Monday, March 29, 2010

He screws up everything!

Plans to go to Charlotte this week to see my DS. And, to meet for the first time his current girlfriend [wife-to-be] and mother of my first Grandchild! Guess who is going to be in Charlotte that day? Yep. The jugearedjackass. He's going to talk about jobs. Can't he do that from the Oval Office? Nope. Instead he is going to make traffic miserable and screw up everything for me on Thursday. Every single day when I don't think I can possibly muster up any more hatred he makes it possible!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Phew! I did it just in time.

So plastic surgery in the States is going to be taxed five percent, after all. Thought that tax was supposed to be removed from the debacle bill of reparations and distribution of wealth because it was going to be an invasion of privacy between plastic surgeons and patients. Apparently the tax is still in there. We were lied to? No! My surgery was done before the bill became law so I am exempt. This time. If I do any further work it will be done elsewhere. Thailand has "vacation surgery" packages where you can have work done for less than half of what it costs in the States and where you will be pampered at a resort, afterward, for the duration of your healing and recovery process. Personally, I know I will do everything in my power that can legally be done to not pay a single penny more into the system. How soon do you think we will see plastic surgeons feel the effect of this? I'm guessing it isn't going to take long.

One of the Best Parts of Being Home

Other than spending time with my Dear Mother and other family members that are close by - my Brother and SIL live about a half an hour away - love spending time with my three nephews, a 14-year-old and 10-year-old twins... One of the not so terrible "side effects" of having just had surgery - I don't want to go anywhere. Hurts too much to be out and about for any length of time. So, I can plop my butt in front of the computer and read all of the blogs I am not allowed to read in The Sandbox. The ones that the internet's most useless program in the entire world - Websense - blocks for me. Jawa Report, Woman Honor Thyself, Yag Patriot, BNI [which I will not link to, for obvious reasons] and one of my favorites, Big Dick's Place.

What a delightful way to spend a Sunday morning. With a hot cup of coffee and Bailey's and all of the internet that I'm not supposed to see. Life IS good!


Hard to feel too sorry for the 121 workers that were laid off from Caterpillar in Clayton, N.C., last week. How many of those 121 workers voted for the jugearedjackass? Umm hmm. So, how is that hopenchange working out for you?

Caterpillar's problems don't stop there, though. According to this, Caterpillar [along with a couple other large companies] has said that it will "take a $100 million hit on its first quarter earnings" all thanks to the jugearedjackass and his cronies, Nancy and Harry, shoving their monumental, historical reparations package under the guise of health care reform up our collective butts.

Again, how many employees at Caterpillar, not just in Clayton, but nationwide, voted for the jugearedjackass? How many employees at Deere voted for him? How many employees of AT&T voted for him? You reap what you sow. What is all of this going to do to an already troubled economy? Just you wait and see. Watch us slip further and further into a dismal abyss. What can be done about it? Make sure that anyone who voted for the massive government takeover which amounts to nothing more than redistribution of wealth - reparations - in the guise of health care for everyone in four years or so with new taxes and regulations already passed as law and effective immediately gets voted out on their ass. November 2010 can't get here soon enough. Neither can November 2012 when we can finally throw usurper currently in office out!

America, wake up. Do you realize that we are being laughed at around the world? Man oh man oh man. Did we get screwed. And don't think for a single solitary second that the screwing we are getting is over. Bend over. Don't expect a kiss, first, either. It is only going to get worse!

Time Warner Cable Sucks - Part Two

Who knew there were so many dissatisfied and disgruntled Time Warner Cable customers? Yesterday after I posted Time Warner Cable Sucks [well, it does!], I got a comment from Paul S. who, according to his title, is a member of the "TWC Social Media Support Team." And, why, do you think that a Social Media Support Team is even necessary? Imagine a job where all you do all day long is cruise algores internet looking for sites that have disparaging remarks about the company you work for. Oh my gosh. You couldn't pay me enough. The up side though is that Paul S. does not need any people skills and he could do his job from his bedroom in his Mother's basement if he wanted to. That is the only possible way Paul S. could have found my blog. By typing in certain search parameters. I typed in "Time Warner Cable Sucks" and got 2,360,000 results via Yahoo and 2,190,000 using Bing. Man oh man. That is a lot!

Due to a mistake on Time Warner Cable's part, Mom went two and a half days without the 24 channels she IS paying for. I spent 22 minutes and 20 seconds yesterday afternoon on the telephone with Derrick to resolve the issue. Poor Derrick. My frustration was NOT directed at him and I had to explain that is was not HIM that I was upset with, but I was upset with the lack of competence and compassion clearly absent from customer service woman at the Clayton office on Thursday, and customer service woman's totally inept supervisor. There is nothing Derrick could have said that would convince me that customer service woman didn't phuck up our cable on purpose. She didn't like having to ask her supervisor to have to deal with our situation and she didn't like me or my Dear Sweet Elderly Mother. Customer service woman was totally put out that we had questions, that the social security number was an issue, and that we were not leaving the line until we had some resolution. That old saying, "The customer is always right," does NOT apply at Time Warner Cable.

Derrick did his job well, and found the problem - the technician shut off the cable completely instead of leaving the 24 "Broadcast" channels Mom is supposed to have. Oh, and that 24 channel line up? You've got to be joking! WUVC (Univision). A Spanish station. Along with Telefutura. PC to the max. Make sure illegal aliens get their stations. WRAL is CBS, WUNC is PBS [our tax dollars hard at work to make sure the message from the left is broadcast loud and clear]. WARZ-LP - no clue what that is. WNCN is NBC, WRAZ is FOX [but NOT Fox News!]. Two C-SPAN channels. Great. And two "Public, Educational and Government Programming" channels. Can we call a spade a spade, here? Two "Public, Educational and Government Programming" channels? Indoctrination. Nothing more than indoctrination. The worst of it is that there are THREE home shopping channels. THREE! HSN, QVC and ShopNBC. What a complete waste of time.

Anyway, back to Paul S. The man has got to be busy. With all of those sites to visit between just Yahoo and Bing, "Time Warner Cable Sucks." Just type that in. See what comes up. Even a couple from blogs I have visited in the past such as Brain Shavings, and Right-Thinking from the Left Coast. I'm sure there were others. I was surprised at the amount of "networking sites" [Facebook, Twitter and YouTube] that were covering the same issue. Yep. Paul S. is a busy guy visiting all of those sites to say, "Sorry about the way you have been treated at your local office. I have forwarded your complaint to our Customer Care team in the Carolinas." I guess that is supposed to make everything okay. Do I honestly think that the Customer Care team in the Carolinas gives a rat's ass about the treatment my Mom and I received at the Clayton office on Thursday afternoon? Riighttt... Thanks for visiting, though, Paul S.

We'll see how quickly the cable issue gets resolved, today. Sunday. They are sending out a technician between 10A and 12N. I made a specific request with Derrick, yesterday, that the technician come to our door and see me before he [she?] leaves so I can make sure that the problem is solved. I also requested that a credit be issued for the few days that we go without cable, since we are paying for it. We'll see if that shows up on Mom's next bill [even though I won't be here, then]. And, we'll see how customer service handles our visit to the Clayton office on Monday or Tuesday when we take the box and clicker back, and when Mom tries to change over the social security number from my Dad's to hers. Based on the unequivocally miserable experience we had this past Thursday, I'm not going to get my hopes up. Anyone want to bet that I am not disappointed?

When a company has a monopoly on something then they can do just about anything they want. While I am still here at Mom's, recuperating, I will be checking some other options for her. I understand AT&T is offering some of the services Mom wants and that Dish Network may be a better option for television. Now, I have a mission. Don't you just luv a good mission? Oh, and if anyone has recommendations on options, please do share!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Time Warner Cable Sucks

The three women and one lone man at the office in the Garner area - or is it Clayton? - have less people skills than most trees. [Where's Matthew when you need him? He's really good with that kind of snark!] I'm going out on a limb, here, and I'm going to say that the women there - and the one lone man - were all hired to fulfill some affirmative action quota. Not a single one of them deserves their job. Not in this day and age with unemployment at 20%. If you are going to work in a service-oriented position then you need just a few "people skills." And being nice to people is one of those skills. Especially old ladies!

My poor Mom. An elderly white haired woman who is vertically challenged [short]. When she moved into her little house [three bedrooms is not all that little - it is twice as big as our house!] in N.C. she called the cable company and they came and installed cable for her two television sets and put internet on her computer and gave her a land line for her phone that included 24/7 long-distance calling [family is spread out - one sister in Maryland, another in California - and us, in Saudi, with a N.C. phone number through the computer]. At the time, it was some special deal they gave her like $60. a month for ALL of that. That deal lasted for three months. Since then, the price has risen steadily and dramatically. As of last week, when she got her bill, she was being charged $179.00 a month for all of those services - the exact same services she got for $60.00 a month two and a half years ago.

Mom opened her bill and said, "Do you think $179.00 a month is too much to pay for cable, internet and telephone?" Hell yes, it is! "I really only got the cable for the boys when they come on the weekends - and for you and your DH when you come once or twice a year for a month." Nope. That is way too much for a woman on a fixed income to have to pay. Told Mom that I would go to the cable company with her to see what we could do to lower the cost. Get rid of the premium cable package, for one. No reason that she needs 200 channels for one weekend a month when my nephews - her grandsons - come or for that one month a year that we are here in the summer. If DH wants to watch a car race or football game there is a really nice sports bar not too far from Mom's house.

We went to Time Warner Cable on Thursday. We waited in line - and waited and waited and waited - because two of the three customer service people didn't have a single freakin' clue what they were doing and couldn't do a thing without asking their supervisor, first. [Oh, and by the way, Ms. Supervisor, you work in an office, not outside on a farm. Your being dressed in those way too tight jeans for your body and that red t-shirt was totally unprofessional. I don't think you should have to wear a suit, but you certainly should have to at least attempt to look somewhat business-like. Try a nice pair of slacks and a blouse.] There was some man at the far end customer-service window and I don't know what his deal was but he was trying to figure out how to lower his bill for two separate telephone lines in his house and Ms. Supervisor was getting all testy with him. The lone man customer service agent was working that window and didn't know how to respond to the man's inquiries so Ms. Supervisor was there. She was yelling at the guy! I was mortified for him. Thanks to Ms. Supervisor we all know what the guy's monthly payment is and we all know that he is three months behind in paying his bill and now his service has been shut off. Discretion? Ms. Supervisor has no idea what that word even means. Dolt? Ms. Supervisor is the dictionary definition. I can give quite a few more choice descriptions of her... [I need to get the address of the head office for Time Warner and let them know how their Clayton/Garner office is being served - or NOT being served.]

Mom and I were at the middle customer service window. We asked for a break down of the bill. Customer service [ha!] woman said, "What are the last four digits of the social security number on the account?" Mom did not know. The social security number that the account was set up under is my Dad's number - he, originally, set the whole thing up before they were going to move from New York to N.C. The bill, however, is in Mom's name. But the woman wasn't going to give us any information because of the social security number being my Dad's number and not Mom's. You have got to be kidding! Mom has been paying the bill for almost three years. It is in her name. And you are not going to give her a breakdown of her bill because she doesn't know the last four numbers of my Dad's social security number? I couldn't be nice any longer. I said, "He is dead. He is not going to be able to call you and change it into Mom's social security number. The bill is in her name and she is the one who has dutifully come here and paid it once a month for the last two and a half - almost three - years." Customer service person says, "I am going to have to ask my supervisor." Fine. We'll wait. And we did. There was no way I was going to let Mom get out of line and wait some more.

Finally Ms. Supervisor waddled over to help customer service person that couldn't do anything without her permission. Ms. Supervisor said that if Mom gave customer service person her I.D. [license] then she could help us this one time, but in the future Mom was going to have to know the last four digits of the social security number on the account. [Does anyone with a legal background read my blog? Is this allowed? How is it that a social security number has become a "national identity" number when it was originally designed for the purpose of keeping track of employment? How do illegal aliens get cable if they don't have a social security number?] Ms. Supervisor said that my Mother should change the account but that she would need her social security card to do so - along with Dad's social security number. I said something to the effect that most people don't carry their social security cards around with them and customer service person decided that she needed to argue with me, "Oh, yes. Everyone carries their social security card." No, not everyone does, you idiot! [You just want to argue because you can't stand white women and you've had an inferiority complex your entire life!] You are not supposed to. If your pocketbook or wallet gets stolen and you've got your license in it, along with a credit card or two, and your social security card, you are screwed! Brains and common sense are, obviously, not a prerequisite for becoming a customer service representative at Time Warner Cable. I'm not sure what prerequisites are required other than being the "right" color. I do know that last week 121 workers at Caterpillar in Clayton were laid off and I'd be willing to bet that you could find a worker or two in that group who would relish the opportunity to work as a customer service representative at Time Warner and who might actually bring some people skills to work with them - no matter WHAT color they are!

Anyway, after a good deal of arguing back and forth we were able to get a breakdown of what it is, exactly, that Mom is paying for. There is NO good way to do this. If you cancel the cable completely and just want phone service and internet then it is $160. a month because the price of having those two options, separately, doubles if you don't have a "package deal" that includes cable. Makes absolutely no sense at all. But with no industry competition, Time Warner Cable has you over a barrel and they can charge whatever it is they want. Competition is a good thing. How come there isn't any? If Mom "locked" into a two year contract she could have lowered her bill to $149. for all of the same services that she was paying $179. a month for. Does that make any sense? Sure it does. For the cable company but not for the cable company customers!

What Mom finally decided to do was to remove the premium cable package and get basic cable - some 24 channels, only. She was told that she needs to bring the box and clicker back to the Time Warner Office - along with her social security card - and that then they will switch her service and she'll only have to pay $113. a month. Remember. All of this took place on Thursday. So, last night, I'm getting ready to go sit sleep in the recliner in the bedroom and turn on the television to watch Fox News. There is now NO cable at all. Not the 24 channels as promised. None. Today means another trip to Time Warner to get this straightened out. I'll be taking names. I neglected to get customer service woman's name a couple days ago, and I have no idea what Ms. Supervisor's name is. But someone in a cushy office somewhere needs to know just how incredibly ineptly the local office is being run in Clayton. Oh, and someone needs to turn those 24 channels on pretty darn quick, since Mom is paying for them!

P.S. Anonymous - I don't know what your problem is. Are you jealous that you can't have plastic surgery? Or something? Either way I've got comment moderation on for people just like you and you are NOT going to get through. Good try though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Glad I had it done before the debacle known as the Health Care Bill passed. I didn't get the tummy tuck. Call me chicken. I'm going to get a personal trainer when I get home and work on the tummy that way. I knew there was just no way I could take the pain. The breast lift and "pluff" has been painful enough. But at least I can finally move my arms enough to type. I don't know what I expected - but I didn't expect the pain. Duh! Of course it didn't help that I had an allergic reaction to the painkillers that were originally prescribed. Just made everything worse.

My Dear Mother, who was a nurse, has been lovingly taking care of me for the last week. I will owe her big time for all she has done. I had the surgery done on Friday, the 19th of March. I had to be at the hospital for 6:30A and we were home by 2:00P. Can't sleep in a bed yet - can't lay down. Sleeping in a recliner and that has actually been quite comfortable. Let's see... What else. Showering has been interesting. Cannot wash my own hair. Cannot use a blow dryer. Cannot lift anything - nothing. Cannot laugh [or sneeze or cough]. Made the mistake of visiting Matthew's place yesterday and was in pain for an hour afterward [laughter - the man DOES have a way with words!].

Going today for my first post-op follow up visit. I'm not sure if the stitches will come out today or not.

Have to say that prior to getting all the drugs at the hospital - WakeMed in Cary, N.C. - I had discussions with several nurses and none of them are supportive of the jugearedjackass's plan for reparations in the form of health care. Glad I am not a tanning bed tanner. Taxes on tanning facilities went into place immediately after the bill was signed. Also have to say that I have never seen such an efficiently run hospital - medical facility - in my life [not that I've had much experience - I don't get sick very often and I can't recall the last time I was a patient in a hospital - 1981 when I gave birth to my son?]. Have nothing but positive praise for the treatment I received at WakeMed. If you are going to have to have surgery - elective or not - and you are in the Raleigh area, go to WakeMed in Cary to have it done!

I have an excellent doctor - and so far I am thrilled with the results! Has all the pain been worth it? Yes. I do believe it has been! I'll know better as the healing progresses. But, so far, so good. Back to regular blogging soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Short Leave

Going to get my surgery! Back soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Poor Little Bali Street Dog

I neglected to include this little guy in my previous post on the Bali Street Dogs.

This is really much more like what there are just so many of roaming the streets in Bali. Thin. Hungry. Not healthy. Alone. The situation had a pretty serious impact on me. As much as I saw and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and fun that Bali had to offer, each night I laid in bed and mentally reviewed the sadness I had seen throughout the course of the day. I still haven't figured out what I am going to do to encourage donations - to ANY animal shelter [because I know homeless, stray, hungry and sick animals roam the streets EVERYWHERE in the world] - but I AM going to do SOMETHING.

And, when I was doing the post I could not find the two facilities that I knew I had pictures of - well, one is nothing more than just a sign - and I should have taken a picture of the building. We saw a third while we were there. I am pretty sure it was another BAWA, though. Only caught it briefly as we whizzed by in the car.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Alcohol, to purchase in Bali, is not cheap. [Cheaper than where we live, though! And certainly more abundant and actually available.] It took me a while to get the money down. It is just so odd. 1,000,000 IDR is $100.00 USD. 100,000 IDR is $10.00. So the 358,000 IDR for a bottle - small fifth of Smirnoff - that's $35.80! How much is it in the States? $15.00, maybe? At most?

Interestingly enough, we saw Smirnoff and Stolichnaya - both pricey - and two unknown brands to me, Vibe and something I cannot recall, but not a single bottle of Absolut. How is it then, that we saw so many Absolut bottles? Not a single one of them filled with the real thing. [Not that it would matter, I've boycotted the brand since they did their adverting campaign advocating for open borders.] Nope. They are all filled with petrol, gasoline, at little stands EVERYWHERE for people to fill the tanks of their scooters and motorbikes. [Apparently Bali vacationers don't drink Absolut, either. Good. And to the locals? The only thing Absolut is good for is filling the bottles with gas.]

It is worth noting that there is a local Bali vino, Hatten, which has a web site that I, of course, cannot get to because Websense blocks anything having to do with tobaccoandalcohol products [as if they don't exist if you can't view them on the internet!]. The local vino was okay. Just okay. Nothing to write home about. I did drink a few bottles, though, but more often than not, when I could, I choose to indulge in something else. Vino is a personal taste. There may be others who think that it was just great. Me? Like I said. Just okay.

Ohh! And this menu. Had to take a picture.

Triple xes in the Long Island Ice Tea? Or how about a Scrudriver? I actually had an Illusion. Nothing to write home about. Give me a Mojito or just plain old vodka and club soda, any day.

Nothing to do with living in The Sandbox

And, as much as I try [fail!] to keep politics out of my blog because this isn't a blog about politics blah, blah, blah... I just cannot help myself sometimes. The current administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, under the helm of their teleprompted leader - the jugearedjackass - constantly and consistently leaves itself wide open for criticism and ridicule. It is no secret that I absolutely loathe that pos who has usurped the highest office in the free world - correction, what used to be the free world. No matter. Things will eventually right themselves. Lord, I hope so! Anyway, I didn't ask his permission but this piece has to be shared. If you haven't taken the opportunity to visit The Lunatic's Asylum, you really ought to. Well, provided you are a right-thinking like mind. Today Matthew posted this:

Reason #11,206 Why Your President is an Asshole...

Okay, I've just turned the television on, and once again The Savior of the Universe is on television complaining about Insurance companies, beating the bushes for his ObamaCare monstrosity. He's using the same old strawman arguments about "
the old lady who gets screwed by her insurance company" and "paid the highest deductible, but got rotten service" and was ultimately "dropped for a pre-existing condition" and all that tommyrot.

Listen, I have first-hand knowledge of what it is to be fucked royally by an insurance company, but I can console myself with this thought: when they were picking up my bills, 90% of my medical expenses were paid for, and I still got 60% of my yearly salary -- tax free -- for almost two years afterwards.

And I paid a lot for that level of coverage, Mr. President. I was recently looking at an old paycheck, and I was paying just a hair over $2,400 a year for that policy, and Lord knows how much of that tab my employer picked up. The lesson: if you can afford to pay for it, you can get awesome coverage.

The problem is that there are people who can't afford that level of coverage, and the reason they can't is not because the insurance companies are out to screw them; it's because they can't earn enough to pay for it themselves. The reasons they can't earn enough to pay for it are varied, but I can promise you that at the top of the list are: uneducated (because the Union-run public schools do such a good job!), lazy (why work when you can claim aggrieved minority status, or just engage in serial pregnancy and get free money?), receiving welfare for the second or third generation, criminal, in the country illegally, have never held a job in their lives.

What Pelosi and Reid have wrought, America wants not. I don't know how much clearer that can be made without an angry mob gathering outside the White House with torches and pitchforks. We can't afford it as a country, and the economy at present is shrinking, not growing, and so it's not likely to be a winner at anytime in the foreseeable future. Drop this subject, Mr. President. You should be paying attention to more important things.

Yet, they can't seem to help themselves, these Obamatards. They keep pushing and pressing and trying to sell it to us. They think if they send The Won out into set-piece little dramas where he is surrounded by vocal supporters (the lazy, halt and stupid, the Union slobs who can afford their own insurance but want it for nothing, anyway), and keep putting them lofty speeches into the Ol' Teleprompter for him to vocalize -- that if he just manages to seem somewhat "Presidential" -- then this pig will manage to fly.

Someone's been watching too much "West Wing", methinks...when he hasn't been following strange men into the shower, allegedly?

None of this makes Barack Obama look "Presidential". Today will be, I think, like his 50th Potemkin Village speech on "health" "care". I still don't know what the heck he's talking about, except that a long-standing American libtard tradition of giving shit to people who haven't earned, and certainly won't ever pay, for it, is to be continued on an even grander scale. FDR and LBJ were disgustingly parsimonious with other people's money compared to BHO. Yeah, that'll make it increasingly popular.

Get this through your heads, democrats: poor people are not terribly motivated to do anything for very long (except maybe breed, smoke crack, and commit violent crimes). You may manage to harness their numbers every so often to achieve some limited result, but you will never be able to harness them for the sort of "transformative" change you're talking about because your own actions have turned them into little more than mental slaves of the government plantation -- with rice pudding for brains, no ambition, no pride and no work ethic. You can round them all up and pump 'em full of adrenaline, but their enthusiasm will quickly fade because their attention spans are geared for "right this second" rather than "tomorrow"; this is why the class-warfare card always fails. It's why this bill will never become law. It's why you're failing now.

It's now gone beyond mere failure, and it begins more and more to resemble desperate begging. It's high-pressure, full-court press sales time; you might as well hang a sign on Obi Won that says "Everything must Go!". You can smell the fear through the television set; this man, who promised so much, has delivered on nothing. If anything, he's already on track to become the Worst President in U.S. History, and yet he's holding out the slim hope that there will be something, something, that he can "achieve" of lasting value that will set him above James Earl Carter on that list. It's beginning to look more like ego than a policy goal. But He's wrong about it all.

Primarily, he's wrong because his vision was too broad, and in the end, he left it to others with their own agendas to fashion it and put their stamps upon it. The other reason he's wrong is because none of this crap over "health" "care" is what a President needs to be doing, nor a government. Do you realize that while the American economy tanks, we've spent fifteen months talking about nothing but this stupid bill?

On the one hand, we should be thankful the assholes in Congress have been preoccupied by this monstrosity, because who knows what other nonsense they may have cooked up if they had had more free time. On the other, BHO has frittered away one third of his presidency tilting at windmills. And if you'll allow me a third hand for rhetorical purposes, The Obama/Pelosi/Reid Frankenstein Bill has probably done more to damage the democratic (small 'd' intentional) party for the future than any tax-cheating, boy-fondling, bribe-taking Congresscirtter ever could.

This bill is the Titanic, and when it finally goes down, it's taking everyone with it. You know it, I know it, anyone capable of breathing without mechanical assistance (would that be covered?) knows it; why doesn't Barack Obama? Either he's stupid, or he doesn't care. I don't know which is worse.

Does it get any better than that? No. It does not! The man's snark-o-meter is stuck ON - it goes full blast ALL THE TIME.

There are a lot of political blogs out there. I spend free time reading many of them. But none quite take the tone of Matthew's analysis of day-to-day policy coming from Washington. Truly I hope that one day I can meet him and share a beverage with him and converse - or just listen to him talk - for the sheer entertainment value of it if nothing else!
On the other hand, I suspect if I have a beverage that I'm trying to consume it will be an ugly sight - no one wants to watch someone spew vino out of their nose...

About that Global Warming Crap

Earth day hour. Turn out the lights. All to heighten the awareness of climate change. Calling algore... Bull$hit is what it is. The Sandbox is chiming in. [How ironic. From a country that cares nothing about what it emits in its air from petroleum refineries and other caustic manufacturing facilities. From a country that does nothing about keeping the dust out of the air and lets us all breathe in toxic substances that are pretty much the equivalent of little teeny tiny pieces of asbestos.] On March 27th, for one hour in the evening, between 8:30 and 9:30, the electricity is going to be shut off. It is the first time that The Sandbox bothered to include itself in the whole global warming hoax since "earth hour" began in 2007. Personally, unless the electricity is shut off at some main point and I cannot turn the lights on, I plan to turn every single light in the house on and every possible appliance.

Bull$hit is what it is. Pure bull$shit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thanks A Whole Lot

You phukktards that have screwed up flying for the rest of us. You know who you are.

As if going through security isn't enough of a hassle, taking off your shoes, removing liquids and gels. Will flying to the States from Doha, Qatar, require me to go through one of those full body scanners, too? I have no objection to doing so and firmly believe that flying is a privilege, NOT a right. To all who oppose to going through the full body scanners? Ride a camel to your destination. Take a boat. Walk. But you are not getting on any plane I am getting on if the rest of us have been put through the scanner. Who doesn't go through the body scanner? Someone who has something to hide, that's who. No, I'm not willing to listen to any argument that it is against someone's values or morals or cult beliefs. Take a long hard look at WHY it is that flying has become such an ordeal. Then try to present an argument that it is against your values or morals or cult beliefs. There is one reason why flying has become such a nightmare and one reason, only. I don't think I have to spell it out.

Here's what I'm pissed off about today, though. And it is not because my luggage gets searched, by hand, in Doha, by someone who is touching everyone else's stuff without even changing her gloves - yeah, that lip gloss you just opened and stuck halfway up your nostril? You can keep it. I don't want it now. Those sneakers in the bag before mine that you just man-handled and now you are opening my eye shadow to rub one of your filthy dirty gloved fingers across it to make sure it is powder and not cream? You can have the eye shadow, too. Sure, maybe you think I have some sort of germ phobia - I do - but again, that isn't why I'm pissed off about flying. Not even pissed about the full body scan.

I am pissed off because I cannot take my knitting on the plane. That's right. Knitting! Why? Because the knitting needles could be used as a weapon by someone if they fell into the wrong hands. Yep. Knitting needles are not allowed on planes. Is that like one of the most ridiculous things you have ever heard? No. Probably not. I can see how a knitting needle could be used as a weapon. I don't use two long needles, I use one circular needle. Think piano wire around someone's neck. Why that's an incredibly pleasant thought, isn't it?

So, let's see. Fly out of here to Doha. Sit in Doha for a couple of hours. Then get on the flight there to Washington, D.C. It is a 14 and a half hour flight. FOURTEEN AND A HALF HOURS on one flight. Can you even imagine how much knitting you could get done in that amount of time? Then I think I'm in Washington for three hours - it might be four - before I get on the final flight leg home. Knitting sure would pass the time for me. But, nooooo. No knitting needles allowed. Yarn? Sure. No problem. Just no needles.

Thanks a whole lot!

Really Important Post about PCRC

Really important? Nah. Not so much. But as a public service I feel the need to share the fact that there are 17 road deaths a day in The Sandbox. Only 17? I would have thought more. Statistics for 2008-2009 show that there were 485,000 accidents in which 6,485 people were killed. I've long forgotten how to do percentages - what percent is that, people killed in accidents? Seems like a relatively small number like a little over 1%. Not even 1.5%. The article quotes some other percentage but I don't know how that was derived other than to say that there are 13 deaths for every 1000 accidents - which comes out to what - a little over 1% - 1.3%. [If someone else that can remember how to do this kind of math wants to correct me, I'd be appreciative.] So out of 485,000 accidents, only a little over 1% of the people involved died. What is are the statistics for other parts of the world, I wonder?

The World Health Organization [WHO] issued a report giving The Sandbox the award for having the "highest road accident death toll in the world." Yowza! In the world!!! That's going to be hard to beat, elsewhere [in case anyone is looking at this like a competition of sorts].

In a report by the General Directorate of Traffic, released mark the beginning of the 26th Gulf Traffic Week [huh?] yesterday, "some 30 percent of accidents in Riyadh area were due to drivers jumping traffic lights, followed by 18 percent due to illegal u-turns. Speeding, sudden stops and and engaging in other activities while driving, such as using mobile phones, were among the reasons leading to accidents." And, you want to know what will be done about it? Absolutely nothing, that's what. This has got to be the ONLY country in the world where the traffic police face fines and penalties for doing their job.

I've gone on and on and on in the past about how you are literally taking your life in your hands by getting behind the wheel of a car, here in The Sandbox. The driving is something that has to be seen to be experienced. My telling you about it just doesn't do it justice. Think I'm kidding? Read some of the comments from the article. No, wait. Please. Allow me:

Kamaludeen says, "It is really sad to read this news. Please do something to give AWARENESS about Traffic Regulations to the public..." Really? Really, Kamaludeen? You think that that is going to make a difference? The public is quite aware of what the Traffic Regulations are but chooses to ignore them - all of them!

Iftekhar Ahmed says, "...KSA [has] one of the best roads [sic] system in the World... but unfortunately the people driving like crazy.....all over the Kingdom." I don't know about one of the best road systems in the World, Iftekhar, but you won't get any argument from me about the "people driving like crazy.....all over the Kingdom." Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it.

Sami says, "Who cares any way. We hear all this talk about new rules which will help reduce accidents in a big way but have never seen anything implemented... Go to Bahrain and you will find a significant improvement in the way people drive there. If you spot any vehicle over-speeding, wrongly overtaking, breaking signals, etc. etc. just look at the number plate of the car and you will not be surprised at all to find a KSA on it." Well, Sami, until authorities here are given the authority to do something about this problem of PCRC don't expect anything to change. The reason it is different in Bahrain? Authorities, i.e., the Traffic Police ARE allowed to issue tickets and fines and court dates. Here? Not so much.

Concerned Person hits the nail on the head, "Yes, let's blame the government and the lack of signs and stoplights." Said tongue-in-cheek. "I place the blame squarely on the drivers. There are those who drive but lack the education to do so well. Train them or get them off the roads." You really think "education" is the problem? No, it is not. You say so yourself, "Then there are those who even if they would have used their wealth to educate themselves properly would still drive dangerously simply because of their mentality: they feel they are superior to others, the rules don't apply to them and they always have the right of way while others simply have no rights." [Emphasis, mine.] Bingo! 'Nuff said. There is more to Concerned Person's comment, "This disrespect towards ones' fellow humans is alos evident in other part of Saudi society as many maids and others like them are telling us every day." Wow. Someone - Concerned Person - has his/her eyes wide open!

Qatwa, says, "Again and again always the same!!! Really the gov must do something, 98% drive as they want, not keeping any rule. It start with Mobile whle driving ignore red traffic light high spped in the town, one way streets, overload the car, kids on the laps and many more... ...small boys driving car, with out license... Why you are surprised??? Every body park as he wish no matter if he disturb others!! " I will not correct his English usage. Kudos to him for speaking a whole heck of a lot more English than I speak Arabic. Regardless, the message is spot on and as it continues advocates for fines - right then and there - hit men [remember, women are not allowed to drive in The Sandbox] in the pocket where it will hurt the most.

Nishtar Idroos says, "Stricter laws and stiffer penalties are the only way forward." Amen to that! "The enforcing agents must be doubly smart both physically and technologically... The adventurous segment that causes most of the havoc [are you kidding?!? it is every man not just the adventurous segment!] always had the advantage by virtue of a lackadaisical attitude of the traffic police and their technological constraints." I don't know about technological constraints, but they are for sure "constrained" through no fault of their own.

There are more. Most confirm what I have been saying all along. Until the Traffic Police are ALLOWED to do their job there will be unabated PCRC in The Sandbox.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chia Pets

Is the jugearedjackass Chia Pet still available? I need to get a couple when I'm in the States next month. One will go to a family member who voted for him - probably for Christmas [it is never too early to start shopping for Christmas - there are only 285 days!]. And, it would be good to have a couple over here on the ready for gag gifts when you need them. I mean, after all, what else has the man done that is worth anything more than a gag gift? Oh, he's a gag gift, alright. A joke. And the joke is on us!

Maids "turn up the heat"

So says the headline. But mostly it is a complain-fest about the distrust between the maid's sponsors and the maids. The article, here, says that "... the number of domestic workers being abused in the Kingdom is rising at an alarming rate. [Umm hmm, it is. And what is being done about it? Nothing. That's what.] On the other hand, the number of maids getting back at their sponsors is growing even more." [Really? What did you expect would happen? That they would remain working and idly taking the abuse that is doled out?] Reported is one instance where a maid was abused and abused and abused and she just couldn't take it anymore, so she extracted revenge, which was "final." I don't specifically recall reading about that particular instance, but then, since it is so common place, I could have read it and even posted on it.

One housewife [emphasis, mine] says that she was paying her maid handsomely, "SR1,700 per month." [$454.54.] Supposedly, the maid asked for more and when she did not get it she took the woman's "jewelry safe" and "ran away." Sure. It could have happened. Do I believe the maid was being paid that much? Nope. Do I believe the maid could have taken the jewelry and run away? Yep. But I'd be willing to bet that the maid did it because she wasn't being paid. At all.

Interesting that the Middle East is the ONLY part of the world that finds it "really hard not to live without the help of a maid." No where else in the world... I'm not talking about a housekeeper [or, houseboy]. When we lived in the States we had a housekeeper. She once a week. We paid her. Quite a bit. Having a weekly housekeeper is not unusual. Having a full-time maid is for most of us, anyway.

Why is it that everyone seems to believe a maid is going to extract revenge by taking it out on the children? Does anyone understand that there is a difference between a MAID and a NANNY? If you want someone to take care of your children, hire a nanny. A woman, Marian Al-Hasan, says that she was "shocked when I saw bruises and cuts on my nine-month-old baby's body. I asked the maid about it." The goes on to say that she installed a "nanny-cam" to discover that "the nanny terrorized and physically abused my baby." Which is it, Mrs. Al-Hasan? You said MAID and then decided she was a NANNY. They are NOT one and the same. Someone has seen "The Nanny Diaries" a few too many times, maybe? For the sake of the rest of us and in fairness to the maid, get your story [as in fiction versus non-fiction] straight. Allegedly, the maid nanny was "... upset with us because my mother-in-law is constantly yelling at her. But she is an old lady, what do you expect?" To be treated with some civility and respect?! Out of the question, I guess. A lot of mother-in-laws are "old" and you don't hear them yelling. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, excuses, excuses. One right after the other. Gets old.

There is some highly implausible report of a maid hitting a child before school every morning, too. "The student was very afraid and she asked us not to inform her parents about it." Umm hmm. Sure. When you need to make the story really set in, bring out the kiddies ala Harry Reid and his co-horts, you know, democrat style. That way you are guaranteed to extort the sympathy factor time ten for maximum ick. "She said that her maid hits her every morning because she is the reason why she wakes up really early to drop her to school." Does the maid put her on the back of her bicycle? Maids, women, are not allowed to drive here. Only the most gullible would believe the story.

This is telling, though: "Most Saudis are more concerned about maids performing black magic rather than stealing valuables." And for finality we get a sob story about how some woman "said her husband left her and married the maid because she put a spell on him." Say what?! Seriously!! "I accidentally noticed a piece of thin fabric which held some hair and some unknown words written on it under my husband's pillow... I later discovered that my made was making a love talisman for my husband to make him leave me and marry her." Right. The woman's occupation? Housewife. So that's two housewives in one article, both requiring a full-time maid.

Marrying the maid. It must be an issue. Who knew? It is okay, and it isn't. A man named Muhammad "found himself in a difficult situation after he divorced his wife and married the woman who was working as his housemaid." How common is this practice, anyway? He goes on to complain that the marriage lasted a month, and when the maid his new wife left him he was "left alone, nursing a guilty conscience." Aww. How sad.

"No one can deny the fact that some men fall in love with their maids or need their care and service, especially those who suffer from ailments." Then, apparently, the practice is okay, because it is "permissible for ill people." [Emphasis, mine.] Now that would be one lucky maid! According to one expert, Dr. Saleh Al-Sadlan, "it is permissible to marry housemaids if men suffer from chronic diseases and do not have anyone to look after them... Such a marriage is good for a man because she will become a wife and a maid." See? Didn't I say lucky! Could it possibly get any better.

Another expert, Dr. Khaled Al-Mosleh, has an opposing view and sanely suggests "that this kind of marriage is impermissible because of the injustice to the new wife." Although he gives credence to the credibility of such a marriage so that a man can "avoid the social stigma of mingling with an unrelated woman," or to marry the maid "to satisfy their lusts..." Well, there you go. Even though it is not permissible it is okay. Kind of sort of. "...these marriages are impermissible because of the great injustice done to the wife... The injustice may cause her to resort to black magic and sorcery..." What is it with the black magic!? Which, of course, is only practiced by the maids.

Wonder just how many of those marriages - where a man marries his maid - end up with them both living happily ever after. Just like in the fairy tales...

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Or something like that. I, personally, was quite impressed with a good many of the Budda-like carvings and the many, intricately carved "rocks" at the Temples we saw [and we saw a lot!].

The more odd looking, the better, in my opinion. Saw a great deal of what would likely be deemed "politically incorrect" in the Western part of the world.

Thankfully the left-wing kooks haven't infiltrated Bali and other parts of the East. Yet. [Give it time. If it is art that is insulting to anyone with a right-leaning slant, it is all good. Insulting to anyone leaning left? Bad. Very bad.]

Think you could get away with this in the States? Highly unlikely! Someone would be screaming, "That's racist!" and the ACLU would be filing a lawsuit against the store proprietor faster than you can pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

Still have more to share...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rice Terraces, Volcano and Waterfall

Some random photos from Bali. More tomorrow with the politically incorrect "stuff."

Rice Terraces [which are beautiful, by the w
ay, so lush and green...]

The view of a rice paddy at a restaurant famous for its fresh "Crispy Duck." [Look closely. Those little tan "specks" that look like rocks, or something, are ducks.]

The volcano.

Git Git Waterfall.

Note to anyone going to Bali in the future: Do not wear high-heeled wedge sandals to Git Git Waterfall no matter just how fabulous they are and no matter how perfectly they match your outfit. Opt for sensible shoes, instead. The half mile path to the waterfall is a bit rugged.

Make Your Weekend A Three Day'er

Yep. Turn any two-day weekend into a three-day weekend. Want to know how? Have someone in your family feign illness and go to one of the medical facilities. Since women are not allowed to drive in The Sandbox, that means the man of the family will have to take a day off from work to take the sick woman or sick child. And, since you know you are going to be there for a while, make it an outing. Bring the whole family! Including the maid. Heck, even the maid deserves an outing once in a while doesn't she? Couldn't possibly leave the maid home with all the other children. Nope. Does not work that way. Everyone gets to go.

What is interesting is how there are so few sick people on Thursday and Friday. Why is that? Because that is the same as Saturday and Sunday, in the States, and no one here wants to miss a single minute of the weekend. But come Saturday morning, the equivalent of Monday morning in the States, man oh man oh man are there a bunch of sick people!

I spent twenty minutes this morning driving around looking for a parking spot. I was willing to walk a distance, didn't need one of the "no parking this is the curb" spaces that others were taking. After driving and driving and driving, virtually in circles, I gave up, came home and walked to the clinic. [I had other errands to run, or I would have walked in the first place. I just need to collect records.] The throngs of people there today were amazing. Honestly, as bad as parking has been in the past, and I've been to the clinic on some pretty busy days, I have never seen it like it was today. Is there something going around? We know it isn't swine flu, because that comes from pork and there is no pork allowed, here. And, besides, it was just a made up epidemic by the jugearedjackass and his cronies who need every opportunity to not waste a crisis.

Nowhere in the entire hospital / speciality clinic area was there an empty chair for waiting. Not a single one. Unbelievable. Really! Really - do you need to bring the entire family and the maid when only one person in the family is sick? Why?! Are you afraid that the maid will harm your children if you don't bring them and leave them with her? Why does one man need to bring three adult women with him? Never mind. I know why. They must all be treated equally - two cannot possibly be left behind when one is sick because the one that is sick might get a coffee and a donut and it would not be fair to the two who didn't get to go to the clinic. Or something.

Yeah. Good times this morning. Good times.

But to come home and find the pool guy looking for the chlorine tablets that he LEFT OUTSIDE yesterday... Icing on the cake. You have a key to the gate, why didn't you bring them inside and put them in the pool room, dumbass? I'm not paying for that batch of chlorine tablets and now you need to get another batch and I want to see the receipt. Remember a month ago the pool had to be emptied because the light had filled up with water? Rev did a most fabulous job repairing it and now, the pool light is filled with water, again, and will need to be emptied so the light can be repaired. I called a friend who has a pool. Rev is not their pool guy and we need someone else.

Surrounded. I am surrounded... Going home to the States, shortly, probably won't be a whole lot better. Going to be surrounded, there, too. By all the people that voted for hopenchange. How's that working out for you folks, anyway? That umployment check you're getting? Sure, you'll be special in that you'll get two years of benefits when that is not what unemployment was ever intended to do. Remember how he was gonna take care of all of you if you voted for him? Umm hmm. You are about to get the worlds biggest butt reaming with his healthcare takeover. You voted for him, you deserve the reaming. But leave the rest of us out of it. We didn't vote for him!

More on that abused baby. Why, how cozy.

Yes, cozy. That would be the only way to describe the situation. That, and confusing. Cozy and confusing. [The facts from one article to the other... Along with one of them having to be incorrect - is the young wife 20 or 23-years-old? - just don't make sense. Sense? Give it up. When you live in a "NLZ"* you do not expect to "make sense" of things. That, and that the two reports are from two different newspapers.]

Regardless of what makes sense or what doesn't, the fact remains that a woman - who was the second wife - or first wife, depending on which report you refer to - of a man who had two wives - abused a baby. A little seven-month-old baby girl. Why? To get revenge on the man's first wife - or his second wife. Today's article says, "The incident took place last week when Anwar's 20-year-old mother, who lives with her husband's first wife, was busy with chores [read: talking or texting on her mobile] in another room and heard Anwar screaming and crying." Last week it was reported that the child belonged to the first wife and that the second wife had been the abuser.

No matter, really. First wife. Second wife. What does matter is that a baby - a six or seven-month-old baby was used as a pawn in this cozy little menageatrois [spelled that way on purpose]. Which just goes to show you that for all the harmony and peace and love and understanding that we are led to believe takes place between a man who is allowed up to four [sometimes six] wives really just does not exist. Oh, sure, everyone can pretend it does, and they do...

Someone go ahead and correct me if I am wrong on this, but it is my understanding that for a man to take on four [or six] wives that they all had to be treated equally. That he had to be able to provide for each of them separately - two wives? Two houses. What were they all doing living together under the same roof? "Anwar's mother married her husband after he divorced his first wife. The pair later reconciled and the three of them were living together in the same house." Cozy? Understatement. And just look how it worked out.

*No logic zone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A struggle to make ends meet. With a maid.

Really pretty hard to feel any sympathy for this woman. She is a twice divorced woman with children - kind of sort of - she gets custody of them until they are seven years old, at which time they go to their father. She is working as a sales agent and makes 5,000 SR a month. That is $1,336.89. She says, "I suffer a lot from people who look down on me working..." A telling statement, there. You know what? In the rest of the "real" world, most women work. I was a divorced single mother. I worked. Sometimes two jobs to make ends meet. I don't know whether or not people looked down on me for that, but I know I wasn't on welfare and never asked for someone else - city, state or country - to take care of me and pay my way. [Unlike Sarah Dustin! The "poster" woman for welfare benefits in N.H. many years ago.] Here's the thing, though. Look at her expenses. Listed first is the 1,500 she pays for a maid. Seems to me that if she got rid of her maid she'd be 1,500 a month richer and wouldn't have to struggle so hard to make ends meet. The 2,000 a month for a driver? You can count on paying for a driver - since Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive... Struggling to make ends meet. With a maid. Laughable. And hardly worthy of any sympathy.

I must be running low on energy or patience or something. Just don't have it in me, today, to put the usual amount of "snark" into this post.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ubud Monkey Forest

Interesting little "forest," in Ubud, Bali. Ubud, by the way, is a lovely little artsy town that you can just get lost, exploring in. So many art shops, so many shops. Beautiful little cafes and restaurants. [Lots of dogs...] Some of the big wood carving "factories" are in Ubud. Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the three separate visits we took to Ubud, which was about an hour or an hour and a half away from where we were in Seminyak. Given the opportunity and chance to go to Bali again, I would choose to spend more time in Ubud... [although it is a good hour or hour and a half away from the golf courses and that would not be good for DH].

The Monkey Forest. No bars, no cages, no glass. Just us and the monkeys and a bunch of other tourists. I was so looking forward to going there, thinking, "Oh, monkeys are just so cute." Umm, no, they aren't, really. And if you could have seen the TEETH these monkeys had! Fangs, even.

I was happy that none of them approached us. Of course, we didn't pay the 10,000 IRD [$1.00 US] for bananas to feed them, either. No need, really. Everyone else was feeding the monkeys. Surely they are some of the best fed monkeys of monkeys in the world. We did not see a single "thin" monkey anywhere in this forest.

We did see one couple - with a Monkey Handler - holding a monkey, like you would a child on your hip, and having their picture taken by the Monkey Handler. When it came time for the monkey to be set down he [she?] wanted no part of it and was clinging to the woman and pulling her hair and completely ripped open her shirt at the shoulder on one side. Not pretty. The woman was rather frightened and freaked out about it [who wouldn't be?!]. Her screaming made the monkey even more agitated about leaving her alone and the monkey was screeching and doing all it could to NOT get off of her. It was an interesting scenario, but no one can say that they were not warned... The sign on the way in:

It reads:


1. Do not touch and tease the monkeys as they may react in an unpredictable manner.
2. If you wish to feed the monkeys, please do so carefully or seek a monkey expert in the green uniforms to assist you. Peanut are not allowed.
3. If there is no monkey expert nearby please toss the food to the monkeys from a safe distance.
4. Do not hide the food, the monkeys will find it, even it if is in your pocket or bag.
5. Never grab a monkey, if a monkey gets on you, drop all of your food and walk away slowly. If a monkey jumps on you, stand still and walk away slowly.
6. Please walk on the paving path.
Thank You

Some of the monkeys. Saw a lot of little baby monkeys. Ahhh, how cute [look closely at the first picture - the baby monkey is clinging to mama monkey - you can see baby monkey's tail - curling out to the left].

The sign on the way out - or the back way in if you are going first to the Temple:

It reads:

If you wish to enter the temple
you have to be dressed properly,
in respect to the Balinese Hindu Religion.

Please wear a scarf & sarong
around the waist if there is no
To join temple ceremony or any
religion event please wear
full traditional
Balinese costume:
* For woman : wear sarong,
Kebaya or Sleeved Shirt &
Scarf around the waist.
* For man : Wear sarong,
Head dress, Sleeved Shirt
"Saput." Scarf around the waist.

Entrance forbidden for woman
during Menstruation.

Please don't use flash during
the ceremony and during
the praying time.

Your cooperation is deeply
appreciated in preserving
the sanctity of our temple &
helping us preserve in a natural way
the beautiful Ubud.
Thank you.

As we were standing outside waiting for our guide to go and get the car, we watched a little monkey try to eat the seat of someone's scooter. Eat? No, destroy. What was probably a perfectly good scooter seat when someone parked it wasn't a perfectly good scooter seat when he [or she] returned. The monkey was intent on doing as much damage to it as possible and started chewing a little hole and by the time our car arrived for us had managed to take a half-hamburger-bun sized portion out of the seat.
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