Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another bad case of the rants...

I am really becoming sick and tired of people and their dogs. I readily admit that I am personally not a fan of the canine. But I am actually becoming more and more of a dog-hater. They smell. They poop everywhere. They chew things up. They jump on you. They run around with stupid expressions on their faces. They get into things. They slobber. Sometimes they snarl and bite. They are almost always obnoxious. (Exceptions: Cletus, Sage, Chief)

In truth, however, saying one is a dog-hater is akin to saying one is a child-hater. And let’s be honest…we don’t hate kids but, rather, in those cases we hate the way they’re been parented. After all, it’s not the kid’s fault. And I suppose it’s not the dog’s fault either. So let me rephrase. I merely dislike dogs; I am beginning to hate dog-owners.

But the fact remains: this morning I heard a segment on NPR about doggie daycares. They featured a doggie daycare outside Washington D.C. that charges $30 per day to doggysit. (Note: I currently pay $25 per day for our Sam-sitter.) According to the woman being interviewed, “We just don’t have time to take care of a dog.” You see, she is busy studying for the Bar Exam and her husband is a software salesman who travels a lot. I would like to posit that if these people are so busy, perhaps they ought not to own a dog.

I would like to further suggest that they donate the $7,500 they would spend on their freaking dog-sitter this year to a cause that would do some good like…um…I don’t know…FEED STARVING CHILDREN? Perhaps…HELP PREVENT THE GLOBAL SPREAD OF AIDS?
I don't know...just some suggestions. What do I know?

These dogs have more to eat and more to play with than an astonishing number of our nation’s CHILDREN. Working parents all over the country struggle to find quality PERSON care on a daily basis. They struggle with cost, often leaving young children home alone or with siblings who are also too young to care for them. And yet here is an entire subculture of dog-worshipers who spend more on their dogs in a day than I spend on formula in a week….more than I spend on diapers in a MONTH (thanks to Sam’s Club)… in just one day…to pay for an entirely self-sufficient ANIMAL to PLAY. These animals play with and chew on children’s toys…purchased just for them, while so many HUMAN CHILDREN go without. Their human “parents” watch them via webcam to make sure they’re doing okay. (If they have time to watch them on the webcam, then why, exactly, are the doggies at daycare anyway?) How nice would it be if more daycares that actually cared for human children had such features?

Incidentally…the doggie daycare featured in the segment cares for about 50 dogs per day. Do the math…that’s 30 dogs x $50…
$1,500 per day
$10,500 per week
$546,000 per year
And this is just at one doggie daycare…

What an utterly stupid, shameless and self-indulgent way to spend so much money. I am completely disgusted. Where the hell are our priorities?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Helen Keller!
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Michigan "Civil Rights" Initiative: a total crock of sh*t...

Are you informed about the upcoming November 2006 Ballot Issue on the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative?”

“Civil Rights” sounds positive right? Ha! Guess again! Passing this amendment could have a dramatic effect on programs designed to help women, girls and people of color in the State of Michigan, limiting many of the social programs that help us fend off discrimination!

Michigan’s current Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964 and was designed to equally give opportunities and prevent discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin and age.

Voting “yes” in November would eliminate outreach programs to interest middle and high school girls in math and science fields.

Voting “yes” in November would eliminate fair housing and lending programs that makes sure that women and minorities are treated fairly when they apply for loans.

Voting “yes” would prohibit financial aid and student loan programs aimed at women and minorities.

A similar “Civil Rights Initiative” was passed in California in 1996 and can be linked to the hiring of fewer women faculty and faculty of color at public universities; a drop in the percentage of women working in skilled trades; decreases in government contracts awarded to women and minorities; and fewer women and students of color enrolling and graduating in technical fields.

With the passing of the amendment in California, the amendment was used as the basis to challenge funding for domestic violence programs and other state-supported services specifically designed to address women’s needs, including breast cancer screening.

Vote NO on November 7th!

Furthering my personal agenda...

An article in Monday's office newsletter:

Writing tip of the week: Passive Voice

Simply put, using passive voice usually means leaving out the “doer” of the sentence. Examples:
Ÿ It would be greatly appreciated (Who is doing the great appreciating?)
Ÿ Money was donated (Who did the donating?)
Ÿ The road was crossed (Who crossed it? Was it the chicken?)

Using passive voice weakens the connection between the “doer” and what s/he did. This can be a good, yet slimy, maneuver if you are a politician who does not want to be linked with an unsavory event. For example: “Laws were passed limiting a woman’s access to emergency contraception.” Who passed these laws? Who do we hold responsible?

But, this is also an unwise choice of wording when the “doer” wants to be credited with the action. Example: “167 people were served.” Who served them? Who did this wonderful thing? Stand up and take credit for what you did!

By carefully choosing when and where we use passive voice, we can make our writing both more effective and more flattering!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The big mysteries in life...

Thought for the day:

Why is it that pants sizes and underwear sizes aren’t the same? How can it be that I wear one size in pants and then a size that is more than 10 sizes smaller in underwear? (Flashback: “Actually those ARE my underwear; my butt just looks really big in these pants.”). Similarly, why is it that I wear a 7 ½ shoe but that women’s socks only come in size 9-11? How many women in this country wear a shoe that is a 9, 10 or 11? Why don’t they rename them to something like 6-9? Why must ALL the forces of the world, including clothing manufacturers, conspire to make things just that much more difficult…to give us just one more piece of crap we have to remember?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Being Poor

A version of the following "essay" (I have no idea what it should be called) appears in the May/June issue of WORLD ARK magazine. The entire essay is available on the website of the author, John Scalzi, at

Being Poor
by John Scalzi
Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say "I get free lunch" when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.

Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can't find someone you trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.

Being poor is not talking to that girl because she'll probably just laugh at your clothes.

Being poor is hoping you'll be invited for dinner.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in your home.

Being poor is $6 short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you're being judged.

Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.

Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.