This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa, yes farm equipment!
It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.
It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.
(Enjoy the video although the story behind it is a bonifide Snopes Urban Legend, this is still an awesome graphics treat! )
Last night I was just sitting here blogging in my kitchen, minding my own business when I heard some strange noises coming from our daughter. She was playing with her Playdough set beside me on the kitchen table. Usually she makes hamburgers, hot dogs and little pies and cakes. Sometimes even snakes or other animal clay figurines. Not last night!!
Sorry for not blogging yesterday, I was quite busy being it was Black Friday and all. You know, the notorious day of the year that comes after Thanksgiving when retailers officially begin their Holiday sale seasons. When the Walmart parking lot is packed full at 4:45 am in the morning in hopes to land some early bird savings. Providing they safely can make it into the store and the section where the coveted sale product is shelved.
Not me! That kind of mad shopping just isn't my style. Sure, part of the reason is because I'm short on cash this year but even if I was a millionaire you wouldn't find me anywhere near a retail store on Black Friday in the midst of such chaos. Instead, yesterday morning Katie-bug and I spread out the sale flyers of a few popular stores all over our kitchen table and opened up our own Santa's workshop.
We made our Christmas gifts this year and poured lots of love and detail into them. Anyone with a Christmas Tree can use a few extra ornaments. Styrofoam silk thread colored balls hold no sentimental value, glass balls break and store bought decorations are delightful and serve a purpose but are lacking in love and originality. Where else in the whole entire world can you purchase a Yellow Snowman ornament crafted by a 4-year-old little girl?
Now this is what Christmas memories are made of. A very special Yellow Snowman who will always be front and center upon my Christmas tree for decades to come.
Many people purchase their Thanksgiving Turkey way ahead of time. Either by freebie points on their SuperMarket Savings Card or they have a freezer to store their big juicy bird when they land it at .19 cents per pound. Some prefer the fresh turkey taste vs. frozen and run out to a local farm to buy a recently prepared bird. This year I have decided to venture out into the blogosphere and bag me a live fresh one.
An internet search of "Train destinations to towns named after fowl" brought me information on a delightful little town, Pigeon Falls, where the trains still run and fowl news is in the air. There seems to be a December 15, 2006 Doomsday prophecy regarding the towns demise. There is talk about the town on who believes it, who doesn't and the many interpretations on the memoirs of the great Russian Poet and seer Alexis Grengicoff.
The mystery of this quaint little town intrigued me as it sounded like a great mysterious place to carry out my turkey expedition. Killing two birds with one stone so to say, where I could travel for entertainment and adventure and bring home some substanance for my Thanksgiving Dinner Table. A train ticket later and I was on my way to Pigeon Falls.
I soon found myself dropped off in someone's backyard in a place where a tiny town once stood. I had to take a quick glance at my watch to be sure that December 15th hadn't passed me by. It hadn't, but the town was missing and there before me was the archaeological evidence that a town once stood here. I scratched my head in bewilderment, wondering what had happened when all of the sudden a white rabbit in a pink sweater hopped by. Dropping behind him a mysterious photo as he hopped under a garage door that wasn't closed all of the way.
Yes! Proof that I was in the right place and I was standing in the spot where this mysterious tiny town recently rested. "To find out what happened to the town, I must follow that white rabbit!", I said to myself as I tiptoed over to the garage door where the rabbit just dashed under. Faint smells of baking pies, saffron buns and midst of giblets drifted out from this quaint little home welcoming me to come inside. I lifted up the garage door and there in all of it's glory stood the town of Pigeon Falls!
Beside the town upon the bench was a beautiful She Turkey named Betty who gobbled and cackled then ran out of the garage into the house through the interior door. Leaving ruffled feather's behind I could have sworn I heard her yell, "John!! That crazy Margaret is here!!"
Yes, I was on to their little turkey tricks and was one step closer to the mystery Doomsday of Pigeon Falls and now it seems, the towns apparent rapture into the garage. "For the town's safety and well being?", I wondered. "Or could these Turkeys be holding the town against it's will, imprisoned in their very own Gitmo Garage?" Either way I was here to find out the mystery and bag a turkey and it looks like I've come to the right place.
Tiptoeing through the interior door I followed the trail of feathers that the Beautiful Betty Hen left behind. In the kitchen through the trail of feathers I stepped on a plop of white goop. One sniff and I knew, that someone was recently preparing a casserole of Candied Yams with marshmallows. Through the living room and down the hall I traveled when out from under the bathroom door whiffed a strange, steamy aroma that smelled like someone dumped the "Mr. Bubbles" in the turkey broth!
There in all his glory was the biggest Tom Turkey I've ever seen!! A huge ole' bird, already plucked - awaiting to be stuffed, marinating in the tub with Epson Salts and Bubble Bath. Wiping the bubbles off his hand he offered a handshake and introduced himself, "Hi Margaret, I'm Dr. John and I have heard through the blogosphere that you are planning on roasting me this evening."
"Why yes, I have planned on that Dr. John," I replied, "but it is the night before Thanksgiving and I need to bag a turkey for dinner tomorrow."
As Dr. John dried himself off he said, "Why Margaret? Why can't you march on down to the supermarket and buy a Grade A, FDA approved Butterball and all the fixin's like many others do? Do you always walk around the block just to get to your backyard when you could have easily walked out your back door?"
In defense I muttered, "But, but Dr. John. I wanted an adventure and expedition. A memory that I can share through the years with my family at the many Thanksgiving dinners to come. To hand down to my daughter and to her daughter. A bushelful of stories, memories and lessons learned."
Dr. John then simply nodded and I knew he understood.
Many bloggy peeps have asked, "Who is Dr. John?" "What is he all about?" "Where did all these comments come from on my blog today?"
Let me just say that many of us have a lifetime to figure out these answers among others. However, we are only promised today and this moment. Trains will run and trains will stop, towns will begin and our government is always changing. We are all here as mere characters in the biggest story ever told and it's our job to remain true to our characters as well as true to one another.
So tonight, in the spirit of Thanksgiving I'd like to Roast a toast to Dr. John for reminding us, especially me, that we each have many things to be thankful for this holiday season. Let's lift up our glasses and stop by Dr. Johns to leave a comment for the tough ole turkey!! After all comments on our blogs are what makes our world's go round. He's a winner in my book and a blogger and friend who I am so thankful for.
I adore Kramer and have mentioned it here before that he hangs on my living room wall. I will never take him down, not even after his recent freak out during a comedy show over the weekend. Now don't get me wrong, his anger was over the top and things became very ugly for him.
I'm not excusing Michael Richard's behavior, neither am I embracing it. I do understand how a person can feel so hurt and angry that they feel a need to hurl insults in an attempt to hurt a person right back. I'm not a hateful person and rarely get angry, but to be honest with you all, I have had my moments. I have been pushed to extremes.
At the moment a "Fat Hippy Chick Bitch" co-worker comes to mind. As well as a "Gimpy Crippled Old Skitzophuck" neighbor. I know the physical traits of fat, hippy, gimpy, crippled and mentally disabled have nothing to do with the terrors that these two people brought upon me. In fact just me not holding my tongue and saying this is hitting below the belt.
Job 6:24 "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue and cause me to understand wherein I have erred."
In retrospect I can look back, know and understand my faults in my past disagreements with others. In the future I can hold my tongue and remember a lesson learned. If he who is without sin can cast the first stone, then I shall allow Michael Richards his apology and forgive him.
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink 02. Swam with wild dolphins 03. Climbed a mountain 04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive 05. Been inside the Great Pyramid 06. Held a tarantula 07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone 08. Said I love you and meant it 09. Hugged a tree 10. Bungee jumped 11. Visited Paris 12. Watched a lightning storm at sea 13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise 14. Seen the Northern Lights (The TV show) 15. Gone to a huge sports game 16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa 17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables 18. Touched an iceberg (Iceberg Lettuce maybe) 19. Slept under the stars 20. Changed a baby's diaper 21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon 22. Watched a meteor shower 23. Gotten drunk on champagne 24. Given more than you can afford to charity 25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 27. Had a food fight 28. Bet on a winning horse 29. Asked out a stranger 30. Had a snowball fight 31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can 32. Held a lamb (a stuffed one) 33. Seen a total eclipse (I think there was one years ago but the sky was overcast.) 34. Ridden a roller coaster 35. Hit a home run (Kickball by a comedy of errors.) 36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 37. Adopted an accent for an entire day 38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment 39. Had two hard drives for your computer 40. Visited all 50 states (No, but all eastern Atlantic states) 41. Taken care of someone who was drunk. 42. Had amazing friends 43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country 44. Watched wild whales (On TV) 45. Stolen a sign 46. Backpacked in Europe. 47. Taken a road-trip 48. Gone rock climbing (Rock Walking, Big Boulder, PA) 49. Midnight walk on the beach 50. Gone sky diving 51. Visited Ireland 52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love 53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them 54. Visited Japan 55. Milked a cow (Milked self) 56. Alphabetized your CDs 57. Pretended to be a superhero 58. Sung karaoke 59. Lounged around in bed all day 60. Played touch football 61. Gone scuba diving 62. Kissed in the rain 63. Played in the mud 64. Played in the rain 65. Gone to a drive-in theater 66. Visited the Great Wall of China 67. Started a business 68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken 69. Toured ancient sites 70. Taken a martial arts class 71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight 72. Gotten married 73. Been in a movie 74. Crashed a party 75. Gotten divorced 76. Gone without food for 5 days 77. Made cookies from scratch 78. Won first prize in a costume contest 79. Ridden a gondola in Venice 80. Gotten a tattoo 81. Rafted the Snake River 82. Been on television news programs as an expert 83. Got flowers for no reason 84. Performed on stage 85. Been to Las Vegas 86. Recorded music 87. Eaten shark 88. Kissed on the first date 89. Gone to Thailand 90. Bought a house 91. Been in a combat zone 92. Buried one/both of your parents 93. Been on a cruise ship 94. Spoken more than one language fluently 95. Performed in Rocky Horror 96. Raised children 97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour 99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country 100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over 101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking 103. Had plastic surgery 104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived 105. Wrote articles for a large publication 106. Lost over 100 pounds 107. Held someone while they were having a flashback 108. Piloted an airplane (taxied one around on the ground) 109. Touched a stingray 110. Broken someone's heart 111. Helped an animal give birth 112. Won money on a T.V. game show 113. Broken a bone (Not that I know of) 114. Gone on an African photo safari 115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears 116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol 117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild 118. Ridden a horse 119. Had major surgery 120. Had a snake as a pet 121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours 123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states 124. Visited all 7 continents 125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 126. Eaten kangaroo meat 127. Eaten sushi 128. Had your picture in the newspaper 129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about 130. Gone back to school 131. Parasailed 132. Touched a cockroach 133. Eaten fried green tomatoes 134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey 135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read 136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 137. Skipped all your school reunions 138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 139. Been elected to public office 140. Written your own computer language 141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream 142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 143. Built your own PC from parts 144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you. 145. Had a booth at a street fair 146. Dyed your hair 147. Been a DJ 148. Shaved your head 149. Caused a car accident 150. Saved someone’s life
Appetizer Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets?
If Intelligent Life is defined as a biological forms that seeks to eat, grow and perform some sort of purpose than yes, I do believe that is possible. As for Physical Advanced Intelligent life beings such as aliens and space travelers simular to us humans, no. Metaphysical and spiritual beings, yes.
Soup What is one thing you said you'd never do, but you eventually did?
Eat Sushi and enjoy it so much to develop an addiction to it. Not so many years ago the thought of eating raw fish was totally taboo. Then I tried it and became addicted to the beautiful art, in texture, taste and form that Sushi is all about. I still won't try Boiled Peanuts, although I hear these are addictive as well.
Salad Who is the teacher that influenced you the most in school?
Miss Hatha Dodge, my middle school English teacher. In fact, I believe it was me who influenced her now looking back on it. She used to be this meanie who students feared, standing 6 foot tall, shaped like a banana with a mushroom hairstyle and braces at 40 years old. She influenced my love of reading, learning and writing while I influenced her to have fun doing it.
Main Course If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be and why?
The Mayor of Savannah, Otis Johnson. I would do and say things in one day that would make a total difference here in our city. Unfortunately he'd find himself waking up the next morning with his foot in his mouth.
Dessert What is your favorite dish to prepare?
Everything! I love to cook and put lots of care and love into each ingredient. Hearing my family and friends say, "Yum!" or "This is delicious" and even hearing them let out a huge contented burp of satisfaction makes doing dinner dishes worth all the effort. In the meantime, this weekend is good for a Veggie Lasagna!
Whenever there is something good a going, there are bound to be peeps out there willing to squish what they can out of things for their own profit or gain. A Twisted Bloggy Bud of mine, Doctor Chip had gone missing earlier this week. Turns out his URL was hacked and hijacked by a typical Good Thing Squasher to steal his blog traffic and direct visitors to go buy stuff from them. Thankfully, the Doctor was on the ball and was able to squash this hideous moocher right back. The good folks at Blogger pulled through and helped him out as well. (Now that is a promising and cheery thought.)
Anyhoo, we've all heard other nightmares of Blogging. From Pedophile stalkers to Peeps loosing their jobs over things they have blogged about. We should all know by now not to share personal information and to take precautions in other areas of concern. I'm not so worried over loosing a job, friends or anything by Blogging because it is in my character not to say anything aloud or in public writing that I wouldn't or haven't already said to the offending party in person. That's just me and if peeps like me they like me for the real me, if they don't then they don't. I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that sometimes Peeps won't like you. No need to try and win them over or anything. Just be yourself and true to yourself.
But what about using bad words in your blog? It's a free world and an expression of free speech. Peeps should be encouraged to blog their thoughts just as they are thinking them. F-bombs and all. Sometimes there are no other words to express your emotions. Hand gestures sometimes work but without a camera and you have the need to express it - just come on out and say it. It's okay. Or is it?
I found out personally last night that the Web Crawlers are out there watching. Granted I have some notion of the technology while using Google Adsense over there in the bottom of my right sidebar. Currently it is showing ads to me about eye care, glasses, etc. It picked up on my "Twitching Eye" post, crawled the words and decided to post ads about eyes and contact lenses. That's cool because I put Google Adsense there and gave them permission to do their thing.
It bothers me. These Peeps are yet another group of Good Thing Squashers. Now I'll never be able to run for political office!! Can you just imagine the slam campaign my opponent would have a field day with?
"Margie's personal blog links to and endorses Anal Sex Frenzy. Do you really want her to represent you in Congress!"
Of course I'm just kidding and making light of it, but be careful. Too much attention may cause such Good Thing Squashers to run away with your URL and just maybe your reputation.
1.If you could only read one blog every day- which one blog would be on your daily list?
I love all my Bloggy Buddies but if I had to chose one it would have to be Dr. John's Fortress. Everyday he inspires me with a thought, laugh and memory. He takes me to imaginary places where the trains run, kids can run for mayor and where White Rabbits in Pink Sweaters and Dragons are often sighted. Not to mention he always finds the gems of the blogosphere and connects us with a "Blog of the Day."
2. What do you do to de-stress from a hectic day?
I immediately undress within moments on coming home and get into my comfy sleeping clothes even though I'm not going to bed for hours. Even if I have to go out again or run to the store later. My neighbors all know me by now and have caught me many times grabbing a gallon of milk in my flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers.
3. What is your favorite piece of clothing to wear in the winter?
My Pajamas but if I absolutely have to wear clothes I love either my jeans or leg-ins with big over-sized sweatshirts.
4. Do you prefer discussing problems with a sibling, a parent, a significant other, a psychologist, or a total stranger?
My husband but if he's not around the cat will do. If worse comes to worse I can always blog a Margie Unplugged rant.
5. How long have you been blogging?
Since last March and I'm hooked. Unfortunately there aren't any detox and 12-Step programs available. (Hi! My name is Margie and it's been 2 weeks since I last blogged.) Thank goodness, for if there was I'd be addicted to coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead.
6. Which side of the bed?
Side? I stretch out and take up the whole bed. Jon has to find room up on the pillows or go hit up the sofa.
7. How often do you pig out when you eat?
About every two weeks I'll allow myself a feast fest. I usually just nibble and munch throughout the days and am too busy preparing, serving and washing dishes to really sit down and enjoy a big meal.
8. Do you watch the space shuttle launches?
No. They never launch on time. They keep putting it off due to weather, foam pieces and stuff like that and before you know it my lunch hour set aside to watch it has past.
9. What's your favorite leisure-time activity?
It's corny, but I love last minute picnics by grabbing a bucket of Chicken and fixins' and going down to the nearest park. Afterwards I love to sit back and read a magazine while Katie feeds the ducks or plays on the playground.
10. When is the last time you said, 'I love you' and to whom? What about hugs? Who is the last person you hugged?
My immediate family (daughter and husband) frequently and often. Other than the most recent "I love you" was Sunday while surfing blogs. I found a blogger in Palestine who posted that he felt sad that Western Christians have so much animosity against Arab Muslims. I simply commented that as an American Christian that I loved him as a brother and that I would rather forgive and embrace than continue the hate and centuries of war that our forefathers couldn't resolve.
As for Hugs! That's easy. This morning I gave Orhan a great big cyberhug after he posted this fun video:
It seems the latest Barbie accessory is a pet dog named Tanner. He not only looks like a lovable Labrador Retriever but he poops like one too!!! Barbie and Tanner come packaged together with dog toys, biscuit treats, a feeding bowl, leash, pooper scooper and bin to toss the Feces Pieces that Tanner happens to leave behind on your carpet or walkway.
As you can see the Bergermeister is quite sickened by this outrageous toy yet on the other hand this could encourage responsible dog ownership. The streets of Sombertown would be free of steamy land mines for the residents to slip and fall upon. The air will smell cleaner and the towns fire hydrants will no longer turn yellow.
However the Bergermeister is very concerned that children will discard the supplied pooper scooper and pick up the little morsels with their bare hands. Greatly disgusting the Bergermeister and prompting him to loose his lunch is also the fact that this toy presents a choking hazard and some children may end up swallowing Tanner's steaming biscuits.
For this reason this product is hereby deemed unlawful by the order of the Bergermeister!
Wednesday night a local news special aired featuring a single young mother of three and the effects of being in poverty. She couldn't had been 25 years old but something she had said has been bothering me.
Looking over to her three little ones off playing in the background she stated, "I tell my boys to do good in school. Stay in school and get a good education so they do not end up like me."
Maybe there is something very wrong with me because I haven't accepted my current state or the fact that I am washed up and have "ended up" just yet. I sure have bottomed up plenty of times in my life but the stubbornness that is within me keeps turning the boat back over and bailing out. Is there a right time or point in life when anyone should just swim to shore, prop up their beach umbrella and decide to be content in any given situation?
I think about my twitching eye this week and my recent cluster headaches, all that could be traced to stress. The fact that I have so much work to do and things to catch up on that I have no time to relax and enjoy watching my daughter play at the playground. Paddling upstream can be tiring and maybe it is time to come ashore and sit back and evaluate my situation and direction. A temporary holiday or rest stop for by no means will I accept any notion of "ending up" just yet. I still have a lot of fight left in me only I need to reevaluate how to get more efficiency out of my efforts.
OR maybe not. "Phi 4:11; I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in." I believe when Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians he was imprisoned in Rome. He had no way to go out to earn money working, save money, attend college, see a doctor or watch children play in a park. Yet God used him in the place where he was at in life and gave him a purpose regardless of troubles and restrictions.
I'm starting to ask myself why not let the dishes sit in the sink? Why not quit that Friday Afternoon job that bothers the crap out of me? Why not have canned soup for dinner a few nights a week? Is there anything wrong with pulling in my paddles and allowing myself to drift along the Lord's purposeful current? He knows where I will "end up" eventually so I should quit the fighting, stress and struggle and start enjoying the ride.
Giving up the paddles actually takes more strength than turning the boat over, bailing out and paddling upstream requires. A faith and discipline that I know I must learn. The question is; "Will I?"
With Christmas just around the corner, It's a difficult responsibility That we extract from the Number One Law keeper, Bergermeister Meisterberger. That certain Toys are hereby declared Illegal, immoral, unlawful AND Anyone found with such a toy in his/her possession Will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon!
For our first hideous, immoral and unlawful Toy of the season allow me to advise you to stay clear of the Walmart .88 cent toy section. In this section you will find this seemingly innocent looking Barbie knock-off. Made in China and marketed as a "Hero Figure"
Besides the fact that her hair is so sparse that she appears to have a bad case of mange. We could ignore the fact that below her head is a body the color of a grayish-blue dead person. We can even look past the incorrect placement of certain unmentionable body parts. What we cannot ignore is Knock-Off Barbie's list of accessories...
11 1/2 inch Posable Action Figure with Weapons & Gear!! Yes folks you've heard it first here. That grayish-blue matter is because she is created from depleted uranium. Those pretty little pink, blue and yellow hair barrettes are in reality unexploded ordinances from a left over cluster bomb.
This product is hereby deemed unlawful by the order of the Bergermeister!
Oh my heavens, No! Of all the quirky little afflictions one can get why Lord, oh why do I have to suffer this one? I'll take instead a nice Vesuvius sized zit on my nose. A fever blister or two. Anything else but this embarrassing twitching eye stuff.
It started about 3 days ago while I was driving to work. As quickly as it began it had ended in a matter of a few seconds. I counted it up to be just a freak thing until it happened again a few minutes later as I was paying the cashier for my coffee. All through the day yesterday and today it would kick into full twitch throttle at the most inconvenient of times.
Guys must think I am flirting with them and heck, their wifes are giving me funny looks too. I can't help it!! It is involuntary and I don't know what to do about it. I searched around online and found it could be caused by a number of different things. Too much alcohol wouldn't be a factor. Too much Caffeine perhaps but not likely as I always enjoy my two cups of coffee in the morning and no more. It even has read that a simple thing as a bad back and spinal column can cause involuntary muscle movements.
Oh well, nevertheless until it stops once and for all I'm going to be a nervous wreck thinking I'm stroking out or something. Time to dig out the pair of cheap sunglasses and let my hair hang down over my eyes. Oh Lord, here it goes again. My computer screen is now a temporary disco light and it's a terrible feeling. Anyone else out there ever had to deal with this? What did you do or not do about it?
I'll always remember this cold November morning for the rest of my life. I was one week overdue and about as big as a house. My back was killing me and I couldn't sleep to save myself. It was 5:30am and I gave up counting my millionth sheep as I rolled over out of bed and my water broke.
I thought I could make coffee, take a shower and get dressed before driving the five minute route over to the hospital. However, things weren't going as I had planned. To think all of the time I spent watching the Discovery Health Channel Baby Shows, the Lamaze classes and the countless number of Pregnancy magazines was all for nought. Those 5 minute apart contractions never happened as we went from zero to whammo in the blink of an eye.
I don't remember too much else about that morning and I owe much thanks to my good friend Demoral. They did give me an epidural but things went awry. I found out later that the bus accident that I was in at 23 weeks pregnant herniated a spinal disk and the epidural went up instead of down to numb my nether regions. Soon I couldn't feel myself breathing and I was knocked out for the count as they rushed me in for an emergency c-section.
I do remember waking up in recovery and Jon handing me his cellphone. I missed it. I missed everything and all that I knew was that I had a beautiful baby girl over in the nursery. However, it was time for me to rest up. Hey, I was just thrilled as all get out that I could look down and see my own toes again.
Hours later Jon rolled in a tiny bassinet and inside was a crying little baby. It didn't look anything like mine and I doubted that it was mine. She had brown hair, was red all over and looked nothing like I ever imagined. In fact she looked so much like her Daddy I felt like I was merely an incubator for the past 9 months.
As the hours tick and the choices narrow down, I have decided to focus my vote more on the issues at hand at the local level. It seems many of the candidates from either party are all a little too caught up on what is going on over in DC's big house. However, there are a few candidates who are remembering the issues right here at home and in our backyards.
Affordable health care is an issue for me. The cost of medical insurance for a family of three is astronomical. I will vote for the candidate that supports the Georgia Peach Care Program for children and seeks incentives for Doctors and local hospitals to provide clinical or sliding-scale-pay services to those who are uninsured according to their income.
I will also vote for the candidate who is remaining focused on Georgia's educational woes. For the past 10 years or more the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama have been competing for last place in grade school testing results. Katie still has two years to go before Kindergarten kicks in and if the quality of education here does not improve - it will be better for me to home-school her. This vote will also apply to the HOPE Scholarship program and grants for continued education. Something that Gon is taking full advantage of now in his final year of college.
So I've got it figured out. I'm voting for one incumbent for the Senate because he was fruitful for his last two years in office. I'm voting for the new guy for Congress because the old guy seems to have lost his way home as well as lost touch with the peeps he was elected to represent. Our Governor Sonny can stay in office because quite frankly he's a fun guy and he is always working or doing something good. I like that. Finally we have a good handful of local office candidates - most which will certainly end up in a run-off election. They are all new to the political block and it's hard to tell who is for what and where.
My madness will be to vote for whom I haven't heard of nor spotted a political sign clogging up every intersection in town. It may not make any sense, but I have a feeling these are the ones who are more focused on the elected job than the actual winning of the game. Good luck tomorrow for everyone.
In another attempt to sadly remove pillars of doubt and confusion I'll tackle the War in Iraq. The statistics, news and overall opinion seems to prove loudly that America is loosing this war in Iraq. If I remember correctly from the very beginning America didn't go in to win a war in Iraq but to liberate Iraq. In other words, the real intended winners of this war from the very get go - were intended to be the Iraqi people.
I'm not going to concentrate nor try to decipher the lies, spin and crap that put us there in the first place. What I am concerned about is today and where we are at today. All that I hear from both political sides is that they have or want a plan to win the war in Iraq. Quit it already, there is no winning to be had and no spoils or gains to profit from. Especially at the expense of the thousands of lives of both our soldiers and the Iraqi people.
Because neither political side here in the State of Georgia are giving me a sure, appropriate and sane plan for this situation, the War in Iraq is not an issue that will decide my vote this week. It is an issue that does concern me and I hope to God our politicians can plan out a new course and not "stay the course".
Sure, I have my own ideas and theories but I don't believe our leaders have a suggestion box open for us this Tuesday to drop them a line. If they did I would probably write down something in this order:
Drop weapons and protect the Iraqi people from outside enemies, NOT from each other. Do NOT choose sides.
Provide mediation, peacekeeping services and safe meeting places for factions to meet and debate their matters of concern that they have been fighting over for centuries.
Provide humanitarian efforts such as hospitals, medical needs, food and education.
Remove Saddam and let him be tried by the world court instead of by the Iraqi people. The idea was honorable at first but as we see now it has only caused division and solidified factions.
You reap what you so. Empower the Iraqi people with positivity and the results will start becoming more positive. Quit the "kill 'em all" and going in to win, threatening and demeaning negative attitude.
Perhaps these are silly and unfeasible suggestions, then again I'm not an expert when it comes to such things as war. In fact war is something I don't ever want to be an expert at. Peace maybe, but not war. For me the ideal situation would be to see Iraq become a safe and prosperous nation of proud people despite their religious diversities. An ally of America because they want to be our ally, not because they are forced to be.
It would sure make voting easier Tuesday if I could stop hearing the phrases "Stay the Course" or "Cut and Run" and instead hear a brighter "Change of Course towards a more healing, forgiving, friendlier and peaceful solution."
Give me a candidate that not only says this but believes this, and I'll push his button.
Oh alright, I gots to blog and that is hard to do when your mind is bogged down with political crap and big voting choices to make within the next week. I usually avoid sharing my political opinions here because I consider political views to be private. There is a reason why we pull close the curtain over at the polling booths and it isn't because we want to be popular.
So which side am I on? I am not affiliated with either party because quite frankly, I don't like the game. Especially when the game pawns the lives of my neighbors, friends, family and even myself. It doesn't matter who you are, what you are or whether or not you vote. If you are in America you will be moved by the Players on many issues.
For the next few days I'm going to make a sad attempt to decipher the game and exhume myself out from under the mound of bullshit that has been piled upon me for the last 2 years. Keep in mind this isn't an attempt to steer anyone's votes or thoughts and I am not campaigning for anything. Complaining may be more like it. Today I'll hit on the Abortion, Stem Cell Research and that whole bucket of worms.
I am anti-abortion when it applies to my choices but that doesn't mean that I allow myself to nudge in on the choices of others. As a person who battled infertility for many years I will honestly state that there is a selfish desire to want more babies available for adoption. However, being infertile I could have sought the services of an infertility clinic and had a few dozen embryos stored somewhere. I certainly don't want a dozen children and I didn't allow myself to be selfish with what I perceive to be "life" just to have a baby or two. What would I do with the other embryos after my wish had been granted?
There you have, it I consider life to be precious to those who have it, hold it or are about to loose it. I am not for banning abortion or stem cell research but I am for taking a careful approach on the fragile line that determines life or death for anyone. I feel late term or partial birth abortions is pushing that line unless the mother's life is in peril. Habitual abortions for those who employ this method as birth control are out of line with my beliefs. Which are that everyone should be encouraged and empowered to make responsible choices regarding their own lives and embrace respect for the life of another.
The promises of Stem Cell research on terminal illness and disease are incredible. I have no doubt. We have lost many geniuses, minds and lives of wonderful people due to health issues. Saving life is wonderful and we should embrace the knowledge and opportunity. We shouldn't just throw away the embryos that couples collect in petri-dishes week after week. There in lies the current administrations stance. "Use these resources available." They didn't say "No!" or "Absolutely not!" Each year there are many embryos that would otherwise be thrown away because Peeps don't want a dozen kids. Use them, however keep a fine line there and do not go out and harvest embryos for this purpose only. Give and keep giving life a chance whether it is the life of the unborn or the life of a beloved family member who is ill. Give life a chance to become what it may and don't cross any line predestining a life's purpose. Leave it to chance. To me, that is the safest bet.
I suppose on these issues, today I am a Republican. Don't worry - there is always tomorrow and another issue that could very well pull me in the other direction.