Category Archives: Opinion
Four gruesome months of unemployment finally came to a close in May when I started a job as a Paralegal. It pays very little (net has been about half what I need to meet my bills, which have already been trimmed down to the bare minimum) and it’s practically out of town for me, but it’s work. I’m only hoping that I do well enough for the promised raises to come through as indicated when I started otherwise I don’t know how I’m going to make it. Well, the truth is, I’m not. So hopefully those raises come through!
I’ve started a 9-part pre-RCIA line of coursework with the Catholic Home Study Service in preparation for my RCIA classes starting in October. William has been a wonderful guide to me in my studies though I quietly wish he’d give me a little more crap when I don’t go to mass. No nun-pun intended, but I’ve got to work harder on getting into the habit. It would be easier if my church had services on Sunday nights, but there’s really no excuse for me to miss the 10AM mass. I’ve slept in the past two Sundays though. Shame on me.
A couple weeks ago, a new kitten came into my life, a very friendly little long-haired silver kitty. We named her Bellamina – the name is bigger than she is, but not bigger than the ball of energy that she brings into the house. She’s a bit codependent which is fine by me as she lays sprawled across my lap as I type, hugging my leg and just purring away. The big silver and white pouf of a tail reminds me of a squirrel, all fluff that constantly looks as if it’d been rubbed by a balloon and static took over. The cutest thing about her is when she’s being petted, she blows kisses. It’s not a post-weaning suckling kind of thing, she literally just smacks her lips and blows kisses as a person does when calling a cat. It’s more of a mimicry, and I’ve never seen another cat to do that. She’s also got enormous paws which give her a comical lope during play, like a puppy who hasn’t grown into his feet yet. She truly is a treasure.
This Memorial Day, I’m not sure I’m doing anything. It would be nice to have a cookout or something but I don’t have anyone to invite or join at one. Going to the beach would be a full on nightmare with the traffic. I tried in vain yesterday, couldn’t even get close. Actually had to back my car out of a parking lot because there wasn’t even enough room to turn around where all the spots were full and people had parked in non-spots essentially gridlocking the entire lot so that no one could pass through or out.
We’ll see how this day pans out. I’d hate to spend it just doing housework!
So I’m just going to drop this thread straight into this blog post – it’s too entertaining to edit (save for removing some names to protect privacy). In a nutshell, I watched the videos of the meteorite exploding over Russia this morning and immediately thought of North Korea’s nuclear threats because it literally looked – and sounded – like a bomb going off when the meteor broke up upon atmospheric entry. So I made a quick quip onto my Facebook wall. Then a friend of mine – well, an ex-friend now apparently – decided to add his own twist to my words a few responses in and that sparked a huge debate over God vs Science. Actually, it wasn’t much of a debate. Once I dug my heels in, he went and un-friended me. That’s fine. It was like trying to explain to Schrödinger’s cat directly why it was dead.
Heather Noel There are at least 18 occurrences of evidence of either massive flooding and erosion, extremely rapid layering of strata, or direct evidence of a Worldwide Flood. Such evidences are found in numerous places on virtually every Continent. Reference: http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm And if you want to get into a “discussion” about the translation of time as pertains to Creation vs Science as it pertains here, I offer 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” and Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
Heather Noel God and Science DO coincide. It’s just that most of us little glorified apes lack the mental capacity to make the comparisons in conjunction with thousands of retranslations of the original works put to scroll in an attempt to try to correlate something we then had no way of understanding to the research that we do have the ability to do now to get a real, scientific understanding of what was written so long ago.
Heather Noel So let’s do the math, we have Creationist theory that man (as we know him) was created only 6,000 years ago, yet the Bible gives us a ratio of 1000:1, so if we take that 6000 Creational years time the 1000 represented years there’s 6,000,000 years and what? First human ancestor walks upright: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320183657.htm Now let’s take that biblical day:year ratio of 1:1000. Using God’s logic…1=1000. Let’s go out on a limb and say the earth is biblically 10,000 yrs old. That would be 3,650,000 days. 3,650,000 X 1000=3.65 billion years. Pretty darned close to that of which science is presently aware and can measure.
BB what a jerk, they expect you to understand their atheistic and scientific beliefs but whoa nelly if you pull the God card lol. i agree hun. i’m a Christian-esque person myself and believe god should start over. if you’re another religion, your god should start over and if you atheist, then the earth needs to start over just wish we didn’t have to worry about your little girl and my niece.
Having been out of work for some time now, the cabin fever was setting in pretty hard. Between having no income yet still spending gas to get to job interviews, there was no gas to just get away for pleasure, a break from the monotony and certainly no funds for entertainment. I needed to feel useful again, productive. That is when I came across a request in the local paper for volunteers to help that coming weekend on a project to build an artificial reef in the area. I’m a nature lover and have always been interested in (and often active in) conservation efforts – how cool was that?
After e-mailing the listed contact for details, I was excited to get to work – even if it was for free. I let a friend of mine know about the project and he was on board as well. That Saturday, he picked me up early and we went out to Harbour Pointe on the inlet where several tons of oyster shells were ready in large barrels and on sheets of plywood in huge piles.
About 20 other volunteers showed up and we were given a brief primer on the task at hand. We organized ourselves into each area – shoveling, bagging and tying off. I shoveled shells into smaller buckets while my friend bagged and tied them. They were then loaded onto a truck to be moved to their final resting place in Wildcat Cove.
During a break in which bottled water and other drinks were provided, the leader of the operation and a colleague commended us all on our efforts which far exceeded their expectations. In just about 2 hours, we’d already assembled about 400 20-pound oyster bags for deployment. My friend and I stayed for a 20-minute informational lecture about oyster reefs, their local benefits, lots of statistics and zoological info as well. We broke for lunch then and would meet up at low tide a few miles up the coast at Wildcat Cove.
Upon arrival at Wildcat Cove, we found the oyster bags in a neat pile in front of the canoe launch. Another 100 bags had been assembled and brought up in two deliveries. It took a little brainstorming as to how we were going to get the bags to the reef area, but one adventurous girl with her own kayak said she could pull floating tubs of about 30 bags per load out to the location. There was some interesting trial-and-error in getting the system going, including one thankfully good-humored man getting impossibly stuck in the thick muck at the bottom of the river. It took more than ten minutes to get the river to release his legs and he lost a shoe, but we got him back safely! Note to self: Don’t go into the water without a boat here!
Once we got the production line going, the rest was – pardon the pun – smooth sailing. Bags were floated out to a mangrove area where a 4-foot high oyster “wall” was built staggered around the mangroves. Once settled and cemented, these artificial reefs will provide settling places for new oyster spawns, as well as providing habitat for young fish and feeding grounds for birds such as herons, ibis, loons, cormorants, anhingas and more.
I remain in contact with the organizer of this effort who works for the county in coastal restoration and he is helping me network with other people in the field so that I may actually find work in conservation or a related field. Even if it is a desk job, it would be a great opportunity (and has been) to do something productive in a field I really enjoy. Another reef build is coming up in two days. This time my daughter will also be involved, getting her hands dirty and having a positive impact on our local, unique and delicate ecosystem.
Disclaimer: If you’re one of those sensitive types who get all uppity about people who bitch about their government benefits (likely because you’ve never been in the position to need them yourself) then turn back now because this is about to get ugly.
As a statistical introduction, I will say that I am a single mother with shared custody of my child. Due to 5 years of swindling and dishonesty on the other side, I am the one who ended up having to pay child support to my ex (who enjoys a new house, two new vehicles and all the home amenities one could want). I lost my job of almost 7 years when my boss passed away on December 28th, 2012 and the company subsequently closed as of January 1st, 2013. Before this time, I had only required assistance for about 4 months out of my life when I first relocated to this area and was looking for work. When I lost my job this year, I immediately applied for unemployment and food stamps and started looking for a new job. My unemployment and food stamps were approved and even though it is hard to feed myself plus a growing pre-teen on $200 a month, I was making it work.
Once my unemployment benefits kicked in (roughly 50% of my usual salary), Child Support decided they were going to take an additional 40% of that. Pardon my cadence, but that is fucking criminal. I was already struggling on a normal salary, but to cut my half salary further in almost half? Bullshit. My food stamps for February were late and I was out of food. Upon calling 72 hours after they were supposed to hit, I get a message that due to “increased income,” my benefits will be cut from $200 to $16 effective March 1, 2013. WTF? Increased income? Try decreased! I look on my card this morning expecting to see $200 on there and they’ve only deposited $16. What… the fuck. To add insult to injury today I get a letter in the mail confirming that my benefits will be cut from $200/month to $16/month – again – in writing – EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 2013. *looks at calendar* Gee, this is still February. Where the %^&* are my food stamps that I need to feed a frikken pre-teen 4 days a week until I find work again??
The State of Florida is trying to fuck me sideways and I am NOT going to stand for it. Tomorrow morning warrants a very nasty call to these “ACCESS” people to get this crap straightened out immediately. $84 over the course of a month for food is nothing to most people but when you’re in my situation, it’s the difference between a family going hungry or not. Try to cheat me? You WILL get bitchslapped. Screw Florida. Time to take action.
This past Tuesday, someone very close to me sent me the following text:
“No idea what’s going on but Clackamas Town Center is literally surrounded by police w/medical and fire on hand en masse.” 4:02 PM PST Dec 11
He was right there, trying to get through the chaos, texting me as it happened:
“Units still arriving, all agencies, well over 100.” 4:03 PM PST Dec 11
I’m pacing at this point, wondering what the hell is happening. He’s in Oregon City, I’m 3500 miles away in Florida and helpless to do anything to follow my first instinct to get him out of there (not that he’d have needed my help, that’s just the way I am). Dreading what I’d see, I turned on the news…
This was hitting way too close to home as someone I love was THERE.
Then Friday… Newtown, CT… I could not believe what I was hearing as I was listening to the reports coming in on NPR. As the count rose of all the children senselessly taken from this quiet community at a place where they are supposed to be safe, all I could think of was my daughter. She was at school here and at that moment all I wanted to do was hold her, protect her, from anything and everything. But that’s impossible.
We are coming into a time where people are becoming so desperate that they are more and more often resorting to more violent means of crying out for help, for getting their points across. Only two emotions can remain after such attacks in our own communities: Anger and Fear. The anger will only progress into rage and more calculated killings. The fear can only drive innocent people away from public places, into their homes afraid to go out in public anymore. No place is immune from someone snapping and opening fire. Temples, churches, schools, malls… I think if we really come together as communities and pay attention to what is happening around us, pay attention to the signs that others are giving, we may be able to prevent some future attacks from occurring. If we can catch warning signs earlier that someone is hurting, perhaps we can direct them to help, or get help to them. I don’t know – I don’t think anyone does. There is no one solution to the growing problem and definitely no easy one. I do think however we can all start by caring a little more, reaching out, pulling together. We are our brothers’ keepers.
Topics Today: The Future Of Print Media
As my Kindle Fire and I approach our one-year anniversary of being together, I become aware of how dependent on the device I really am and how much it has come to mean in my daily life. I received the Kindle Fire as a birthday present last year and first thought, “Now this is a neat new toy.” Little did I realize how streamlined such a tiny tablet could make my daily routine.
At the bottom of the home screen on my virtual shelves of favorites, my mornings and evenings are lined up for quick access. I check and reply to my e-mail, check my calendar, the weather, local and national news, play a couple rounds of a popular word puzzle game, and finally check my Facebook and Twitter feeds for messages or anything else of importance. Within a few minutes, I have all the information I need to get on with my day. Repeat the same process at night, and then settle in with the next few chapters of whatever book I’m currently reading. During the day, I even use it to take hand-written notes on schedule changes, class and work notes, to-do lists, story or article ideas, etc. After a year of daily use, I still go to bed amazed that all this is at my fingertips, instantly available.
Maybe it is because I grew up in the 70s and 80s accustomed to going out to retrieve the newspaper every morning from the lawn, looking forward to magazines in the mail, reading comics on Sundays and clipping coupons with my mother. The faster technology grows, the harder it seems to be to let go of such deeply rooted habits that formed before such things even existed. Those of us in our 30s and 40s however seem to be finally – slowly – giving in to the conveniences that digital media offers. As we find we have less personal time than in years past and a higher demand for instant information, we are starting to turn away from print media and opt for more advanced tools and resources. So where does the digital domain leave traditional print media? This is a topic of heavy discussion and concern that just keeps getting bigger.
A recent study also entitled “The Future Of Print Media” indicated that From 2007 to 2009 revenue change in newspaper publishing, including advertisement, sales and other sources of income decreased 30 percent in the United States, 21 percent in the United Kingdom, 20 percent in Greece and 10 percent in Germany (Boghani, 2012). This year the New Orleans Times-Picayune cut its newsroom staff practically in half and reduced its service to only three days a week (Carley, 2012). The same fate may loom for other print-run media such as The Recorder and the Orange County Register as well as other small papers across the nation as publishers continue to see interest and sales falling from an audience leaning toward obtaining their news digitally. Newsweek, a weekly paper launched in 1933 by Thomas J. C. Martyn, announced in October that beginning in January 2012 it will transition to all-digital (Boghani, 2012).
While some printed options disappear, others are determined to supplement their lost print revenue with digital revenue. The New York Times and The Washington Post have broadened their reach into the digital world while remaining in print. The Washington Post for example has experimented with the Trove recommendation engine (Ingram, 2012). The Facebook social reader has also become an option for expansion for media companies with the support and ability to explore other avenues to reach their readers.
As traditional readers age and technology advances, adaptation on the part of both publisher and consumer is the best compromise. Print media publishers must find new ways to reach an audience that increasingly demands digital content and readers will need to come to terms with the inevitable – that technology is progressing and changing the way we live. For younger generations, this transition from print to digital will likely be a non-issue as they have been raised in technologically advanced homes and classrooms. For the older generations, it may be a bit more difficult to acclimate to the new ways we have of getting our information.
Boghani, P. (October 18, 2012). Print Media: Is It Globally Doomed? Retrieved November
11, 2012 from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49471896/Print_Media_Is_it_Globally_Doomed
Carley, M. (July 3, 2012). The Future Of Print Media. Retrieved November 11, 2012 from:
Ingram, M. (April 16, 2012). The Future Of Media: Many Small Pieces, Loosely Joined.
Retrieved November 11, 2012 from:
How many times have you found yourself saying, “I tried to help them…” in instances where someone you were trying to assist put forth no effort to help themselves?
“SK” seemed like a nice enough man. Upper 40’s, divorced, and on disability after a nearly fatal motorcycle crash. He’d moved to the area in an attempt to start his life over, get a change of scenery and get back on his feet. When the disability money had run out, he secured a job as a salesman but wasn’t very good at the job. He was computer illiterate, had short term memory problems, and unrealistic expectations of salary. Within days of starting work, he began tuning out and lost all enthusiasm.
He shared his story with me, venting that he just wanted to get his life back after the divorce, the accident, the vagrancy and the long string of “bad luck” that had befallen him. Shortly thereafter, he was thrown out of the motel he was living in for dealing drugs on the premises and had moved to another motel. When he came to me asking for advice and help and telling me he only had $11.00 to his name and no place to go, it sounded as if he was going to be one of those men who just wanted someone to latch onto for support.
I know the type, I’ve ended up with them many times in the past but I thankfully learned from those mistakes and did not let my heart be affected by his attempts. Instead, I gave him phone numbers and addresses of my landlord who has affordable apartments in the area and who would work with him, of the local outreach center who could provide food, clothing and other basic services, and to other places that could help him with his immediate needs. I even gave him my personal card letting him know I was available if he needed someone to talk to or to help him find additional assistance.
Well, the day after he was evicted from his motel room, he also lost the job he’d just started. At that time, I believe he also lost all hope and I felt very sorry for him. That was until I helped clear out his work area and found that not only had he left behind all the valuable information I’d given him for shelter, food and clothing, even my card – he’d thrown the information in the trash. Seeing that immediately changed my opinion of him and validated my gut instinct that this person did not want to do anything for himself. The opportunities he was given received zero effort from him (including the job).
It disgusts me that there are so many good people in the world who try to help others less fortunate by giving them the tools they need to help themselves yet the people they’re trying to help end up completely unappreciative of the help they’re given. I don’t know if it amounts to laziness, arrogance, selfishness, or all of the above, but these people who only seek to take what they can from others without any effort on their own part are just dirt in my opinion. They’ve no appreciation for the time and energy others are willing to put into them and do not deserve any sort of welfare or assistance until they are willing to do something for themselves.
That’s my vent for the day.