Saturday, November 22, 2003

Opinions and Consequences

I just read an article that said Leonardo DiCaprio is a global warming activist.

I'm torn on the issue of celebrities using their fame for causes. On one hand, they have the celebrity to bring an issue out to the forefront. People will listen to them instead of a "nobody" they've never heard of. They never gave it a thought until Leo made his statement, then they say, "Well, gosh! If Leo is against global warming, I should be too!"

In my humble opinion, I think people who think this way are sheep. They can't think for themselves. They just wander through life until someone (usually a celebrity): a. Tells them what to think. or b. Tells them it's an issue, then tells them what to think.

I have to admit, I've been guilty of not thinking about things until they are brought to my attention. I hope though, that I've been smart enough to come to my own conclusions.

On the other hand: why do celebrities think that they are smarter than everyone else? Many Hollywood celebrities have come out against the war on terrorism. Before we go any further let me be clear: they have the right to have an opinion and they have the right to express that opinion. It's called Freedom of Speech and it's a Constitutional right.

So many of them forget that although they have the right to free speech, that the public also has that right. Celebrities are upset when the public reacts to their statements. Celebrity A has the right to say anything they want to say. I have the right to say they are wrong. This is called disagreement. I also have the right show my disagreement and to not buy their books, CD's, tickets to their movies, stop watching their television shows, and so on.

Celebrities forget, or at least seem to forget, that it is the public who buys their product, whether it's a book, movie, TV show, CD, or whatever. If a celebrity disappoints or angers me when they make a public statement, I have only two ways of showing that disappointment or anger: writing a letter or not buying what they produce to make a living.

If I say something that my boss doesn't like, he (or she) has the right to do something about it. I might be "counseled," written up, suspended, or fired.

This example can be taken to this extreme: I am the celebrity's boss. If they say something I don't like, I can write a letter (counseling/writing up), boycott their product (suspension), or refuse to buy the product (firing).

Of course, I can choose to not do anything. The result of doing nothing is that the celebrity assumes that I either agree, don't care, or am too lazy to call them on it. I don't bother to write letters to celebrities. I doubt they see it, and even if they do, unless there are a lot of other people writing about the same thing, they think I'm a moron because I don't agree with them. And since I'm a "nobody" (at least in their eyes since they've never heard of me), they don't care what I think. So, I use the suspension/firing method. Stop my paycheck and you catch my attention. I might not change my opinion, but I'll keep it to myself or accept the consequences for stating it.

Should celebrities be able to express their opinions? Of course! But opinions should always be stated appropriately, it has to be understood that not everyone will agree, and that action (publicly stating an opinion) could have repercussions one has to be willing to accept.
Remembering November 22, 1963

I can't believe that it's been 40 years since JFK was assassinated. It's one of those times when you can remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.

I was in the 4th grade and was leaving school when one of the older boys (who apparently had a transistor radio) shouted out, "The president's been shot!" Well, even at nine years of age I didn't believe everything I heard and couldn't (wouldn't?) believe that such a thing could happen. I got home and started to tell my Dad what I heard when I saw the news on TV.

The next few days are blurred. The next thing I clearly remember is when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. My friend Kathy and I were in my room playing when my Mom yelled "Debbie! Kathy! Come here! Come here! He's been shot!" We looked at each other then ran out into the living room. Of course by that time all the action was over and all we saw at that point would have been people moving around, and Oswald being taken by stretcher to the hospital. Then, the endless speculation about what had happened, questioning of people on the scene to find out what happened, and endless retelling of what had happened.

At nine if it didn't immediately impact my life, it didn't really matter much. I don't remember much about those days. I don't remember seeing my parents terribly upset. They were as horrified as the rest of the nation, but they wouldn't have let me see that. They would have kept my world as "normal" as possible. The other things I remember from that time (the funeral, Jackie in her black veil) are things I saw then, but probably really remember because they were repeated so many times over the years.

I don't know who actually fired the bullet that killed JFK - I wonder if we will ever know. Aside from the justice angle, does it really matter now, after all these years? JFK was cut down in his prime before he could do all the things I'm sure he had planned, not just for America, but personally. Sure, he did, and could have done, many things to impact American life and they are important. I have to wonder how much different America would be - what would life be like had JFK served out his first term and been elected to a second? Where would we be as a nation today?

But also remember what he didn't do: he didn't get to grow old. He didn't get to see his kids grow up. He never saw his grandkids. Aren't these the things that are really important in life? And this is the real tragedy of that day.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Blogging and your Job -

I just read an article posted here at Blogger about how to blog without losing your job (something to that effect anyway). I don't have time at work to blog, I'm just too busy! Some government employees do actually work, you know :D

But, for discretion's sake, I don't intend to actually name where I work and if I do use a name in a story that might not be too complimentary, I'll use a pseudonym (change the name to protect the innocent - in this case my paycheck).

This is a public forum and any of my bosses could be reading this at any time (Boss, I swear I'm doing this on my own time-check the time and date stamp!). While there are times I can't wait for retirement, I do enjoy payday and I don't plan on losing my job because I was indiscreet.

Freedom of speech is one thing, but my bosses also have the right to disagree with me. It's just stupid to lose a job over an online journal such as this.
Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

I'm watching one of my favorite programs: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (Spike TV). Okay, it's not Masterpiece Theater, but I enjoy it.

In case you don't know, some years ago (and for all I know currently playing) Japanese television had a program called Takeshi's Castle where contestants performed stunts for prizes. On the American version, they've taken excepts from Takeski's Castle and dubbed in English dialog. The show's narrators are Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano who do a play-by-play description of what is happening on screen. Other characters are Captain Tennille (a play on the Captain and Tennille) and Guy le Douche (I don't think I have to explain this one). They are not using the original dialog, but substituting their own version. Puns and double entendres abound (it is Spike TV after all) and punny names and occupations for the contestants such as Bonnie Ann Clyde are rife. It's not meant to be serious, but is a funny show.

It was filmed in Japan, so the contestants are mostly Japanese, but I've seen several Western faces. The contestants also wear funny costumes too, such as peanuts, samurai warriors, pig noses, fright wigs, and more I can't name right now.

Okay, I'm easily entertained, but I am a government employee, after all!
Curves - Part 2

So, Tina and I went to Curves again today at lunchtime. There are a total of eight machines in the location we go to. You spend a total of 30 seconds (!) on each machine before the recorded voice tells you to go to the next station.

Thirty seconds doesn't seem very long. But if you watch the second hand on a clock, it is an appreciable length of time. The staff assured us that studies have shown that this workout is every bit as good (if not better) than what you would get at a traditional gym. I'll give it a try. I'll stay with it for a couple of months and see what happens. Like I said before, I don't need to lose tons of weight fast, but I do need to see results...weight loss, inches lost, or just as simple as my clothes fitting better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


My friend Tina and I signed up at Curves last week and had our first workout today. Both of us need to lose weight and tone up. So, we took the plunge and did it.

In case you don't know, Curves is a, I hesitate to say gym, because it's not really. It's for women only (yayay!) and has tinted windows so that passersby can't see in (another plus). There are six (I think-I was too busy learning how to use the machines-and they were easy to use) machines you work on for a set time length... just a couple of minutes at a time (really, just a couple of minutes!). By the time you start to feel it, you hear a recorded voice say that it's time to change stations (or something to that effect). Between machines there is a platform you run, jog, walk, whatever, in place until you hear the recording say to change places, then you go to the next machine. At the end you do a series of stretches.

You go around the circuit three times. They call it a 90 minute workout in 30 minutes. All muscle groups are worked, so you're getting a full body and cardio workout. There is also a time when you have to take your pulse rate and see where it is on the chart. Hopefully, you're at the fat burning stage. If not, you need to work a little harder.

When we signed up last we, we were weighed, measured, body fat figured, and a medical history requested. We were asked what exercising we were doing (huh? None, that's why I'm in the shape I'm in!) and if we were on a diet program of any sort (I repeat "huh?")

Actually, they don't want you doing a diet program because you will be able to see what results are directly attributable to Curves. However, if you want to diet or are dieting, that's alright. They do recommend that you eat breakfast, a lighter lunch, and a light dinner. Gee....where have I heard that before?

Tina and I are going at lunch time. So, with the drive there, we're gone a little more than an hour. Our boss is really flexible with time. As long as we do our jobs, and get our time in, he's okay with us changing our hours as necessary.

Let me tell you, Tina had so much energy this afternoon, she was almost bouncing off the walls! Me, well, I didn't see a lot of difference in how I felt, but I wasn't wiped out. I think I might be a little sore tomorrow, but, geez Louise! it's been ages since I've worked out like this! I'm hoping that the energy will kick in soon and I also start seeing results in a couple of weeks. Not big, huge changes, little ones - a little off the waist, a few pounds off the weight, I'll be content to keep going. It's taken many years to put on the weight and as long as I see results, I'll be content with taking time to get it off again. I just need to see a little less of myself!

Anyway, we're dragging each other three times a week. I'll let you know how we do.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Shopping - The Day After Thanksgiving Sales

At work today, there were four of us taking a break and talking about shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Two of us (Sue and I) just refuse to go out unless it's absolutely necessary on that Friday. Tina and Nicki love shopping the bargains that day. More power to them, but I won't be out there.

Would I like to get the bargains? Sure I would. But, I don't like shopping well enough, not to mention hating crowds more than words to describe, than to even consider it. I plan to do at least some of my shopping online. The links you see on the right-hand side bar will be getting some of my holiday money. I can shop at home, I have a wide selection of products, the retailers will offer reduced or no shipping and I can have the items delivered to my home or work. It's the best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

Those of you who do, God Bless you.
Oliver Met Dollie

It's the start of another week. Way too much to do and not nearly enough time in the day to do it! Just gotta do what can be done.

My life seems to revolve around work (ack! there's that "w" word again - the very worst of four-letter words) and the computer - with the TV thrown in occasionally. Dollie and Oliver would agree that I don't pay them enough attention. Especially when it comes to feeding and cleaning the litter box. Speaking of which....

Okay. That's taken care of. I remember saying that I would tell you about the first time Dollie and Oliver met. I had gotten Dollie as a kitten. I had another cat at the time, Shadow. Shadow lived about another year (died at age 18) and then it was just me and Dollie for about a year. Dale moved in with us in May and in July, we were offered another cat - Oliver. Oliver had been neutered and declawed; Dollie was neither. I had been worried about Dollie getting out of the house and finding herself with a litter to take care of, so I decided that it was time to take care of that problem. And, since Oliver had no front claws, I thought it unfair for Dollie to have hers. So, Miss Dollie went to the vet and Oliver came home.

The vet said that Dollie should be kept from any other pets when she came home, so she and Oliver were kept in separate rooms. When one come out, the other was locked up. Finally came the day that they met. We put them in separate carriers face to face. Not a pretty sight. Hissing and spitting! Then, we decided to try them on harness and leash. What made us think that would be better than having them caged, I have no idea! Talk about a cat fight! It was a blur of colors and fur. Dale tried to separate them and got a nasty bite from it. Eventually they declared a truce and for the most part get along. Every once in awhile, Mr. Oliver decides that he has to prove he's the alpha cat and tries to stare down Miss Dollie. She just stares back. Oliver either backs down, or they bat paws a few times then Oliver walks away. Feeling victorius, I'm sure, from the swagger. Dollie watches him walk away as if to say, "oh, please."

To this very day, Oliver thinks he was the first cat in the house and Dollie knows she was. It was funny, neither seemed to realize another cat was in the house. At least they never sniffed around doors, never sniffed at anything for that matter.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Work, Sidebars, and Life

Here it is: Sunday already. Dishes are done, laundry is done and put away (except for the last load in the dryer). I guess I'm ready for work tomorrow. Boy, I never thought I'd be looking forward to retirement. I'm tired of working!! 45 months till I can enter the DROP program and then another 60 months and I'm gone! Or, at least that's the plan right now. Notice how I work in months? I could have said 5 years instead of 60 months, but years seem a lot longer than months, even though it's the same length of time. Months I can do..years, well, that's hard to even think about!

I've got to say, I really don't mind going to work..if it weren't for getting up and actually leaving the house. I know I need the structure of a job. I don't think I could telecommute and actually do my job.

I spent a lot of yesterday working on the links you see in the sidebar on the right. More will be added, so I hope you keep coming back to see what's new. Let me know if there are special links you would like to see. Doesn't have to be stores, but if you see a store you want to use, please! link from here. I'll get a commission on any purchase you make! Not that I'm begging, but, hey, if it works! ;D Anyway, if you have a link you would like to see here, stores, favorite webpage, whatever, let me know. If it's something I think would be of general interest, I'll see if I can do it.

I'll be adding links to my favorite websites as soon as I get permission to do so. I'm still figuring out the ins and outs about what's okay and not okay, so bear with me.

The weather here is is really nice today. Somewhat overcast, but the temps are in the 70's. After eight or ten months of summer, I'm ready for some cool weather. I have to admit that the summer wasn't as bad as it normally is. We had a lot of rain and that helped to keep the temps down, so while we had some hot days, overall it wasn't too bad for Florida.