Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've Become a Politics Junkie!

Who'dathunk it? Me, a CNN politics junkie?!

Looks that way -- at least in the past week or so. I was positively glued to the Democratic Convention, and then to the stunning announcement of Palin as VP candidate, which scared the bejeezers outta me, and yesterday to the news of Gustav following in the path of Katrina exactly three years to the day later. (It's horrific, and my thoughts are with New Orleanians!)

And then this morning, news -- or rather, rumors at this point -- that points pretty convincingly to Sarah Palin being the grandmother, not the mother of baby Trig. Three things (I hesitate to call them flat-out facts at this point) tell me that the rumors are likely true:

  1. Palin announced her fifth pregnancy to her staff a full seven months into it -- and she wasn't showing! Helllooo! Any mother having her FIFTH baby shows waaaaaay earlier than seven and a half months; that's just the way subsequent pregnancies are. Maybe first pregnancies can be hidden for seven months, but I sure don't know of any fifth pregnancy that can be! Now way. No how. Not Sarah's baby.
  2. At the same time, her 16-year-old daughter, Bristol, was absent from school with a SIX month bout with mono. Elisabeth had mono, a pretty bad case of it, even, requiring her to come home from Cal early at the end of her freshman year. She was housebound for maybe three weeks. I don't buy six months home and away from one's life because of mono. No way. No how. Not Sarah's baby.
  3. Sarah's water apparently broke early in the morning one April day when she was at a governor's convention in Dallas. (Now on this one I'm pretty confident, given that I'm a Certified Childbirth Educator...) Instead of going to a local hospital in Dallas that day (which any decent doctor would recommend for a 44-year-old multiparous mother, pregnant with a special needs baby), Sarah apparently got on an Alaska Airlines flight to Alaska, via Seattle. EVEN if she got on that flight with her water broken, why wouldn't she get care in Seattle, where some of the best high-risk neonatal care facilities are located? She didn't. She apparently flew on to Anchorage, where there's at least one hospital with an NICU...but she didn't get care there, either. Instead, she drove another 45 minutes to a tiny hospital outside her home town, to deliver her special needs baby there? I'm not buying it. A 44-year-old mom who is on pregnancy number five has too high a risk of both a precipitous labor and of infection if she casually waits 8 hours after her water breaks... and travels the entire time. No way. No how. Not Sarah's baby!
I'm not sure how the Republican party is gonna spin this once it comes out. Will they spin it as, "Hey, at least she cares and is raising this baby"? (Which I give her; it is admirable.) Or will Sarah withdraw her candidacy? (And then what?) Or will it stay swept under the rug? Thanks to online social media, I don't think that will happen.

Know who I feel sorry for in all this? Bristol. Talk about shame and guilt and lies... That poor girl should be allowed to just deal with all the emotions and events of her past year -- and she should be supported and helped through all this. Can you imagine what she's being forced to silently endure?

The more I get wrapped up in all this stuff, the more I believe that politics is just one big life-sucking, lie-inducing, ambition-driven plague.

Ooooh. Gotta go. CNN is calling to me!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lenmar Batteries Almost Burned Down Our House! (A Product Review)

Posted on Lenmar Enterprises Website today:

Dear Lenmar Enterprises,

I left a message at the above number.

I bought your Lenmar Charge-ables batteries and inserted them into my (Digital Concepts) battery charger at home, just as I often do with a variety of brands of batteries. A few hours after inserting the batteries, I happened to come into my office and noticed that there was an odd sound coming from the charger -- and, upon closer inspection, I found that the charger was slightly dented, smoke was coming from it, and there was literally a BOILING sound coming from the batteries, like the insides were actually boiling!

I immediately unplugged the charger. Even 20 minutes later, it was hot and boiling, and crackling sounds continued to come from the batteries. Needless to say, both the batteries and the charger are destroyed. A white gritty liquid spilled all over the charger and the batteries have some sticky substance on them as well.

Thankfully, our house still stands -- probably because I found the problem just moments before it became a catastrophe.

So here's my question: how can you avoid having this happen to someone else?

Yes -- since this happened I did read the fine print (TINY print!) on the side of the battery which stated that Lenmar batteries should only be used in a Lenmar charger. But I buy many different brands of batteries and I always use them in my charger. As long as they fit -- and these did -- how should I know that they might cause a fire? If they didn't fit, or if there had been an obvious warning (maybe a warning label which I'd have to remove before using the batteries), at least I'd have been sufficiently warned. But tiny print in the middle of other tiny print on batteries that fit just fine in my charger, doesn't seem to me to be sufficient warning.

You didn't do enough to ensure my safety.

I will pursue this because I don't want it to happen to someone else. What are YOU doing to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else?



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Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin: Well, That Clinches It for Obama!

McCain just put his "not ready to lead" foot in his own mouth.

I'm sure Governor Palin is a very capable woman, but this is what CNN says about her experience:

"Before becoming governor she was mayor and council member of a small town."

Hmmmm -- that 3 AM call? The one that requires the VP must lead the country?


Granted, I was never gonna vote for McCain. So he's lost nothing in my dismay. But I have a feeling there are people who would have voted for a strong Republican ticket and have just decided to vote for the strongest presidential ticket: OBAMA: a qualified and impactful presidential candidate and BIDEN: a capable, decisive, experienced vice-presidential candidate who could answer that 3 AM call (heaven forbid) and absolutely run this country!

I couldn't be more thrilled with McCain's choice for a running mate! Good going, dude!

ADDENDUM (I'll probably be adding to this post throughout the day): Something scary (really scary) just occurred to me: Let's just say that McCain wins -- and then dies. Palin becomes president. On the global stage we'd be in HUGE trouble. In the eyes of the rest of the world, America's standing, America's credibility, America's might would be in the hands of a self-proclaimed "hockey mom" from Alaska. We'd be in such incredibly deeeeep trouble.

And at the risk of sounding really backwards, stereotyped and sexist, what is a brand new mom, with a brand new baby (BRAND new!) -- and one with special needs, no less -- doing running for an office that would essentially take her away from her baby ALL the time? The mother in me simply doesn't GET that... and I have a feeling that the rightest-wing moms out there will agree with me on this one. Yes, we should have gotten over this attitude 20 years ago, and I am surprised to be feeling it... but this isn't just an issue of a "working mom." This is a mom who couldn't possibly be with her baby in the upcoming months (or years).

Oh -- and how incredibly insulting to suggest or imply that, because Palin is a woman she'll get the vote of Hillary supporters. She and Hillary are completely different on every issue I can think of, and if women are voting the issues and not simply their gender, OF COURSE their vote will go to Obama! How insulting to imply that gender makes more difference than issues!

You know what else pisses me off? The overly ambitious, shortsightedness of McCain's decision. What it says to me is, "I just want to WIN; I really don't care about what happens after that." Kinda reminds me of the banks lending money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. It was short-sighted, with catastrophic long-term effects. If McCain really cared about his country (OK, fine -- I know he does... but his ambition has over-ruled that care), he wouldn't have done this. It shows that he's willing to put our country in the hands of someone who is CLEARLY not qualified for that level of responsibility! It's selfish and it shows a LACK of love and concern for our future, in my opinion.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fired Up! (But Hunkered Down)

I mentioned yesterday that I work with India at night and don't mind it -- that I even like it.

But tonight all I really want to do is revel in Obamamania, but instead I need to edit ten documents by midnight.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mushy about Mumbai

One of my favorite things about my job is the connection I've made with our staff in Mumbai, India.

Working both during the day (10 AM - 4 PM) and in the evening (about 9 PM - 11 PM) was one of the things that I was apprehensive about when I was offered this position in February. And I must admit that there are days when I want to just come home and tune work out instead of worrying about timelines and deliverables and clients. Working in the evenings isn't exactly fun. But oh. my. god., the people I work with in Mumbai are incredible and I can honestly say that I've come to love them and my daily connection with them -- even if it is mostly via IM and e-mail.

My counterpart project manager in Mumbai, whom I shall call "S," is a most amazing young woman just a few years older than Elisabeth. She's smart as a whip, wise beyond her years, and one of the kindest, most loving people I've ever met in my life.

And the head writer in Mumbai, "M," has seen me through more than one work crisis, full of support and brimming with dignity and kindness.

And then there's my friend, "R," the artist. I've never actually worked on a project with R, but I've spoken with him often via IM. Usually that conversation begins with him suddenly IMing me, posing a riddle or a puzzle: "Carol, there are only four words in the English language that end in 'dous'... don't google!" (Anyone? Anyone?) Or an IM will appear out of nowhere with something like this: "Avian specimans of identical plummage congregate at equidistances." (Can you figure it out?) R is a just a little bit nutty and he likes to try to stump me -- but likes it even more when I jump in and play, always complimenting him on not only his wonderful art skills, but his great brilliance and his English language skills.

Shortly after Tom's and my 25th wedding anniversary, a package arrived for us from India. In that package was the most beautiful silver platter (packed in the most beautiful box). The staff had sent us a gift for our anniversary -- and they don't even know Tom! Isn't it beautiful?

(You should see it without the fingerprints all over it! It's even prettier that way...)

In my work with the project managers, writers, and artists in Mumbai, I'm often online for long stretches at a time, working through minute details of various projects. I often go to bed knowing that my friends in Mumbai are getting to work. And I often wake up with a completed piece of art or a completed marketing document or a completed Silverlight demo waiting for me in my in-box. It's a little bit like The Elves and the Shoemaker -- and I adore my elves in Mumbai!

This morning I was greeted by an e-mail from my friend R. It was a belated anniversary poem that R had written along with a picture that he had created. The poem got me a little verklemmt:

An Ode To Love

When two hearts beat as one,

And two souls are in perfect rhyme,

When words remain unspoken,

And two bodies converse in mime,

When new feelings are awoken,

And emotions border on the sublime,

Then know what these betoken,

A love so true; it’s a paradigm,

That which will continue unbroken,

Perennially; eternally; till the end of time.

And about the picture, he said, "It has more than meets the eye... and no, it's not alignment or similar issues!"

Here it is. Isn't it nice? Can you find the "more than meets the eye" that S is referring to??

If so, R will love you. And if you let him, he'd probably "bug" YOU with fun mind-twister puzzles, too!

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