not blow my calories.  In fact, I was a couple hundred under yesterday.  Tonight's fajitas, made with boneless, skinless chicken, red bell peppers, onions, spices, and two tablespoons of fat free sour cream wrapped up in a Kontos Lavash, which is easier on my carbs (and super tasty).  We'll have it with black beans (Goya low sodium) spiced up to our liking and one serving of Mexican rice.  Well under my calories for the day, and I do love the meal.

It's almost that time again--in February, it'll be the Great Backyard Bird Count.  I do it every year, it's easy--just put aside a piece of time and count how many of what birds you see in your yard, park, or wherever.  It's free, it's a worthy cause (trying to get a good idea of how different species of birds are doing in this changing climate), and it's fun.  Here's a link:

That's a Waxwing in the button above, by the way.  Saw some the other day in a pyracantha bush, eating the berries.  It's been a long time since I've seen Waxwings--not since I was a little kid.  It was a very happy thing.  Watching the Mockingbirds school the Blue Jays at the same time, which is marvelously comedic.  The Cardinals, of course, stood aloof.  Too cool for school.

Oh, and a shout-out to the nephew (and his latest "baby mama")?  "CELICA" is NOT a child's name, it's a CAR.  18 years old and you've already managed to produce THREE babies, NONE of whom you can support, and now you're looking to name one after a compact import?  Goodness. 

And I think that's all I have in me right now.  Here's some bad paneling:

Not the very worse paneling I've ever seen, but sure is a LOT of it.

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