WHICH REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST THE HEALTHCARE BILL?

Just so you know, these are the Republican Senators who voted against the “healthcare” bill:


Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Virginia
Susan Collins, R-Maine
Dean Heller, R-Nevada
John McCain, R-Arizona
Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee (Chair of the Senate Health Committee)

Check your sources. Keep checking your sources. I can’t believe I have to keep saying this to people who really ought to know better.

Thank you, all of you Republicans who did the right thing for all of us. Now, how about a few more Republicans grow a pair and vote this disaster down, then work to create a healthcare bill that will serve all American people. You know … the folks who elected you?

Yes, those people.

OMG!

Have any of us ever calculated the number of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and even WordPress that start out with OMG or something to that effect? The sentence which follows might — or might not — have anything to do with the opening OMG. My personal favorite is when the author tried to fully engage the excitement, shock, horror, fear, loathing, and paralyzing awesomeness of whatever event has occurred.

A friend says she has seen ones that start with “OMG! I’M 25! That’s so OLD! What can I do NOW?”

Photo – Garry Armstrong

I would expect, given that she or he has lived 25 years of life to its fullest, it’s time to make burial plans. Surely any time spent living life past 25 would be a waste. Really, hasn’t she done it all? Anything from this point on would be repetition, right?

While we were out on the water with Tom and Ellin, there was an emergency in progress. A man had fallen in the water and apparently was “swept away.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense as the water was dead calm. It was low tide with water running in to the shore — not out to sea. But we’ll skip all that for now. I’m pretty sure Garry has much more to say about the story and he took a lot of pictures, too. Garry can do news and quite probably never said OH MY GOD in all his years of reporting.

What we saw were people on jet skis closing in apparently desperately hoping to find … what? The live guy? A dead guy? If you find a floating corpse while zipping around on your jet ski, what’s your next step? IS there a next step? Can you call the Coast Guard from your jet ski? Do you watch him float away while you zip back to shore to Tweet your friends about how you saw the totally OMG coolest thing in the WORLD in the WATER?

However much we may feel that the news doesn’t do the news like it used to do it, when you think about how the news would get done without the pros? It is mind-boggling. It also makes me nearly collapse with laughter.

ROARING DAM

I had seen all the dams I could find locally, so Kaity decided it was time we found something new. This is not as easy as you might think. Many of the most scenic parts of the valley are hidden in places that aren’t marked and are not on any map.

We tried one place and it was probably attractive, but clearly required some serious hiking to find places to shoot. She and I are not hikers, so we took a pass and eventually found Roaring Dam, a long, curved dam on a lovely piece of Blackstone River. I took pictures.

ALERT! TURKEY LEAKS SECRETS …

So I saw this headline:


Turkey Leaks Secret Locations of U.S.
Troops in Syria


and I thought — “What a strange business. Turkeys don’t usually have media ties.”

It took me a few minutes to remember that Turkey is a nation and not necessarily a gobbling bird trying to avoid Thanksgiving. This probably speaks to my overall loss of sanity regarding the world in which I live. I’m pretty sure that in earlier days, I’d have instantly recognized Turkey as the nation and not the bird.

Sanity is gone. What is left is a sense of being desperately short of sleep, broke … and holding a list of things I need to fix that exceeds any rational likelihood of doing them. Ever.

What to do next?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had more reality than I can handle. I’m going to read a book. Take me away, magic words.

TEA. PROPERLY.

I didn’t drink coffee until I was in my thirties, but from the day I discovered coffee, there was no turning back. I never liked coffee at home. I think what I didn’t like was the coffee my parents made at home.

They made some kind of typical American style canned coffee. Savarin, I think it was. They used a percolator and I loved the smell of the coffee on the stove, but to me it didn’t taste like something worth pursuing. When I moved to Israel in 1979, I met real coffee for the first time and it was love. I didn’t meet regular coffee, either. I encountered Moroccan or Bedouin coffee.

Boiled in a feenjon with sugar and served with foam on top. In tiny little cups by Bedouins who had a little glint in their eye because each was sure their coffee was the best of the best. I never found The Best coffee because it always seemed to me that the last cup I had was indeed, the best. From there I expanded into  Caffe Au Lait and other more standard brews, but always a lot stronger than the coffee I’d tried back in the U.S.

However. Before coffee, there was tea. Made from tea leaves and steeped in a proper teapot. Not bagged or boiled. Steeped. Five minutes in boiled water. You don’t need a lot of tea to make good tea. A little bit of The Good Stuff — fresh. Stored properly away from bright light and air.

When one of my fellow bloggers offered to send me some really good tea from India, I was thrilled. This was fresh tea from the fields where it grows. You can’t buy tea that fresh in the U.S. I’m pretty sure you can’t buy it anywhere except where it grows. After it arrived, I armed myself with a proper glass teapot that came with its own strainer and a couple of big glass mugs.

Coffee is for the morning. Coffee gets my feet moving on the ground. Clears the fuzziness from my brain and how good it tastes. But tea has its own space in my life.

Tea is for the evening. A couple of simple cookies and a cup of hot tea is settling. Peaceful. Comforting. It is the drink of the evening, the drink of long movies, and slow conversation.

There is a place for everything.

Drink up!

RETIREMENT BEATS CHILDHOOD

Retirement is better than childhood. You don’t work as a child, but they make you go to school — which can be as bad and sometimes, worse. Moreover, childhood is prepping for the work of your future. Other people set your schedule and tell you what to eat, drink, and wear. Now, retirement? No school, unless you feel like doing it. No one sets your schedule or tells you what to wear.

In your working years, you grow increasingly tired until one day, you look in a mirror. “Self,” you say. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“I could retire,” you point out to you. “I could pack it in, take the money” and as you think this, a little bell ding-a-lings deep in your mental recesses … a bell labeled “What money?” Have you sat with HR to find out what kind of money there is in your retirement fund? Do you have a retirement fund? 401 K?

“And anyway,” you continue, “There is Social Security, right? I’ve worked hard my entire life. Surely there’s enough in there to sustain life?”

So begins the intricate dance by which you detach yourself from the working world and figure out from whence all paychecks will come in the future. Ultimately, you slide into  a place where long-deferred pleasures await you. Hobbies are now your primary activity. You have free time that is truly free. Pity about the lack of a paycheck, but most of us feel that the insane freedom of retirement is a pretty good trade-off.

You get up when you like. Go to bed when you feel like it. Sleep late as often as possible. Read all night till the sun come up. Watch old movies until sleep pulls you into darkness. You can blog, read, and write your memoirs. Travel if money and your physical conditions allows. Most of us, after some initial confusion, settle down and discover that retirement is very good. With its restrictions, issues, and whatever … it’s very good. The best.

Barring ill-health — and don’t we wish we could bar ill-health — is far better than working no matter what your income because you don’t have a boss telling you what to do. Better than the years of raising children because you are no long a slave to the whims of your spoiled darlings who hopefully, have flown the coop and now nest elsewhere. With luck, they won’t fly back, bringing a birdie spouse and all the fledglings.

Would I work anyway if I had the option? Return to an office? Deadlines? Doing what I’m told or face the consequences? Schedules, on the job and off? Endless commutes? Taking ten minutes to get a sandwich, then wolfing it down while seated at the computer to the accompaniment of acid reflux?

No. I think not.