Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not-so-Saturday Wordzzle Challenge:
Week 103

Hi everyone,

My apologies for the sudden vanishing act. I am still only semi back, I think. My friend Nate came and spent several hours yesterday evening and got the computer so at least I could get the Explorer browser running. Things are still kind of messed up, though, so I'm not sure how long this will last or if I'll be able to do more than pretty basic functions. Having trouble with visual stuff and not able to get things to download. It's all frustrating and aggravating. I was lucky that SKYPE and AIM kept working so I was able to get my niece to post the notice that I wasn't able to post... so at least I didn't just vanish.

Anyway, I'll be around this morning to check out people's contributions and will see if I can catch up and write my own. Meanwhile, so it doesn't get forgotten, here are some words for next week. The first eight words in the 10-word list have a history. Ten years ago a friend of mine who lives in Greece (Hi Viviane!) sent me a list of words. She has been having computer problems too and during her crisis started sorting through papers - she has printed out a lot of stuff - and came across the words and what I'd written. She challenged me to use them again and then she'd compare what I wrote now 10 years later to what I wrote then. So I thought I'd use them for our Saturday challenge and add a few more. So...

Next week's 10-word challenge: culture, sheep, skin, mentally, box, desert, several people, church, Greece, thirst,

Next week's mini challenge: swimming pool, cargo, czar, focus, fine

Here's a quick stab at a mega for this week...

Pluto, the labrador, was champing at the bit to explore all the wonders of the beach. There was that cool slimy seaweed and the starfish and that soggy thing full of matches that smelled really interesting. His human had no sense of adventure these days. She was always worrying about him doing something called "upsetting the apple cart" (he had done that once quite literally at the farmer's market and it was apparently a chapter in his life that he would never be allowed to live down. Even though his person had helped to get it upright again and had given the person some paper stuff, someone had nicknamed him Pesticide Pluto - a farmer joke, they said - and eventually, the human had stopped taking him along when she went there. But the beach... it was a puppy's paradise and he couldn't understand his human's reluctance to let him loose to explore. These days she seemed more uptight than usual. She was struggling with something called depression and her moods were unpredictable. Plus she seemed sometimes more unsteady than she used to be when she walked and he had heard her talking to a friend about something called liver spots. They had sounded very upset. It worried him. These days she mostly sat on the sofa in her plaid robe and slippers with a channel changer in her hand, so he was grateful that they were at least out together on an adventure. He looked back at her sitting in the sand and saw something in her demeanor that made him pause. Exploring could wait. And despite the wonders around him, he curled up quietly beside her and nuzzled against her, licking a tear from her cheek. At that she smiled and her face looked peaceful for the first time in days. Thanks, Plu. You keep me going, you know. I love you, you silly overgrown rascal. You give me joy as well as love. Thanks.

I HOPE... hope, hope hope,... that I'll see you all next week. I'll try to get around to read the posts from those of you who posted even without me.

Sort of late for this, but I'll put Mr. Linky up in case anyone wants to use him:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cyber Deprived

There's a good chance I won't be posting wordzzles for a bit. I am currently cyber deprived. As soon as I am up and running, I will post. Be back soon.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Reason's to Pass Health Care

In the best of all possible worlds, health care reform would mean universal coverage - a system like Canada or France. This not being the best of all possible worlds, I think we should at least take what we can get. Imperfect reform is still reform.

The following came in my email from the White House. I thought it was worth sharing...

Good afternoon,

$1,115 -- that's the average monthly premium for employer-sponsored family coverage in 2009. Annually, that amounts to $13,375, or roughly the yearly income of someone working a minimum wage job.1

It gets worse: a recent survey found that if we do nothing, over the next ten years, out-of-pocket expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent in every state in the country.2

In an effort to put the past year's debate over health insurance reform into perspective, we're launching "Health Reform by the Numbers," an online campaign using key figures, like $1,115, to raise awareness about why we can't wait any longer for reform. We'll be sending out a new number every day. Learn what you can do to help spread the word:

Learn More

$1,115 is more money than what many Americans pay for rent or mortgage. But there's more to the problem than just numbers.

Take Leslie Banks, an American mom with a daughter in college. In January of this year, she received a notice from her health insurance provider that her plan was being dropped. To keep the same benefits, the premiums for her and her daughter would more than double. Leslie was told by the insurance company that there was nothing she could do -- it was an across-the-board premium hike. If she paid the same monthly premium amount as before, the deductible would increase from $500 to $5,000, and she and her daughter would no longer have preventive care or prescription coverage.

Yesterday, Leslie introduced President Obama at a health reform event in Pennsylvania. Check out what they had to say.

It's important to raise awareness about numbers like $1,115 and stories like Leslie’s because skyrocketing health care costs impact all of us. So take a moment to forward this email to your family, friends and online networks.

With all of us working together, we'll send the message loud and clear -- the time is now for health insurance reform. It's time we made our health care system work for American families and small businesses, not just insurance companies.

Let's get it done.

Nancy-Ann DeParle
Director, White House Office of Health Reform

As I've said before, I don't get people's resistance to universal coverage.

Massachussetts has a program similar to what the White House has proposed and it is apparently working quite well, the Republican Governor of the state opposes offering the rest of the country desperately needed help. One has to wonder if this is concern for the country or politics. Well, one doesn't really have to wonder, the answer is pretty obvious.

I read recently that Sarah Palin used to go across the border to get health care for her family. You know that horrible socialist country to our north where she didn't have to pay for care. Hmmm.

Another great reason to support Health Care reform is that Rush Limbaugh has threatened to leave the country and move to Costa Rica (which has universal health coverage) if health care passes. Would that the man ever spoke the truth. When he got sick in Hawaii a few months back, he raved about his care until he discovered that Hawaii has had universal coverage for its citizens for 40 years!

The biggest reasons as far as I'm concerned, though - are human decency. What kind of nation are we if we let our own citizens suffer and die needlessly, when we don't make sure that every pregnant women gets the best possible care. There's also the common sense reason. While there may be short-term costs to reform, there are long-term savings... in money and in lives. I bought new windows for my house a while back. I had to accrue debt to do it, spend money I couldn't afford. Do I regret the decision? Not for a second. My quality of life has improved enormously, I'm saving on heating costs and the environment is benefiting too.

I don't know if this analogy works, but I'm going to try it. The current state of health care - the uninsured, the outrageous costs - are like a cancerous tumor slowly killing the nation's people and it's economy. We can keep postponing surgery and see our people and our economy die while we wait - or we can take action, even imperfect action. Maybe we'll need additonal surgery. We'll be alive to have it.

Sometimes you have to spend to save. Sometimes you spend because its necessary. Our current health care system has left many bankrupt or in crippling debt, even those who thought they were insured. That's just destructive of individual lives and of the nation's economic well-being.

Lastly, I guess, it's simply not right for so many people to live without access to health care. We are our brother's (and sister's) keepers. It's true that if we don't hang together we will all hang separately. If we don't hang together way too many of us will die separately, needlessly in pain and in poverty. That's just wrong.

Guess that's all I have to say. Not sure how coherent it is, but...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge, Week 102

This is week 102 of the Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. My list of mistake this week is overwhelming. SOOO sorry. Am I wrong or was pregnant on our list recently I try not to repeat words and phrases but sometimes I slip up. Sorry. Sorry too about food cream... and the fact that unlike a couple of weeks ago when there were 9 words, this time there are apparently 11. Agggghhhh! I have no idea what food cream is, how it got there, or what I was thinking. Probably meant whipped cream. And I spelled Hershey wrong. Clearly it wasn't a good week here in Hancock. Maybe they should start preparing my room at "the Home."

Participation seems to have dropped off significantly of late but I plan to keep going for a while and reassess the situation at some point down the line. I would like some feedback from everyone about taking "Saturday" out of the equation since quite a few folks are having trouble making the Saturday deadline. It never really was a deadline in my mind, it's just back when I started the Wordzzle Challenge, I was posting daily or close to daily and so I picked Saturday for this challenge. If people would prefer it, we can change it (except for the logo which I'm too lazy at the moment to revise) to the WEEKLY wordzzle challenge and people can just post whenever they are ready. I'd still post mine on Friday evening as I've been doing. Let me know what you think.

This week's words were: smoothness, sugar daddy, page, Copernicus, liquid, craggy, trapezoid, milquetoast, blizzard, food cream, dental problems For the mini: Hershey kisses, pregnant, scarring, cadet, grist mill

My mini:

Cadet Wanda Walker sat on her bunk and cried. She couldn't believe she was pregnant. How had this happened? One romantic dinner at the Grist Mill Inn with Max and her career was ruined. She had been worried by the occasional bouts of nausea but when she started craving Hershey Kisses, she knew... Now she would have to leave the army, the career that she loved. She knew that she carried deep emotional scarring from her own childhood as an army brat and she would not let that happen to her baby girl (she knew somehow that she was having a girl). She didn't know how Steve would feel about things, but she guessed she had to tell him. With or without him, though, this child would be loved and have a stable safe life. She would make sure of it.

The mega:

What on earth is food cream??? Who made up these words? Didn't she proof read? I have no idea what I was thinking... obviously I WASN'T thinking. The grist mill of my brain had ground to a halt, wasn't functioning... major snafu. Sigh. Anyway... here's a bit of nonsense with for the rest of the words (which were also pretty awful). I wish I had a sugar daddy named Copernicus Trapezoid Jones. He'd have a craggy, handsome features, beautiful liquid brown eyes you could drown in, an urbane smoothness (not creepy or fake, just a natural easy charm), a wry but gentle wit, and piles of money. No dental problems, no major scarring (though I really don't care about that a bit... just have to get rid of the word). A gorgeous smile. We'd be on the same page politically. He wouldn't be a milquetoast, but he'd be agreeable. I'd win most of our arguments because he'd be persuaded by my thoughtful intelligence. Our days would be pregnant with laughter and inspiration. We'd write books together. On those days when I'm down or feeling like a space cadet, he'd hold my hand and see me through. And during Hancock's winter blizzards, we'd snuggle together and sip hot chocolate or nibble Hershey kisses. I'd like that. So Copernicus Jones, if you're out there.... I'm waiting.

The 10-word:

Copernicus Jones was considered by some to be almost too perfect. Men who were jealous called him - erroneously - a Harvey Milquetoast. He never much cared what people thought. Considering how perfect he was, he was remarkably modest and self-effacing. He'd had a trapezoid shaped face, handsome "craggy" features, skin that was reputed to have the smoothness of silk, and huge, liquid brown eyes that positively oozed with intelligence, humor and compassion. He'd never had a dental problem in his life. At age 58, his teeth were still perfect. His smile was reputed to make women swoon. When he had - in a moment of loneliness, because amazingly Copernicus Jones was lonely - listed himself on one of those e-harmony type websites, his email had been overwhelmed with a positive blizzard of responses. He'd had to take down his Facebook page because it too had been overwhelmed with admiring fans and women hoping for a handsome sugar daddy to buy them whatever they fancied. (Yes, Copernicus J was filthy rich too.) He'd responded to one woman because he was curious about her email address which was angelfoodcream@... etc. She had turned out to be a touch crazy and he had given up on the idea of love and companionship. Then last night he'd had a strange dream in which a laughing raven had been calling out his name... When he woke up he had a feeling that maybe there was hope for him yet.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge are: slimy, Pluto, champing at the bit, peaceful, chapter, upright, depression, starfish, matches, channel changer

For the mini: liver spots, pesticide, plaid, unpredictable, upsetting the apple cart

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week!


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Coffee Party Movement

Very interesting... The young woman who has started this movement makes wonderful good sense. I hope people listen to her. The last guy is a libertarian (not my cup of tea or coffee, but he's very interesting and thoughtful).