Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drain bamage

Good gawd. Who thinks these things up? And how do I get in on the action?

I just finished up 16 hours at one of those mandatory "seminars".

You know the ones...the ones with the nifty little folder just loaded with all kinds of shit that you'll 86 just as soon as you've completed the course.

The ones with the "learning modules" (what the fuck is a learning module, anyway?)and the incredibly un-creative power point presentations with impossible-to-decipher graphics and charts.

The ones that, not only encourage, but expect you to make a complete fool of yourself by role playing.

The ones that provide a "lunch" of dry sandwiches, teeny bags of chips, pop and deli cookies...and not a freakin fresh vegetable to be found.

The ones that take two days to say what could have been covered in about 4 hours...or less...if they'd just get to the point and not clutter up the whole bloody thing with trendy catch-phrases and the newest double-speak.

The ones that make you sit next to some stranger that lets farts bad enough to strip the finish off a Corvette. (Good keeerist, man...what the hell does your wife feed you, anyway?)

The ones that, on completion, give you a spiffy little "diploma", a handshake and applause...just like a Harvard graduation, fer chrissake.

And why are things like this so fuckin exhausting? I mean, it's not like I went out and replaced 3 miles of railroad track with just a hammer and a screwdriver.

But it sure feels like it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Speaking of fiddling while Rome burns...

"The rate of gonorrhea cases in Peoria County is 2.7 times higher than the statewide rate, and the rate for chlamydia is 1.7 times higher."

"Teenage women between the ages of 15-19 in Peoria County accounted for 43 percent (441) of all reported cases of chlamydia among women (1023) and 40 percent (179) of all reported cases of gonorrhea among women (453) in 2008."

Go read the report from the
  • IDPH

  • Read it. And weep. Then, get mad. Then, for gawd's sake Peoria County parents...teach your children about safe sex. Teach them to respect themselves and their bodies.

    More and more Peoria County babies are being born with conditions like chlamydia of the eye, which can cause blindness if not treated promptly, and chlamydial pneumonia, which can cause death.

    And did you know that it's not routine for physicians to test for these STD's when a woman first comes in for prenatal care? I'd like for one Peoria County OB/GYN to tell me why.

    I suspect I know the reason. I just hope I'm wrong.

    And then there's this little gem.
    PEORIA —

    "Even as the amount of toxic chemicals reported to the federal government by industries dropped nationwide, the amount reported in Peoria County rose — a lot.

    Nationally, industries reported 5 percent less to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory for 2007, which was unveiled recently. In Peoria County, local industries reported 13 percent more.

    We now rank 14th among the TRI’s top 100 counties, up four spots from 2006."

    Here's the
  • rest

  • You can read it and bask in the knowledge that it's better here.

    Meanwhile, Peoria County voters chose to spend their tax dollars is on building a big, shiny, sparkly, multi-million dollar museum.

    Something to be proud of.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    More practice

    With YouTube...

    ...and Vimeo

    Yes I am a pirate from Pam Ziegler on Vimeo.

    Don't know which format I prefer yet. The Vimeo seems to be simpler...and faster. But then again, the one I uploaded to it was shorter. I dunno. It just seems like YouTube is reallllly slow on the upload. Is it just me?

    I saw our first American White Pelican today...I did get him on camera, but he was just too far away...the little Flip's resolution ain't so great at a distance. There's also a Canadian Goose who seemed very interested in the in walking right up to I was headed off to the store this morning. I think she's (he?) nesting somewhere close to the road and I think he/she's probably protecting the nest. 'Course when I went back with cam in hand, he/she was no where to be found. I'm gonna take the Flip with me every time I leave from now on and try to get a shot.

    If ya happen to catch some YouTube thing on tv about a woman gettin attacked by a Canadian'll prolly be me. heh

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    He's baaaack...

    ...with a vengeance, I tell ya.

  • Grau's
  • back! And he's pondering the pitfalls of gettin back into the dating game.

  • "I’m just hoping I can find someone who wants to help me with my deep rooted fear of receiving blowjobs.
    With the right woman and years of hard work, I feel that there’s a good chance of progress on that one.

    The only downside I can see with this, is that if I deliberately go shopping for crazy it’s a bit more of a buyer’s market than I’m comfortable with. I’m likely to go out looking for a Ford Taurus of neurosis and come home with a Lamborghini of bugfuck psycho.

    Then again, if she’s good enough in the sack, I’ll just keep a cage stocked with bunnies and a stockpot boiling on the stove."

  • Go read it all. I dare ya not to laugh.

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Practice makes perfect

    So I took some time today to practice with da Zigster's new toy. Noooo...not that toy. Geeeze...getcher mind outa the gutter.

    It's the
  • Flip

  • What a handy-dandy little gadget! It's a teeny-tiny digital vidcam...about the size of a regular digital camera. It makes videos up to 60 minutes long and it has a built in USB thingy that sticks right into your computer for downloading. Then you can download it to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever ya choose.

    The controls on the camera couldn't be simpler...even I can understand 'em. Turn it on, point and shoot. There's a zoom, a playback button and a discard button. That's it. Easy-peasy. It's like a vidcam for old fucks. heh

    Downloading it to YouTube, however, damn near got the best of me. It took me all afternoon to get the bloody thing to work. heh

    And, without further ado, I present....

    Pammy's First Flip

    HA! Thought ya were gonna see me do a cartwheel, huh?

    I know. Four minutes and 18 seconds of watchin da boys get their groove on with catnip mice (YAWN!) isn't exactly the most thrilling thing...but,'s practice.

    Friday, April 17, 2009


    I know, I know. I shouldn't have a damn thing to bitch about...I don't even work a full week.

    I'm tellin ya, though...the 2.5 days this week has whipped my ass. I slept like I was dead last night. I got off at noon today and was gonna come home and enjoy this gorgeous weather, get a few pots ready for plantin and just, in general, fart around outside.

    So what'd I do? I took a 2 hour nap, instead.

    I'm such a putz.

    The thing is, I've had a lot to do this week. Lotsa people to go see. And every one of those assholes (they're not really assholes...their choice of living arrangements is just...assholish) has lived, either on the friggin third floor of an apartment building (with no elevator, of course), or in a house on a steep hill that has about 87 steps up to it, OR in a gawddamned split-level house...with the living room upstairs.

    Now normally, that'd be a good thing. Stair climbing is great exercise...and it'd have gone really well with my new, previously-posted-about eating plan. I've done great, btw...I'm really proud of myself. Honest ta gawd...I swear I feel better already.

    Well. Except for my knee. left knee is givin me fits. Old football injury. No, actually it's from falling directly on it...on concrete...three or four times over the last 25 years or so. I've lost count. I'm not just a putz...I'm a clutzy putz heh. My knee joint prolly looks like a piece of shattered glass. I know it feels like that.

    Anywho, it's making the simple act of walking an exercise exercise. When I get up from a sitting position, it sounds like somebody waddin up an empty potato chip sack. And ya should see me walk...I walk like I've got a cob up my ass. (Yet another quaint colloquialism from me dear old dad.)

    Climbing stairs just plain hurts like a mofo. And it's noisy, too.


    And since I've been babying the left knee, I put more strain on the right one. And it's startin to whine about it. Pussy.

    I think it's time for another shot in the knee. I hate it. It doesn't hurt...much. But just seein that big, ole needle goin directly into my knee joint gives me a raging case of the heebie jeebies.

    What irony. At age 54, my head is finally in the right place...but my body is in the shitter.

    I wonder if they make walkers with red metallic finishes?

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    New smell

    Nope. It's not a new car. If it was, it'd probably be one of
  • these

  • No, the new look I'm referring to is me.

    I think the hormonal swings of menopause might have a little bit to do with it. (Wheeeee! It's like a roller coaster...without the puking.)

    I whacked all my hair off. It's short. I'd like for it to be a little shorter, even. But I've finally come to the conclusion that a crew cut just wouldn't be me. And I think I was startin to make da Zigster a bit nervous. heh

    I've also started on (yet another) personal improvement plan.

    I'm gonna lose some of this weight if it kills me. 'Cause if I don't, I'm afraid it will kill me.

    See, I had some blood work done a couple weeks ago and my blood sugar is a tad over "normal". It's not bad...yet. But I don't want it to get any higher. I don't have a problem with being fat...hell, I've been fat all my life and if it was just that, I'd stay fat. I like to eat, ok?

    But I'll be damned if I'm gonna develop Type II diabetes. I. WILL. NOT.
    Period. Exclamation point. Not gonna happen. we go again with the "Caveman Diet". Meat and fresh veggies. It's worked well for me a couple times before, and I'm comfortable with it. I like meat and fresh vegetables. But I've also decided that I'm gonna be a little more realistic about it this time. I can't just go cold turkey as far as carbs go. So I'll have one "free" day...when I can eat pretty much what I want...within reason.

    I'm pretty motivated...this time. We'll see how it goes.

    Oh, and the new smell? I treated myself to some new perfume today.
  • Ralph Lauren's Romance

  • Corny name. Nice smell.

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    I believe I'm potted

    Though I'd have liked to have been called "Painting", "Ceramics" did seem to hit it...meaning me...square on the head.

    'Course, "Ceramics" could mean anything from a beautiful vase to a toilet. heh

    Funny how these little doo-hickeys work.

    You Are Ceramics

    You are open to the world and it's possibilities. You are able to start something without knowing how it will end.

    You trust your intuition above everything else. Going with your gut often works out.

    You believe that every day objects can and should be art.

    The best art allows ordinary life to be more stylish and beautiful.

    Swiped from
  • Jay
  • Tuesday, April 07, 2009

    Odds and ends

    Because all my ends are odd.

    I voted! Did you?

    Just one
  • issue
  • got me to the polls. Frankly, I didn't recognize one single name for any of the offices that were up for election in our little burg. And, while I'm not at all sure just how the particular referendum will turn out, I'm satisfied knowing that I at least cancelled out somebodies "yes" vote. heh

    I ordered a
  • Flip
  • for da Zigster for his birthday. His birthday isn't until August, but I saw it on Oprah (kill me) and thought I oughta go ahead and order I don't forget. heh He's sooo hard to buy for. It's not that he's picky...just the opposite...he seems to love anything I get him. But usually, if he sees something he wants, he goes ahead and buys it himself.

    I figured I'd get the jump on 'im. heh

    Anywho, it looks like a pretty cool little gadget. And he does love him some gadgets.

    I think we're gonna go see my babies...

    ...this weekend. Haven't seen 'em since Christmas. That's awful. They're only about 3 and a half hours away. But it's been such a crappy winter and we've had a lotta things goin on.

    Anywho, can't wait to see 'em!

    Saturday, April 04, 2009

    Iowa, I hardly knew ye

    From the AP:

    DES MOINES, Iowa —

    Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and first in the nation's heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.

    My first thought was, "Great! Finally we're starting to get it right."

    My second thought was, "Wait....Iowa?"

    See, I'm conservative in a lotta ways. But when it comes to some social this...I'm a raging, teeth-gnashing Liberal. With a capital L.

    No doubt most people will attribute my liberal streak to being a soul-less, god-less atheist. (HA! The spell-check thingy thinks I've misspelled "atheist".) Actually, I don't think my non-belief in a higher deity has much to do with it. I believe it's more about common sense and pragmatism.

    And really, it's all about the word "marriage", isn't it? I've never understood what the big deal is. If it makes all the bible-thumpers so friggin hinky to call a union between two men or two women marriage, then call it something else. "Civil union". "Legal union". Hell, call it whatever ya wanna. Just let 'em have the same rights as a heterosexual married couple.

    Let's face it...a lot of us heteros...about 50% or so...haven't exactly been the poster child for what we think of as "traditional" marriage, have we? Who the hell are we to judge? If belief in a religion gives y'all that kinda judgmental power...well, I'll have the cheesecake, please.

    If a gay or lesbian couple can sustain a loving, lasting relationship, make a home and create a loving family well, by gawd...let 'em do it. Maybe they can do it better than us.

    You love who you love. I don't think you can change that any more than you can change the fact that you're born Chinese...or you're born needing to breathe oxygen...or you're born with blue eyes.

    You love who you love. For better or worse. I said my second thought was "Wait...Iowa?"

    The conservative, cornfield and cow Iowa? The Amish Iowa? The heart of the midwest Iowa? The flag and mom and apple pie Iowa?

    Then, I read this:

    Iowa has a history of being in the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.

    Iowa. Huh. I'll be damned. (and I know some people will agree)

    I'm pretty sure that some of those same people that would agree that I'm damned also believe that interracial marriage, desegregation and allowing women to own property should still be illegal.

    So there ya go.

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Rathbone, I presume?

    You Are Basil

    You are a mild mannered person. People feel naturally calm around you.

    You are warm hearted and loving. You have a close knit circle of friends and family.

    You have the courage to be who you are in life, even if others disagree. You're proud of your uniqueness.

    You are good at caring for and healing others. You are naturally soothing.

    It's funny. Most of these blog-thing quizzes that I take pretty much hit the nail on the head. Once in a while though, it's a bit...skewed.

    "You are a mild mannered person."


    It is my favorite herb. Ok. Second favorite.

    But that was a long time ago. heh

    Swiped from
  • Jay
  • Just the facts, ma'am

    More on this "Block" thing...

    Ya know, in normal circumstances, I'd be all for a new museum. Let's face it...the tax, which will amount to about 17 bucks a year, wouldn't pay for three weeks of Starbucks for me. It's not just about the amount of the taxes.

    The tax is supposed to have a life-span of just 20 years. Now, c'mon...when's the last time ya saw a tax just...go away? 20 years? Nope. It'll be with us ad infinitum. Look at the Civic Center.

    I think the stats that the Build the Block group came up with are just waaay over-inflated, too.

    Fr'instance...the project will supposedly create 250-300 jobs for 25 months. Is there a guarantee that they'll use a local construction company? Don't think so. Haven't heard that promise.

    So we'll get some construction company from Outer Bumfuck. They might buy lunch once in a while. They might drop a couple hundred at Big Al's. They might even stay in a motel for the duration. Big. Deal. They'll spend most of their wages wherever they live. They'll send money home to Mama. They'll pay taxes...wherever they live. They'll buy a new truck...wherever they live.

    I can't see that doin much for this this area...where the unemployment rate just shot up to 9.something percent...where Caterpillar and other businesses are laying off people right and left.

    They're "guesstimating" the annual attendance will be 360,000. I think that's waaay say the least.

    And finally, it's my understanding that it won't be open on weekends...and that it certainly won't be free. If I remember correctly, they thought the admission would probably be set at $15. I know that I just read that the "Caterpillar Experience" part of the museum alone, would cost $15 for non-employees.
    Not that I'd go see the Caterpillar Experience for free, mind you.

    Oh, and by the way...parking won't be free, either.

    I know you can't compare Peoria to...oh...let's say Chicago. But for this particular little exercise, I'm going to do just that.

    Population of Peoria (2006) - 113,107
    Population of Chicago (2000) - 2,896,016

    Now, let's see what Chicago has to offer in the way of museum-type attractions...and the stats to accompany just a few of those attractions.

    Field Museum - Annual attendance: 1,337,502 - Hours: Open 7 days a week. - Admission: Adults - $15 Kids - $10

    Museum of Science and Industry - Annual attendance: 1,807,552 - Hours: Open 7 days a week. - Admission: Adults - $13 Kids - $9

    Adler Planetarium - Annual attendance: 394,521 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: Adults - $10 Kids - $6

    Art Institute of Chicago - Annual attendance: 1,388,000 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: Adults $12 Kids - $7

    Children's Museum - Annual attendance: 771,133 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: $10 for all

    They're estimating that the annual attendance of this boondoggle will be about the same as the friggin Adler Planetarium, fer chrissake!

    Now. Given all the information I have, let me see...

    If this travesty should be shoved down my throat, I could drive for 30 minutes...and pay 15 see exhibits like "The River Experience" (no thanks...I've lived the river experience...up close and personal) or the "IHSA Peak Performance Center" (I'm not a basketball fan) or "The Street" (hey...I see the street every day)...but I couldn't do it on a weekend.

    Or, I could drive for 2 and a half hours...with that same 15 bucks...on any weekend...and see the wonder that is the Museum of Science and Industry. Or the Field. Or Adler Planetarium. Or the Art Institute.

    Um...oh, gee. Decisions, decisions.

    It's the wrong time. It's the wrong plan.

    Good lord, people...Peoria County's tax dollars ought to be spent on things far more important than a museum. Like decent schools. Like decent roads and streets. Like sidewalks. Like more police officers and firefighters.