How to Fix Congress

Now I realize I have said this is not going to be a political blog.  Aggie already has that covered, and covered well!  🙂

But, I can’t live in a hole, either.  I know that I’m not the only person who is just fed up to the gills with the way our elected oficials run roughshod over the needs and desires of the American public.  And some days, it just seems like there’s no solution.

But today I read this on a friend’s Facebook posting.  And a tiny glimmer of hope shone out through my cluttered mind.  I’ve thought many of these things…but who is going to listen to me?  I’m no financial genius billionaire.  Well, maybe someday…but Warren Buffett is, and people actually DO listen when he speaks.  So I’m gonna share, and share, and share.  Because I can.  😛

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “Y
ou just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive
the message. Don’t you think it’s time?

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

Arachnaphobia

So I don’t just cook.  Surprising, right?  I also do biology stuff, some of which involves frolicking running about in the great outdoors.  I think I’m a pretty critter friendly kind of gal.

I’ve rescued baby birds and squirrels, and even rats.  Rescued a few grown squirrels, too (from the cats).  Word to the wise, they bite like, well…rodents.  A can/squirrel grabber or thick gloves can be very handy in these situations.

Kitchen Kat is not the culprit in that story.  He is definitely indoor only kitteh material.  Like, afraid to stick more than his head out the door!  The kitchen is a good place for him 🙂

I really don’t even mind insects.  But spiders…. we’re talking a whole different ballgame here, kids.

I think I was initially warped by that whole Little Miss Muffett thing.  Then I found out what curds and whey are, and was further warped.

When I was a kid, we lived out in the country.  In the woods, by the bayou.  Sound familiar?  And yes, this is the place I’m actually planning on building our palace on the bayou!

One memorable night, a spider crawled out of my hair onto my face while I was trying to get to sleep.  This was the first infringement of my personal space by the aforementioned beasties.  Needless to say, Mom and Dad were not amused by the bloodcurdling screams issuing from my bedroom after lights out.  Especially after they saw the tiny culprit on my bed.  Sensibly, I had abandoned said bed and was clinging halfway up the built-in bookcases on the other side of the room.

There were always the banana spiders.  At least, that’s what we called them.  Big, but at least they mostly stayed in the trees.

Unless you weren’t watching where you were going and walked into a web.  That story ends up with a GIGANTIQUE spider plastered across your face.  😦

Then there was the night of the tarantula.  Now, there are tarantulas that live in the woods out there.  Large wolf spiders are much more common, but the occasional tarantula happens.  When I saw the tarantula in my bedroom, I ran into the other room to get my Dad, as there was no way in Hell I was getting close enough to combat the huge thing.

Guess what?

I never slept in that room again.

I suppose I should be thankful that we of the Western Hemisphere do not have any species of spider that eagerly looks to take on a human.  And wins.

I hear stories from Australia that make my toes curl.

Meet the Sidney Funnel Web spider.  With inch long fangs that will pierce LEATHER.

Those inch long fangs dripping venom make a tarantula look friendly.  Almost cuddly.

Remember that trip of a lifetime to Australia that you always wanted to take BEFORE you learned that almost all of the wildlife, terrestrial, aquatic, and marine, as well as the plants, were just waiting for their window of opportunity to kill your goofy butt for invading their territory?

Don’t know about you, but I’ll be going to New Zealand.  I like sheep.  Sheep are just fine. As a bonus, they only have 4 legs!

Even when they insist on nibbling at my clothing.

Jackets are replaceable.  😛

Password Hell

I don’t know about the rest of you out there in digital land, but I have a complaint.  Actually, I have many, but I’m pretty sure you’re not coming here to hear me bitch, so I try to save those moments for my beloved family.

I realize that passwords are a necessity in these days of internet ninjas lurking in cyber space.

But I have SO many passwords, some on sites that I really don’t feel would in any way compromise my security.  For example, if you’d like to log in to Woman’s Day magazine and read recipes, you need a user name and password.

I don’t really even understand WHY they need to know who I am.  I’m not buying anything.  I’m just browsing their free website.

There are also some things I just can’t see why anyone would even be interested in obtaining the information.  Like the website that will calculate my BMI and tell me how grossly overweight I am, without a name…but I need a user name and password.  WHY????  And why would anyone else EVER want to know my BMI?  I mean, really.

Are hackers targeting the overweight?  Are they going to somehow link my username, which isn’t in any way associated with my email and spam me with diet ads?  Or will they assume that, if I’m overweight, I must shop online, and hope to get a credit card number?  If so, they will be sadly disappointed when they try to buy anything and are declined.

I’m becoming forever grateful for the “Forgot Password?” option, since I’m using it regularly these days.  I realize that a different password for every online account is a great security measure, but if I can’t remember it, is it really secure from anyone but me?

***Now comes the PG…possibly R rated part of this post.  So…if any of you are under 18, cover your eyes, as my intent is for this to be a family-friendly food and kitteh blog.  But sometimes….it’s just not possible to pull all the punches.

I have a solution…finally.  Username isn’t a problem, since I can generally remember my tags 🙂  Passwords will now be phrases I tend to use when annoyed.  Because…I’m annoyed.  Perhaps that’s the reason they’re easier to remember that way.  Don’t know, don’t care.

Maybe the next time I want to make a comment on Aggie’s blog, I’ll actually be able to remember my new obscene password!

Little House on the Bayou

Haven’t been cooking much lately…my bad.  😦  I am exhausted.

I’ve been thinking that I should explain my lack of interesting things to eat to those of you who actually keep coming back to see what’s been bubbling in the oven or on the stove!  🙂  Thanks for that, by the way!

A couple of months ago, Hubby thought we should make the switch from apartment renting to house renting.  I (aka Personal Assistant Girl Friday who also happens to cook him yummy stuff to eat) was tasked to see if such a thing could happen.

After investigation, the outlook was pretty dismal.

We had a reassessment moment…listed the pros and cons of renting v owning…and decided that we needed to build a house.

I have three acres of land in a fairly rural community on a little bayou just south of  Houston that my parents gave me when I married Hubby.  So, being long on labor and short on cash,  we are clearing the first by hand…

This is how it looked when we started.  Scary, right? I think Bigfoot is lurking in there somewhere.  😛

My boys are working SO hard!

Even my parents, in their 70s and 80s are helping out!  😀

After a couple of weeks, the pile of stuff we’ve pulled out seems enormous!

As of today, we’ve accumulated such a large brush pile that we had to have it removed!  With a front end loader.  😛

Really, it’s pretty amazing how different it already looks.

They took away 4 trailers of brush on Saturday.  They’re coming back for the rest on Monday!

So, for the moment, posts will we fewer.  I hope to make up for the lack of quantity by the bounty of quality.  😀

And then, I will have a kitchen with actual windows and sunlight!!!  I might even be able to post pics of my food looking as appetizing as I keep telling you it is.  😛

And as a bonus, because it rained this week (so I got to take a day off), I will post actual food.    🙂

Star Light, Star Bright

Actually seeing the stars tonight!

After many days of much needed rain, the gloomy grey cloud cover cracked open this afternoon and the sun shone onto our soggy part of the world.  Joyfully.  Warmly. There was great rejoicing.

The maintenance guys also came by and fixed our heat.  Yay heat!  Much appreciated, guys!

Overall, it was a lurvley afternoon and evening.  Still nomming on the ribs that Mum decided would be Christmas dinner this year, my fridge currently full of leftovers.

What did you guys have for Christmas dinner?  Traditional, modern, or an eclectic mix just your own?

I have a friend whose family picks a country at random every year, and then does traditional foods of the chosen country for Christmas dinner.  Great idea, but not going to happen here with only 1 person to cook!  😛

Today’s blogging will be, instead of food, about stars and imagination, and heavenly bodies 🙂  I know I have one, it’s just hiding behind the cookies!

Today is the birthday of German astronomer Johannes Kepler.

He was born in Weil der Stadt, Württemberg in 1571, and intended to become a theologian.  He was sidetracked when he read Copernicus’s Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs, in which Copernicus posits that the planets revolve around the Sun, not the Earth.

Kepler saw Copernicus’s theory as evidence of a divine blueprint for the universe, and set out to prove the theories through scientific observation. Over his lifetime, Kepler came up with three laws of planetary motion stating:

1.  That the planets travel in elliptical orbits around the Sun.

2.  The planet (Earth) moves faster during the portion of its orbit that is closest to the Sun.

3.  A description of  the mathematical relationship between the distance of a planet from the Sun and the length of the planet’s orbital period.

Pretty genius stuff for the Middle Ages.  His contemporaries were busy wiping out cats…because they helped witches communicate with the Devil.  Never mind the cats (good kittehs) killed rats, and held the plague at bay.  Irony, right?

Kepler was also the father of modern optics. He had poor vision himself, as a result of a childhood case of smallpox. He was the first scientist to describe the mechanics of vision in the eye, and developed lenses to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness.

He also explained how both eyes work together to produce depth perception.

Good to know, right?