my weblog

Monday, March 30, 2009

From the Losing Hurts Worse Than Winning Feels Good Department:
Career sports bettors battle the betting line
The best in the business say they are happy to select a winner 55 to 57 percent of the time.

"You woke up this morning/The world turned upside down/Things ain't been the same/Since the blues walked into town..."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some random thoughts while sipping on a Long Trail Double Bag Ale (or two!)...

I haven't opined much yet on the performance of our new President- I've been willing to give him a chance, as well as the fact that I refuse to be like the knee-jerk (emphasis upon jerk) critics of former President Bush, those who criticized him seemingly for simply drawing breath. And unlike some on the Right, I don't wish to see Obama fail; I'd prefer to see him govern wisely. But I didn't- and won't- drink the Kool-Aid of the Obamabots. So first... The Good: with the exception of what I thought was a kinda silly YouTube overture to Iran, largely I commend much of Obama's foreign policy statements and actions, particularly on the War on Terror (yes, I'll still call it that.) He hasn't flinched, he hasn't wavered, he hasn't downplayed the threat posed by Islamist extremists; indeed, he's indicated a willingness to take the fight to them in Afghanistan and, if necessary, Pakistan as well as to hold those nominally allies accountable. My thinking is that President Obama, confronted with the intelligence info that Bush had, has quickly changed his tune from Candidate Obama. And Iraq? Much of the reason he may well be able to fulfill his campaign promise of drawing down combat forces there is because of the surge tactic that the previous Administration adopted, admittedly about two years too late. Truthfully, the least of my concerns was over an Obama foreign policy, never believing that he would willfully, intentionally, leave our nation vulnerable to foreign attack... The Bad: most of his plans re. economic recovery. Two things. First; I never saw the current downturn as especially the failing of government, whether of the current Admin, the previous Admin, the Democratic Congress of the last two years, or the Republican Congresses preceding. It was poor, extremely poor, decision-making on the part of too many within the financial sector. Second; I opposed the previous Administration's (with bipartisan Congressional support) bailout, er, excuse me, "rescue" scheme, on both philosophical as well as practical grounds, a rejection of free-market principles as well as starting us down a slippery-slope (first financial institutions, then the auto industry, then...) and increased debt. But at least that scheme was- relatively- targeted. What Obama and his crew have proposed is wholesale spending, nothing more. And worse, while they claim it is to "stimulate" the economy the truth is there are soooooo many spending items that aren't the proverbial "shovel-ready" projects, projects geared to get people working in the next 3, 6, 9 months but long-term items that have long been on the Left's wish list. Some of these may even be worthy projects. But if so, don't include them in this special "stimulus" package but in the regular budgetary process. And earmarks? Candidate Obama said he was going to oppose earmarking; President Obama? Well... And regarding the debt that will be incurred; I read someone state that the debt from this will be more than all of the debt from George Washington to George W. Bush combined. It is spending on a truly reckless level... The Inane: changing the wording of the War on Terror to Overseas Contingency Operations, or whatever Orwellian phrasing his staff came up with. Please. Oh, and for the LGBT community? Nice to see the candidate so many of the self-appointed leaders shilled for cave so quickly on repeal of DADT. Yeah, he signed on to some feel-good UN resolution, but when it came to actually doing something concrete for LGBT Americans he did no more than those mean ol' Republicans you so hate... The Worrisome: I have apprehensions about Obama's safety at the upcoming G20 summit in London this week. Besides the usual protesting suspects ("What are you protesting against? Whaddya got?") this is going to be a juicy target for Islamist terrorists. I don't wish to see harm come to my President (and he is my President, even if I didn't vote for him.) So a decidedly mixed bag on The One so far. But I'll keep an open mind.

You know, there are still people engaging in Sarah Palin hate?! Incredible. Now, I have no problem with people who disagree with policies she promoted or enacted; those folks are certainly entitled to their views, they may even be right. I would like to have them say which actual policies she proposed or enacted they disagree with, as opposed to the falsehoods put forth by some in the lamestream media (Book-banning while Mayor? She never did, nor attempted to. Proposing schools must teach creationism? Nope, she merely said that if brought up in discussion of evolution it needn't be not addressed. "Homophobic"? She signed into law legislation granting gays in Alaska extensive rights.) She does hold personal views that many, on some issues myself included, disagree with. But it seems to me, to go back to the DADT thing, we claim that private behavior, private conduct, ought not preclude public service so long as the public service is not impinged by the private. Being gay should not, IMO, preclude one from serving our country, including in the military. Likewise, believing in creationism, or being ardently pro-life, or being personally opposed to same-sex marriage (as President Obama is, BTW) should also not preclude service to elective office. Was Palin qualified to be Vice President last year? Half a term in high office, preceded by service at the state level, preceded by service at the local level, with little-to-no foreign experience? Probably not. (But of course, if that background disqualified her for VP, what does that say about someone who served half a term as US Senator, and before that as a state legislator, and before that a "community organizer" being prepared to be President? But I digress... ;) Lastly, Palin ought to be a feminist's dream: a woman of high achievement (Governor of a state, even a small state, is pretty impressive) and more, who achieved it on her own, not on her husband's coattails (like a certain former NY Senator-now Secy-of-State, f'rinstance.) We need a new term... Palin-envy! I'm not saying she's my ideal candidate, but the invective still being directed toward her is absurd; get a life, people!

A few items for thought:
Gay by Force: Legal equality does not mean requiring universal acceptance of homosexuality.
The Texas-Size Debate Over Teaching Evolution: Sure, discuss Darwin's 'strengths and weaknesses.' Just not in biology textbooks.
Ron Paul On Legalizing Marijuana

Well, three of my Final Four didn't make it! Memphis lost the other night, Pitt lost last night, and Louisville was upset today. Ack. I'm out of the money in my office pool. And I lost- a little- money on Louisville today. But this year's post-season has been very good to me, I'm well ahead for the season, bills can continue to be paid...

I've been hitting the gym pretty consistently again for awhile now, and my running has picked up as the weather has improved (some.) But last week, on my upper-body weight-training day (I only work upper body once a week, for muscle tone/definition, plus muscle burns more calories at rest, yadda yadda...) I noticed that I was weaker. I'm wondering if that's the 'mones starting to kick in... I'm not complaining, as physically I feel fine and all, and losing a bit of strength is to be expected I guess, but dang, it still sucks to not push as much as I did!

Whew! I haven't had one of these l-o-n-g entries in awhile! This oughta hold ya for a while... to any and all who read this, my thanks as always :)

"Desperado, oh you ain't gettin' no younger/Your pain and your hunger they're drivin' you home/And freedom, well that's just some people talkin'/Your prison is walkin' through this world all alone..."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some whine with that T?

So the other day I'm visiting a T friend's blog and I check out some of the commentary from others on her blog roll. While I am a glass-half-full kinda gal I've never thought of myself as especially Susie Sunshine, Pollyanna, you name it. I do have my moments. But after reading these gals' blogs I'm seashells and balloons by comparison! I swear, many of these ladies could make pouring a bowl of cereal into a transgender issue! And always some travail, some tale of woe, some slight or injustice, real or perceived- lighten up, ladies! And everything has to be trans-related, to the point where it seems like, if they didn't have their transgenderism they'd have nothing- no interests, no hobbies, no experiences, no identity- in their lives at all. C'mon, don't be so one-dimensional! Share a recipe, some book (maybe even a non-T book!) you're reading, a movie you've seen, a new disc you like or a concert you've attended, a success- or even a setback- at work, a funny tale about family/friends/acquaintances, ire over Obama's $pendulu$ $cheme, how you're doing in your NCAA brackets... there has to be more to your life than solely your gender identity! And how about something positive, something fun, something silly, regarding your transition or gender journey when gender must be the topic?! Curiously, the friend whose blog I was initially visiting; she has a lot in her life that she could b*tch and whine about, gender-related and non. And sometimes she does. But there is balance to her commentary- not everything is gender-related, not every gender-related blogging is a wail of woe or endless navel-gazing.

I don't write any of this to be petty or cruel, nor insensitive to real issues. Yes, transitioning, or simply expressing ones' gender identity, can be difficult; 'mones can affect how we feel emotionally as well as physically, it is difficult when those close to us do not/cannot understand or relate to how and why we are how and why we are, difficult when body and mind aren't in congruity, difficult when one cannot live the life one wants to, needs to, insensitive comments are made at times, there is real discrimination, at times even violence, perpetrated against some of us. And I don't begrudge anyone occasionally feeling the need to give expression to and vent their frustrations; over the years from time to time I have done so here, as well as to and with some of you I am especially close to. But much of what we face is part and parcel of the human condition; precious few people have never experienced emotional discomfort, have never had loved ones not understand or accept them, have never been the recipient of thoughtless comments, experienced disappointment and/or failure, and more. To make these, or to make one aspect of who we are as individuals- even one as core as our gender identity- the sole focus of our thoughts, our lives, that is so limited, limiting... and boring!

And now that I'm done with my whine (and to the few of you I haven't offended!...)

A couple I'm currently reading:
Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss, Philip Carlo
Cool In Tucson, Elizabeth Gunn

How're you doing in your for-entertainment-purposes-only college hoops brackets? I'm doing so-so, not sure how my co-workers are doing; the West Virginia and Illinois losses hurt me a lil bit. My Final Four are: Louisville, Memphis, Pitt, and Carolina, with Pitt beating Memphis for the championship. We shall see... I had a profitable first two rounds (and a couple of NIT games) ATS...

I haven't updated my website in awhile, not sure why. Some of it laziness, some of it just haven't felt like it... I should, and soon. Spring is finally, officially here- barely! It sure has been blustery and chilly this weekend. But the snow is gone, the days are growing longer, milder days are on the way, my running has been better of late, mileage up, time down (even if dark again @ 5:30am!) Spring generally is my least-favorite season, for some personal reasons as well as that the weather seldom is as nice as one hopes, but it does auger warmer, milder, summery days. And those are good days!

"She would never say where she came from..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'll Tell Me Ma, traditional

I'll tell me ma when I go home
The boys won't leave the girls alone
They pull my hair, they steal my comb
But that's all right till I get home.

She is handsome, she is pretty
She is the belle of Belfast city
She is courting one, two, three
Please, won't you tell me, who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her
All the boys are fighting for her
Knock at the door and ring the bell
Saying, oh my true love, are you well?

Out she comes, white as snow
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
Old Jenny Murphy says she'll die
If she doesn't get the fellow with the roving eye.

Let the wind and the rain and the hail go high

Snow come tumbling from the sky
She's as nice as apple pie
She'll get a fellow by and by.

When she gets a lad of her own
She won't tell her ma when she gets home
Let them all come as they will
It's Albert Mooney she loves still...