Politics is so exhausting lately.

It seems like every. single. week. something new is being set ablaze – this week was the Paris Agreement and claiming that the U.N. owes us money for defense, last week was bragging about firing FBI director James Comey as a result of the Russian investigation, and before that we had a budget worthy to be aligned with the mega rich, questioning why the civil war happened, inviting the national treasure that is Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent – a guy who threatened to kill President Obama – into the White House for a photo op…

*sigh*

Seriously, is this how conservatives felt from 2009 – 2016 when President Obama was advocating for the Affordable Care Act, supporting same-sex marriage rights, and turning around the recession?

I feel like whereas most Republican issues circle around money and where we should and shouldn’t spend it, Democrats focus on more wholistic goals like protecting the environment and civil rights and keeping our economy afloat, and so now with this extreme conservative voice dominating the federal landscape, every action feels like a stab at something vital to who we are – whether it’s making it easier for Christians to discriminate against people they don’t like or cutting benefits that help the poor or trying to ban entrance to our country to people who did nothing wrong but be born in a country that bad people also happen to be from.

Those on the other side of the aisle will make it sound as if we’re taking it too personally, as if it’s completely normal to hack and dice the work of the previous party once the government changes sides, but that’s not how this should work.

The things that the GOP is so quick to dismantle are essential parts of the larger pie:

  • The American economy will flounder worse than it does today if we had over public education to the greedy hands of privatization.
  • Healthcare in the greatest country on Earth will be even more of a joke to the rest of the industrialized world than it is today if provisions aren’t protected for even the most basic of services and conditions.
  • Our position in the world community relies on America being an ally, not a bully for hire.
  • And of course, none of it will matter if we allow our industries to pollute and ravish our environment in the name of short term financial gains.

Following such numerous issues is a constant struggle and it seems like the previous isn’t even brought to close before a new problem comes over the horizon, yet at the same time despise extraordinary fatigue it feels almost un-American to turn a blind eye and ignore this reality as our country is transformed by the business man that some insisted upon instead of the patriotic leader that we really needed.

Bamboo Closure (with Pics!)

November 7, 2015 1:21am
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I wrote about my ongoing battles with bamboo in this week’s humor column, but for a bit of added closure I wanted to share some photos that I took throughout the process. You know what they say, a picture’s worth a thousand stalks of bamboo… 😛

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All in all I think I spent between 6 -8 hours across about 4 days gutting this crap out of my backyard – you can see in the first picture how it was so bad when I started that you literally couldn’t get around the corner unless you were a koala or perhaps one of the tiny lizards that we see scurrying about here in Florida!

Apparently whenever you plant bamboo, you’re supposed to put in some sort of barrier to make sure that it stays within the area that you want it … and even then I guess a lot of the time it just manages to poke right on through anyways. 

If I had a backyard that was bigger than, oh say, a sidewalk, it’s actually a pretty neat plant and would be neat to see grow into a natural privacy wall over the course of a couple of years, but when you can literally stand in between my pool cage and the fence and touch both of them at the same time, it’s just too small for such an invasive, wild plant to grow.

Also, would you believe that months earlier I first actually tried my hand at cutting this stuff down with a regular hand saw?!?!?!

This stuff is crazy, and the next time I see it coming up underneath my side of the fence, I’m poisoning the entire thing. Sorry, neighbor, but know what in the hell you’re getting into before you plant such an insane plant/tree/shrub/grass right next to your neighbor’s fence… 🙁

What. A. Week. 😯

Where do I even begin?! It’s been a week of tests, a week of chaos, a week of hospitals.

Yes, I said hospital(s) … as in plural … multiple hospitals!

Ok, well it was technically the same hospital, just with multiple visits… 🙄

I was actually going to write about visit #1 the other day, and I didn’t even get a chance before we were on our way to visit #2! So yeah, that’s how my week has gone… 😛

The first trip surprised us just after lunchtime on Tuesday, and stemmed from some overnight tests that the doctor’s office had just gotten the results back from … you know, one of those gross, pee ones!

I joke about it now, but that was a pretty scary moment in time because the way it was presented to me was – “They want me to go to the hospital because I might be preeclamptic and they might have to deliver the baby today.”

She’s only 33 weeks right now and it’s definitely too early, so I raced home as sanely as I could manage – on the way, Bob Marley’s Jammin’ came on the radio, which I took as an amusing, little sign that I needed to calm down and do what I needed to do! 😉

Thankfully, everything was fine and after a couple of hours of monitoring, we were on our way and even still made it to our final childbirth class that night, which was nice because it was probably the most beneficial of the three!

It was a little crazy, but we figured that everything was ok and went to our first of two doctor’s appointments today when, just before leaving the high risk doctor, she decided to take Sara’s blood pressure and then came back, “So I’m going to send you to the hospital…”

Don’t get me wrong – it’s actually fantastic that they’re being so cautious with everything, even though my wallet isn’t exactly feeling the same way because I think in total we’ve been to hospitals four times since we got pregnant last August. Ironically, the most recent hospital is currently working on renovations, so maybe this is just how I’m supposed to do my part – I don’t know! 🙄

Anyways, today’s visit was only a couple of hours, too, and we made it home not long before company got here for Sara’s baby shower this weekend. As far as we can tell, the baby shower is still on for Saturday, presuming I get a day off from taking her to the hospital and all! The nice thing is that I’m getting really good at driving down there, and she’s already got a bag packed from the last two times … so I guess if anything, this has been good, expensive practice???

As a side note, the delivery date has basically been moved up to mid-month and now I’ve pretty much been relegated to doing just about everything from dishes to laundry to painting the baby’s room, etc… No pressure there!

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After this whole kerfuffle, along with even more added kerfuffles in coming to find that I can’t even mount the new TV in the bedroom like I want to because the studs aren’t centered in the wall like they need to be, so there isn’t enough room … I finally decided that I needed a little stress relief, and as I had at least gotten the new TV setup and working on the dresser to the point where the old TV is no longer needed, I ended up going ahead with my master plan to move it back into my office so that I can play video games on it while I’m supposed to be working!

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It’s funny the nostalgia that I have with this TV because the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much of my teenage and adult gaming was done on it – mostly when I lived up in Michigan, but also for about a year here in Florida before I relinquished it to being a bedroom TV after I got my new big screen. It fact, I do believe that this was actually considered “a big screen” back in the days when tube televisions were all the rage!

31″ glorious, albeit extraordinarily heavy inches … I think I got it as a Christmas gift from my Mom one year when it was on sale for Black Friday. The thing has got to be at least 15 years old – I can’t remember if I got it before or after I graduated, but I figure that I must’ve played all of my older PS2 games on it (The Simpsons Road Rage, GTA3, Vice City), not to mention I’ve always had my classic consoles hooked up to the beast, too.

So that’s what I did tonight – after lugging this monster across the house and thankfully not throwing out my back in the process, I dug around in the garage until I found my old SNES and low and behold, it still works! Well, it took power supply #2, but it still works! 

Ideally I would’ve loved to play the regular NES right off the bat, but that’s not going to happen for a while – it looks like the thing is actually still all tore apart from the last time it didn’t want to work anymore, so I might have to play around with it for a while to see what’s up with that first. I guess I did decide that I don’t want to pick up a top loader after all, as apparently despite fixing the connection issue, instead now it has bars in the video display which are pretty annoying, so instead I’m going to see what I can do with some of the latest repair tips that I’ve found and go from there.

Apparently I also need to clean my SNES because the plastic is this disgusting yellow that I learned has something to do with the fire retardant chemicals in the plastic that they used, but I think I have some options for that, too, so I’m sure new posts will magically appear as I begin to experiment with those a bit…

But in the meantime, I’ve spent the last 3 hours alternating between writing and playing Super Mario World, and it’s been a whole lot of fun, and I hope that I can alternate appropriately in the future so that having some of my favorite games at my fingertips can be a good motivator rather than a distractor.

I made it as far as the Butter Bridge before calling it a night tonight, which is pretty impressive in my book! I remember when Super Mario World first came out with the launch of the SNES back in 1991 – Super Mario Bros 3 had blown us away not too long prior, and yet this newest version introduced Yoshi and save points and secret levels … I actually recall getting in trouble playing this game at Walmart – I’d only been playing for, like, two minutes and there was somebody behind me, and a sales guy came by and told me, “If you don’t let other people play, I’m going to turn it off.”

It kinda makes me curious if the save batteries in any of these things actually still work! I kinda doubt it, and I don’t feel like taking the risk with them at this point, but it seems like the last time I fired this thing up years ago, I was surprised with what I found, so who knows?!

Nonetheless, I think it goes without saying… stress relief – achieved.

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