Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Monday, April 30, 2007


My nephew Ty got a pet ball python yesterday. So today I headed over there with the new camera to take some video and stills. So here is my first video post.

Isn't this kid adorable?

And his sister is awfully cute too.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guess who got a new digital camera?

Yes, it's true. I am no longer old schooling it with my 35mm camera. We recently got a Canon PhotoShot S3 and I am LOVING it. So I'll be doing some photo-blogging and video-blogging as soon as I can figure out how to link it to here and all that.

Anyway, E and I headed out to Ville Platte, Louisiana today and visited Chicot State Park. We walked out over the bayou on the pedestrian bridge and I took some tons of pics.

Click on any pic to view it larger

Some cypress trees near the bank

Water lilies in the algae

A water lily in bloom

Bayou Chicot

View from the bridge

Cypress grove

Maple leaf

We saw an owl flying off in the background. But the best thing was the sound. The alligators were calling out to each other with a loud "hurrumph" every few minutes. We also heard a group of coyote puppies playing off in the woods. And the bird sounds were fantastic.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

A correction

The Wikipedia link I should have given is this one which says:

Though the procedure has a low rate of usage, representing 0.17% of all
abortions in the US in 2000 according to voluntary responses to an Alan
Guttmacher Institute survey,[1]
it has developed into a focal point of the abortion

Thank you, Passerby, for pointing this out.

Revisiting the issue once more

Normally I wouldn't even take the time to acknowledge anonymous commentors on my blog because I'm of the belief that one must own what they post. However, due to some issues raised about yesterday's post I'm going to make an exception just this once.

Anonymous poster #1 claims to be an OB/GYN. She corrected my statement that most abortions are done with the D&E procedure. My source was apparently incorrect yesterday. According to Wikipedia 11% of abortions are done during the second trimester and some of those require the D&E procedure. Thank you for the information, Anonymous #1. I stand corrected. However, if you reread my previous post, I never presumed to speak for all women.

Anonymous poster #2 called me out for making the statement "a fundamentalist Catholic group". Well, #2, I was raised as a Catholic. In fact I spent my first 38 years on this planet as a Catholic. What is Opus Dei if not a "fundamentalist Catholic group"? They believe in the fundamental Catholic strict pre-Vatican II teachings. Google it.

As for other comments made, I'll wrap up by saying...

1. If it's in the womb, it's a fetus, not a baby.

2. If it's not viable outside the womb, then it's not life. (Check the law books for that definition, folks)

3. The government has absolutely no right making decisions about our bodies. If we allow them to decide about abortion then we open it up to them deciding about things like cancer treatments, surgeries, etc. Very slippery slope.

And just so folks understand where I'm coming from...

No, I don't have children. That's not a choice I made but a choice cancer made for me in my late 20's. Had I gotten pregnant in my youth I don't know if I could have personally made the decision to have an abortion. But I'm old enough to remember this country before abortion was legal. I don't ever want to see us going back to women dying in back alleys due to illegal abortions. If you want to know what that's like, research Peru and Kenya regarding the state of illegal abortions there. Bottom line, a woman's decision whether to have an abortion or not is between her and her higher power, not the government.

Today's Slate political cartoon says it all:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Women attacked by the Supreme Court today

In a ruling on what is referred to as the "partial birth abortion ban", the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ridiculous law today.

Let's talk about what this law is all about...

First, there is NO SUCH THING AS A "PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION". The procedure is called D&E and is simply a vaginal abortion. It has nothing to do with "late term abortions" as well. This is actually the safest abortion procedure available and therefore is the procedure most used. This now means that women choosing abortions will either have to have abdominal surgery or medically induced abortions; both of which are extremely dangerous to many women. BTW, there is NO provision for the health of the woman. The penalty for performing a D&E is a huge fine and/or jail time for the physician.

This law also allows the father of a fetus to civily sue the woman who chooses an abortion. And in the case of women under 17, the maternal grandparents of the fetus can also choose to sue. That's because we women are just property of our husbands and, if we're younger, our parents, right?

The vote was 5 - 4 in favor of upholding the law. The five justices who voted in favor are the five Catholics on the court - four of which belong to fundamentalist Catholic groups. Both Scallia and Thomas wrote in their decisions that abortion "has no place in the Constitution". Kennedy encouraged the states to further chip away at Roe v. Wade by looking for other "partial birth abortion" procedures to outlaw.

Here's what we can do...

This is a federal law that was passed in 2003 by the Bu$h-held Republican Congress. They CAN undo this law by rescinding it.

Call your Senators and Congresspersons today at 202-225-3121. Let them know you want them to rescind this law immediately. This is the only way to overturn the Supreme Court's bad decision.

Women, fight for your rights and the rights of your daughters and their daughters. Do not let Congress and the Supreme Court dictate to us about our bodies. Act now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When people use guns to solve their problems

I'm still digesting what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech. I can't imagine how all those folks are going to get through this. They will have a lifetime of pain because of one person's decision to use a gun.

Today kids all over this country are being reminded by their school administrations that something like this could happen anywhere and that they need to be watchful.

I've been listening to Air America Radio for the past two days. They've been interviewing folks who think they have the solutions. Some have advocated tighter gun control while others have said that everyone should arm themselves in self-defense. Some have said that there should be more mental health opportunities for students while others have pointed out that you can't make someone get mental health help. Many have blamed movies, television, and video games for their violent influences. I'm not sure that anyone or anything could have prevented this tragedy.

I did call into the Rachel Madow Show yesterday afternoon and express my opinion on the subject of everyone arming themselves in self-defense. I spoke as a former law enforcement officer and pointed out two problems concerning this issue. First, I can attest to the fact that the decision on whether to use deadly force or not is a very hard one to make and yet most often has to be made in a split second. I have seen police officers hesitate or react too quickly and the results are often tragic. Police officers are given ongoing training on deadly force; average citizens are not. Someone carrying a gun for self-defense but not trained properly could create more chaos rather than help. Second, as a law enforcement officer arriving on the scene of a reported shooting, if I saw several people flashing guns how would I be able to determine who the actual shooter was? Again more chaos rather than help. Both of these problems could result in innocent people being shot.

The students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech are in my thoughts and prayers today. I wish you all peace.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Thanks! and please feel free to torture me again

I have to tell y'all - I'm not digging 45 so much. Since just after my birthday in December, I've had a series of issues with arthritis in my "good" knee and wound up with a case of shingles that really sucked. I just feel as if I'm falling apart all of a sudden. Of course, having abused my body all these years by carrying around all this extra weight around makes it all totally my fault.

Last week I went to see my doctor for my annual exam. She gave me the normal orders for my yearly mammogram. Then she asked me if I'd ever had a bone density test to which I replied no. So she added that to the menu of the original orders.

Today I went in for my tests. First stop - mammography. The tech was a very nice gal. She began the process of making me contort into odd positions just so she could squeeze my boobs between a large metal plate and a flat plastic pan. Oh fun! To accomplish all of this she had to get into my personal space several times. I wish I'd had my purse because the poor girl is a smoker and she was in dire need of a mint. Great - smashed boobs and cigarette breath in my face. Bleh!

Last stop - osteo. Having never had a bone density test before, I was unsure as to what I'd have to do. As I entered the room I saw a table equipped with a scanner and thought, "Cool, I'll get to lay down." Then my tech, she of the cigarette breath, began to explain how she was going to scan my arm. She placed a contraption on the table an showed me how I needed to place my arm at a 90 degree angle with the elbow flat against the back. The clencher was that I would have to bend to the level of the table. I'm 5'7" tall and that table was about 3 1/2' above the floor. Remember that arthritic knee I was telling you about? It really appreciated the deep knee squat I had to do and hold for about five minutes. I left wondering if they made the little old 80-year-old blue-haired ladies contort like this. Then I thought the little old 80-year-old blue-haired ladies are usually shorter than me so maybe it doesn't hurt them so much.

Come on 50! I am so looking forward to that first colonoscopy.

Psst! Girls, I know I'm grumbling about my tests but I can't stress enough how very important it is to have your annual girl tests. I'm a uterine cancer survivor. I might have found that cancer much earlier if I'd visited an ob/gyn sometime in the eight preceeding years. I learned a rough lesson all those years ago. Don't learn it the hard way like I did.