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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Oswego County, New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Lake Ontario Snow Belt
Member since: Fri Apr 23, 2004, 11:56 PM
Number of posts: 34,959

About Me

I've been a female working a "man's job" (mechanical engineer), stay at home Mom (6 kids), working Mom (6 kids to put through college), unemployed, underemployed, temporarily employed and now working from home! We live on an old, small farm with 2 dogs and 2 cats in the house, variable number of chickens out in the yard.

Journal Archives

The President between two ferns -

It's my understanding that after President Obama gave this interview, the Health Care Exchanges saw a surge in applications. Now, it may be that it was a coincidence, that a lot of people waited until the deadline approached. But - if this interview was effective, does that point the way to getting people out to vote this November?

Old dog, new tricks

We recently were very lucky to be able to adopt a very old dog because her owner couldn't take care of her any more. The poor old girl has some sort of problem with her rear legs - occasionally they slide right out from under her when she tries to get up. She goes in and out of our dog pen if we open the people door. She is fascinated watching our other two dogs hop through the dog door. I don't think she has the strength in her hind quarters to hop through the door, but she will stand outside sticking her head in, or inside sticking her head out. I can almost see her trying to figure out the magic trick. We'll be getting a larger, lower door soon.

In case anyone is interested - here is a good explanation of why we remember St. Patrick:

From a review of "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill:

" The Patrick in question was a former Celtic slave brought to Ireland from Roman-era Britain. His name was originally Patricius, but he came to be known to later generations as St. Patrick. Mr. Cahill's theory about him goes something like this:

The Ireland of the early fifth century was a brooding, dank island whose inhabitants, while carefree and warlike on the outside, lived in "quaking fear" within, their terror of shape-changing monsters, of sudden death and the insubstantiality of their world so acute that they drank themselves into an insensate stupor in order to sleep.

Patrick, however, provided "a living alternative." He was a serene man who slept well without drink, a man "in whom the sharp fear of death has been smoothed away." The Christianity he proposed to the Irish succeeded because it took away the dread from the magical world that was Ireland. And once they were Christianized, the Irish founded the monastic movement, copying the books being destroyed elsewhere by Germanic invaders, eventually bringing them back to the places from which the books had come.


There are other characters in Mr. Cahill's history, the most important of them clearly being Patrick, one of his heroes, a man of less intellectual refinement than Augustine but of greater humanity. Mr. Cahill credits him with being "the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery."


I recommend the book as an antidote to all the "St. Patty's Day" nonsense out there.

If only natural born citizens are allowed to be President, does that preclude anyone born by

Cesarean section?


The real reason being overweight is bad for your health:

if you are overweight, the default diagnosis for any problem you are having is that you are overweight and the problem will go away if you lose weight.

Anyone here familiar with Ursala K. LeGuin's "Left Hand of Darkness"?

It's science fiction from 1968 featuring the planet Winter, inhabited by humans who are neither/both male and female most of the time, except when they more or less come into monthly heat, when the appropriate set of sexual organs develop depending on whether they will be male or female that month. Obviously, the book brings up a lot of questions about gender and identity.

So - with some trepidation I recommended this book as a Science Fiction classic to my small town Book Club - white women ages 60 - 85.

Some did not like the book - as per science fiction convention, it featured too many made-up words.

The conversation proceeded to a mention of trans-sexuals, and someone mentioned reading of the difficulties transsexuals with prosthetics have with airport security. Our oldest member responded "But that's their private affair! No one should be bothering them about that!" To be clear, this 85 year old woman was defending the right of transsexuals to live their lives as they wish with no interference.

The times, I think they've changed!

Signs of Spring: I just brushed my short haired dog for 15 minutes,

and he still has loose tufts of fur sticking up over his back legs! ( I could probably get them with a stiffer brush, but that's a tender spot)

I'm not even going to discuss the long haired dogs!

Another reason to hate our method of paying for medical care:

I have good health insurance and good auto insurance. "Auto insurance and medical care?", you ask. Yes, because in New York State we are required to carry "no-fault" insurance, which means my auto insurance pays for health care needed after an accident.

So, I had an auto accident that has left me with some minor issues; a little trouble walking (sometimes), a little dizziness (sometimes) - nothing major. But - I also have various minor chronic issues.

Here's the problem: I can't talk to my GP about issues related to the auto accident and my chronic issues at the same appointment! The health insurance company won't pay if he makes any notes about the walking or balance issues; the auto company won't pay if he mentions my asthma or thyroid issues.

What does it do to the cost of health care every time someone like me has to make two appointments to handle issues that could and should be handled in one?

"Let them secede" European style?

The Russians are determined to keep their bases in the Crimea. As near as I can figure out, most of the people living in the Crimea are Russian. I don't know if that means a 55/45 split or more like 95/5.

The votes from the Crimea have made it very difficult for Ukraine to form a stable government. Again, it seems that most of the people in the Crimea want to stay close to Moscow.

I don't know the history - I think the current borders of Ukraine are based on a Soviet decision at least as much as any historical factor. The borders in that region have been very fluid for 1000 years.

So - here's my question: Would Ukraine be better off ceding the Crimea to Russia? It would make it easier for the rest of Ukraine to turn to the West.

Please excuse my ignorance on all this - I'm hoping for some info.

Chickens can do magic -

I've been keeping the chicken house closed these days because it's so cold. I go out, change the water, put down feed, collect the eggs, make sure all the birds are happy, then leave. Now, about a week ago we had a thaw and my son let the chickens out all day. He didn't latch the door open, so it closed leaving some birds out in the dark. I collected them and put them into the chicken house. Right after that, we had temperatures close to 0 and enough snow to make the school districts here dismiss early.

So, today I'm taking care of the birds and a rooster starts walking away. I walked up, grabbed him and put him back into the chicken house. I think he saw all the snow and was just as glad to be caught and carried. He was awfully easy to catch. So I close the birds up, head back to the house, and I hear a hen lamenting. I thought it was behind me in the hen house, but I stopped to listen. The noise was in front of me, along the side of my house.

I had to walk through knee deep snow to get there, but I found a Buff Orpington hen sitting under the furnace vent alongside the house. There were no tracks on the snow around her, and my Orpingtons are not good flyers. The nearest I can figure is that that hen was outside during some of the worst winter weather we've had for at least 24 hours, maybe more. She was harder to catch than the rooster, but I grabbed her and carried her back to the coop where she had a drink and sat down to dinner.
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