Monday, January 16, 2017

I Am Only One

It occurred to me...that people only see things one sided. Their side.
But there is so much more to life, to vision, to this big, big, world in which we live.

There are more than two sides to everything.
Top and bottom. Yes. But there's also left and right.
Black and white. Yes. But there's also gray.
Up and down. Yes. But there's also sideways.
Water can be hot, cold, frozen, wet, dry, vapor gas, or steam.
One way isn't the only way.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Of Emails, Scandals, and Justice Part II

...and so it goes, that any law abiding citizen shall be deemed plebeian and named 'pissant' for the governmental ruling class has ordered themselves above the laws they enact.

It seems that while us commoners lay quietly sleeping, the governmental ruling oligarchy changed the Rules of the House. Where it once said:

It shall now be amended with the following wording (approved on Jan 3, 2017) as such:

  (j) Member Records.-- In clause 6 of rule VII--
    (1) redesignate paragraphs (a) and (b) as subparagraphs (1) and (2):
    (3) in paragraph (a) (as so designated), insert '' as (2) designate the existing sentence as paragraph (a); and described in paragraph (b) ' ' after  '' Resident Commissioner ' ';
    (4) add at the end of the following new paragraph:
     Commissioner in the performance of official duties are ''
(b) Records   created, generated, or received by the congressional office of a Member, Delegate, or the Resident Delegate, or Resident Commissioner has control over such exclusively the personal property of the individual Member, Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner and such Member, records. ' ' .  

Did you catch that? The rules have just changed. It means that from now on any official record (paper, email, note, or correspondence) of any kind and in any form are the sole property of the congressional member, individually.

You're probably thinking, "so what?" right? I'm not a lawyer, obviously, but here's where I see the problem...

I'm going to assume that everyone is familiar with 'pleading the Fifth' where an individual can invoke the Fifth amendment to not say anything because in doing so, it would incriminate him or herself.
Well, there is a similar rule regarding documents. It's called the Act of Production. It does not apply in all cases, just certain cases where an individual is most likely guilty. (emphasis and wording is mine)

To receive protection under the "Act of Production" doctrine, a person's very act of producing the documents (Hiibel vs Sixth Judicial Dist. Ct., 124 S. Ct. 2451, 2460 (2004)) must have all three components: be (1) compelled, (2) testimonial, and (3) incriminating.

It's not enough to just say, 'Hey, no. I'm not going to produce them because I fear incrimination.'
No, the documents themselves must "furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute him/her."

In other words, if the very documents requested can be used to prosecute you, then well, just invoke the Act of Production doctrine. Yay. Prosecutors must find another way to nail you to the wall.

And Congress has now made it so that any member's documents/records (created, generated, or received) by their office,  are now the sole property of that individual.
Individual. Not Office.

This means that those documents no longer fall under the Freedom of Information Act for they belong to the individual member (yay for personal privacy exemptions!), not the office, agency, or department. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of the nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. Remember that a request for a document which does not qualify as an "agency record" may be denied because only agency records are available under the FOIA.

Protection is available only to individuals, and only covers the testimonial aspect of the production itself, not the contents of the documents.
And congress just made all documents (records) created, generated, or received the personal property of the individual.
It means that a congressional member can now invoke the Act of Production.

How's that for a clear and transparent government?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Of Emails and Scandals and Justice

…US Intelligence Community (USIC) agencies determined that 81 e-mail chains, which FBI investigation determined were transmitted and stored on Clinton’s UNCLASSIFIED personal server systems, contained classified information ranging from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET/SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAM levels at the time they were sent between 2009-2013. The USIC determined that 68 of these e-mail chains remain classified.  In addition, the classification determination process administered by the US Department of State (State)….identified approximately 2,000 additional e-mails currently classified as CONFIDENTIAL and 1 e-mail currently classified as SECRET…..were transmitted and stored on at least two of Clinton’s personal server systems.
*bold and italicized emphasis is mine.

 This is big, people. HUGE. Not only has the former Secretary of State sent and received security classified e-mails on an unclassified personal server, but the very department for which she was responsible has a

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Healthy Cooking

I've been a registered user of Mealime for a few months. Let me tell you, I love this site.  You can choose the number of meals/recipes you want to cook in a week, as well as narrowing down the types of meals you want.

Vegetarian? No problem.
Classic meat-based meals? Got it.
Lots of fish? Swim on down.
Paleo? Bring it on!

You can specify your allergies and restrictions, the number of persons eating, and the can tell them the foods you DON'T like.

You get a picture of the finished product, an interactive grocery list where you can check off items you already have, and a recipe guide.

And you get this all for free!

You can join for $6 a month ($4 if you pay $50 at once for the year), and you get even more benefits like calorie and nutritional information, build meal plans from your favorite recipes, etc.

Here's a sample, simple meal of chicken and carrots:

You should try it. You've got nothing to lose, and if you DO like it, join!

(and no, I am not being paid to advertise Mealime. I just love it!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Southern Ice and Northern Fire

Like most people, it's fun to laugh at southern drivers in inclement weather. It's like watching a toddler who just learned how to walk try to run, not understanding why he's suddenly face-down on the floor.

I live in the north. Today, it happens to be a temperature of -1 and the windchill is -15 (which is technically the temperature that matters because that's what you FEEL when you are outside). We haven't had snow in a month. That's unusual. Winters here are normally more snowy than this season has been. When we do get snow, it's 3 or 4 inches two or three times a week, or 7-12 inches all at once.

And you know what? This southern California-raised girl loves it. I love snow. Always have. And now that I live in the north, I want more snow.

The north has snow removal down to an art. It's awesome. Get 10" on Sunday night, main roads are plowed and you still have to go to work on Monday morning. It is just how it is. If it weren't this way, the northern states would close from Thanksgiving to the Spring equinox. But,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Why You Should Stop Copy & Pasting Posts on Facebook

Why you should 'share' the post, and stop copy & pasting posts:

Many viral hoaxes explicitly tell you NOT to share the message, but specifically instruct you to copy and paste it to your status.

The answer is that by copying and pasting a message, you are creating another instance of the message that is not dependant on the original.

So, for example, if 5000 people share a message by clicking Share, and for some reason that original message was removed (for example, deleted by Facebook for being fake!) then all those 5000 “shares” will vanish, at the click of a mouse. To surmise, if the original post being shared is removed, so does all of its shares.

The same doesn’t apply if you copy and paste a message, then post it. If 5000 people copy and paste a message to their own timeline, and the original gets removed, you still have 4999 instances of the message remaining on Facebook, since they are all separate posts, independent of each other.

Do everyone a favor- help cut down on spam, hoaxes, fake news, etc simply by SHARING the post, instead of copy/paste - that way, when a post is marked/reported as spam/hoax/etc and gets deleted, they ALL get deleted.

Info courtesy of:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Seeing Circles in a Square World

This world is full of different shapes. Squares, circles, triangles, octagons, parallelograms... all around us, all the time. Yet most people only see straight lines. People expect things to go strictly from point A to point B. Line segments of varying length yes, but always A to B... and straight.

We know other shapes exist. But we rarely notice them. How many times have you looked at a stop light and thought, 'rectangle'? Or stop sign and thought, 'octagon?'  Do you ever see the route you take as a shape? Or that your closet is a cube?

No, I'm not talking about math or geometry. I'm talking about life. Specifically, how people go from day to day, week to week, year to year never realizing that it's not a strict progression going from point A to point B, but living their life as if it were.

Living life deliberately is living a deliberate life. Let me explain...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cataloging for the Next Generation

I am by no means, 'old.' I am however, not in the splendor of my youth.
I have a house payment, car payment, matching dishes and the big one, insurance.

I have insurance for health & wellness. I have insurance for the vehicles. But the big, screaming sign that says, 'I AM AN ADULT' is the insurance for my home and belongings and jewelry.

I am frugal enough that no money is spent willy-nilly. I track my finances, balance my bank account, and I've even started bullet journaling to help me keep track of daily things, goals, and productivity.

Just last thanksgiving while at my parents, my father gave me a sheet of paper. It had his and mom's personal information on it, along with bank account numbers, life insurance policy information, stock information and general after-death what-not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

& An Interesting History


This strange punctuation mark has a fascinating past. The ampersand emerged over 2,000 years ago as the Latin word "et" meaning "and."
The cursive writing of Latin scribes often connected the "e" and "t," giving rise to the shape of the ampersand.

The name did not appear until the 1830s when "&" was the 27th letter of the English alphabet.
The mark concluded the alphabet with "X, Y, Z, and per se" with "and per se" meaning "and by itself."
This final phrase was slurred by English school children during recitation and reborn as "ampersand."

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Irish ....Nachos?

I am of Scottish, Irish and German descent. Quite literally....and fairly recently, too.  I am first generation American on one side, and only third generation on the other. My non-American parent became naturalized in the 1970s.
So, my ancestry should lend itself to certain....proclivities. Like love of dark, room temperature beer, or potatoes, or even cabbage and sauerkraut.

Sadly, no. Although I am starting to like darker beers (thank you, husband), I just cannot get behind cabbage of most any kind, prepared in any way.
And potatoes are not far behind in that 'yuck' category.

My mother tells me when I was little, she would feed me potatoes and I would exclaim, 'I gotta go potty!' and run off to the bathroom...where I promptly spit them out.

This dislike of potatoes runs deep.

However, recently I have found that certain potatoes are okay, if doctored up enough. Most people would say I am masking the taste of the potatoes...but that's okay. I do what I want! :)

So imagine my surprise when, at my local Irish pub, I found nachos.


I do love me some nachos!

Apparently, traditional (and I use that term *very* loosely) nachos are made with fried potatoes, and sometimes even layered potatoes in a 9 x 13 pan.
Pish posh!

I wanted crunch! And beef! and cheese!

So, in the same fashion as my local pub, I used corn chips.

Let me tell you, these are fabulous. And easy. And if you ate corned beef and cabbage (to be correct, it's actually called a New England Boiled Dinner) for dinner the night before, make these nachos for lunch or dinner the next day. Your children will thank me.



Corn chips
Corned Beef
Plain yogurt
Shredded Cheddar
Nacho Cheese (optional)
Thousand Island dressing
Diced Onions
Diced Tomatoes
Lettuce ( I used a bagged salad, or you can use uncooked cabbage)
Bacon! (cooked crispy and diced)

The Process:

Layer chips on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle corned beef and shredded cheese (nacho cheese if you're using it) on top of the chips.
Bake at 350 until beef is hot and cheese has melted.
While that's baking, mix together 1/3 Thousand Island to 2/3 plain yogurt.
Once chips/beef/cheese is heated through, remove from oven.
Sprinkled lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and more shredded cheese on top.
(If you want to be sneaky, throw on some shredded uncooked cabbage for more veggie health!)
Using a spoon (or a ketchup squirter bottle thingy)- squeeze yogurt dressing over the top.
Add diced bacon.

Serve family style or on individual plates.

Morning Derp

It's very cold outside. Wind Chill (or more appropriately, 'real feel' temperature) is -25 degrees.
The husband went outside to warm us his vehicle. I made his lunch, coffee, etc.
When it came time for him to leave for work, I pull his hat further down over his ears, give him a kiss goodbye and he says, 'We need to start saving the bread know, for my shoes.'

I look at him puzzled. I have no idea what he's talking about.

He says, 'Bread bags on your the winter....don't you remember doing that as a kid?'


...I grew up in Southern California. I cocked my head to the side and said, 'Where the F did I grow up, honey?'

He laughs. 'Oh yeah....put bread bags on your shoes in SoCal and the other kids would mock you for days!'