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central scrutinizer

central scrutinizer's Journal
central scrutinizer's Journal
November 1, 2023

Mobile Passport Control app

If you’re traveling internationally, this app is a godsend. It allows you to complete the customs and immigration questionnaires as soon as you land back in the US. We were returning from Japan and as we were taxiing to the terminal, we turned our phones back on, submitted the forms and were sent a QR code. There were hundreds in the regular passport control line but only three in the MPC line. They scan the QR code and your passport. We were done in five minutes.

August 9, 2023

New guidelines regarding eligible blood donors

I’m a regular Red Cross donor and received this update today:


“Here’s what to know about the new FDA guidance:
All potential donors will see new non-gendered questions when they come to donate.

All potential donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, will be asked the same questions and be assessed for blood donation eligibility based on individual risk factors.

The FDA’s previous blood donation eligibility criteria based on sexual orientation, which restricted sexually active gay and bisexual men from giving blood, has been eliminated.

We celebrate this significant progress that eliminates policies based on sexual orientation and moves to a more inclusive process that treats all donors with equality and respect while keeping the blood supply safe.”

April 17, 2023

More info on aiding Ukrainian refugees

I posted earlier about the Ukrainian family I’m hosting. Thank you all for your kind words. In a serendipitous convergence, there was a PSA on a local station today about a neighborhood support team starting. I’d never heard of this organization. This might be an option for people who want to help but don’t have the room or resources that I am fortunate to have.


April 16, 2023

My house is full again

I was feeling guilty about having empty bedrooms when there is a housing crisis here. Not enough options and many are overpriced. I joined a home share website and one posting caught my attention.

A Ukrainian refugee family, mom, dad, two tweener sons and a four year old daughter, looking for housing. I had three vacant bedrooms. It’s tight but they’ve moved in. I love the new energy. My crotchety old cat isn’t too thrilled, though. She’s not getting her normal 22 hours of sleep.

They sent the kids to Italy for safety right after the Russian invasion and only recently got out themselves and came to the US. Their stories of living in an active war zone are sobering.

Talking Heads lyrics: “Sound of gunfire off in the distance, I’m getting used to it now… You should know not to stand by the window, someone will see you up there.” popped into my head.

Looking for jobs, checking the kids into local schools for the two months before summer vacation.

I’m charging them $50/month to pay for the added utilities (showers and laundry).They’ll need any money they have and can save so eventually they’ll have their own place. I hope they’ll feel comfortable enough to stay for at least the rest of the year because I have travel plans and finding reliable house sitters can be a challenge.

January 5, 2023

This hasn't aged well



House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joked at a Saturday night event that it “will be hard not to hit” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel if Republicans take control of the chamber in the 2022 midterms and he becomes speaker.

“I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It will be hard not to hit her with it,” McCarthy said in audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

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