They Say We Live in the Land of the Free…

This afternoon I checked my Google+ stream and found an article with an intriguing title, “40 Seattle cops arrest woman for sitting down, opening umbrella”. I don’t watch the news on TV so I don’t really know how the old main stream media has been covering #OccupySeattle but I’ve been following #OccupyWallStreet on Google+ since September 29th when I saw a friend living in Ireland post a link to, “A Massive Union Just Voted To Side With The Wall Street Protesters”. Prior to that, I don’t think I had even heard there was a protest at all. You would think that the “liberal media” would have been all over this, but they weren’t. Not at all.

I watched the mainstream news today. I waited for the latest development on this huge protest that is now also taking place in Europe. Pretty much crickets. Seriously. Ok they do cover the protest, but it’s so different from all the photos I’ve seen from local photographers on Google+ following the footsteps of Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange, and they didn’t mention the woman who was arrested for sitting with an open umbrella.

Our truly liberal local news, The Stranger, was apparently the first to announce that the Mayor had declared umbrellas with a person sitting under it was declared a structure, and structures are not allowed in the park. I’ve been to Westlake Park many times. I know I’ve seen people sitting with an open umbrella there before. It’s Seattle for christsake! Next Mayor McGinn will attack the official Seattle dress code and wearers of flannel shirts will be banned from the city. Hopefully they’ll still be welcomed in our sister sate, Oregon.

Here is the video of the arrest: Deborah gets arrested for sitting while holding an open umbrella

Race Cards Trump Birther Beliefs

Kurt left the TV on last night when he went upstairs to give Sophia a bath. I don’t know what lame excuse for a news show was on at the time but I didn’t get to the remote fast enough to not hear that Donald Trump questions Barack Obama’s birth place. They talked about some scuff The Donald had with Whoopi over this made up ‘birther’ issue where she then pulled the race card, which also really irritates me. I really hate when the race card is the only form of debate a person has. Yes, there is still racism and I’m sure despite her means Whoopi probably still sees very real instances of it, but if all she knows how to do is lay around screaming “help, help I’m being repressed” then she’s always going to be a victim no matter what. That, along with the other gossiping ninnies, is why I don’t watch The View. But I digress.

Some woman unknown to me was then shown handing Trump a copy of Obama’s birth certificate. All I could see of the paper was the minimalist format of it, which looks remarkably like the birth certificates I have for Sophia and Lukas. Trump’s argument for the legitimacy of the document that there are no signatures and that it was issued years after Obama’s birth. Wow, he’s good. We need The Donald, because we apparently can’t trust whomever the person is whose job is to check that a presidential candidate was in fact born in the United States. I understand where Donald is coming from. If hadn’t ever seen the new standard of a certified birth certificate I would think it looks fake also, but honestly, do you really think the country is so fucked up that the people in charge of ensuring a candidate is valid tripped up? And the all the security screenings a person has to go through before being sworn in to the highest office simply overlooked one giant glaring requirement? Really?

My original birth certificate was clearly typed up on a typewriter. The document lists my father’s occupation, the birthplace of both my parents, and at the bottom, there are signatures. For reasons I will never understand my mother would not give me my own birth certificate for years, so years ago when it became necessary to have a birth certificate to get back home from trips to Canada I wrote to Alaska for a new copy of my birth certificate. It looks nothing like my original and the issue date is the date at which I made the request for my own certified copy. So Donald, unless New York is different from Alaska, Washington, and apparently Hawaii I’m guessing if you made a request for a certified copy of your own birth certificate you’ll get similar results. And dude, you have shitgobs of cash…If you’re going to wear a hair piece why the hell don’t you splurge and get one that looks more realistic? Just don’t think that good hair will win you the position of President of the United States. You and the hypocrite, Gingrich don’t have a flying chance in hell so save your money or you may go to the brink of personal bankruptcy…again.

H1N1 vaccination form

make your markMake sure to mark the box that says, “seizures”. We don’t know for sure that she had seizures, what the doctor told me was not an absolutely official diagnosis. But he said it certainly sounded like I was describing a seizure. I actually have not seen an episode since her eighteen-month checkup. I buckled her into her car seat and was about to back out of the parking spot at the doctor’s office right after that checkup. That was it. I told the doctor about them and they disappeared. I wish more medical things worked that way.

Anyway, the first rounds of the H1N1 vaccine were supposed to be administered on the 31st of October. I’m not worried about the swine flu, but if there is a vaccine and I have a kid in the *high risk* age range, you bet I’m going to get ready to stand in line for Sophia’s shot. I don’t care if I’m there all day. I printed out the form we have to fill out and marked that she has had seizures, just in case that is what those episodes were, so that she would get a shot of the dead virus and not the live virus nasal spray meant for those over the age of two.

I located the nearest vaccination clinic, and mapped out my route. I got ready for that day about a week and a half before hand and it was a good thing too. The next day I stayed up late and just happened to surf over to the local paper to see the headlines for Friday’s paper, the clinics were to open a week early for children under four years and pregnant women. This news came out only a day before the event. I knew with such short notice not everyone would get the news but I still planed to get there early and did. To our surprise, they actually opened early and we were in and out within fifteen minutes. After the event, the paper had reports of low turn out. I can’t imagine why, with only 24 hours notice. There were 17,000 doses available between nine sites and only 5,000 doses dispensed. Because of Sophia’s age, she needs two doses with four weeks between each dose and now there are no more mass vaccination clinics. Now it’s an appointment with the doctor…if they have any.

Blogging my life away, Traffic Building

I received an email from Aaron of Utah Outings asking me for advice on promoting his site.

I am looking for advice to promote my site. Any and all information would be much appreciated as I am not as geeky as you. I bow to your geekness and look forward to your response.

I’m sorry it took a while for me to answer but I’m so flattered I thought it deserved a blog post in my ass-vice category even though it’s actually solicited advice, so here goes:

  1. Attention grabbing titles and Content – Not every post needs an exciting title, but if you had a choice between “my boring day” or “George Carlin turned us into necrophiliacs” which would you choose? Whether your posts are funny, informative or a combination it’s up to you and the boundaries of your blog scope, the important thing is consistency and keeping the interest. Some people don’t want to offend so they stay away from dicey topics others love a good debate and jump in the fire with both feet. If you’re trying to sell a product or service, I’d really recommend staying away from politics and religion. Get more tips on blog writing from Blog Bloke.
  2. Timing is everything – Obviously if you blog about the news the ideal would be to be right on top of it when the news breaks. What many people don’t know is that Monday and Tuesday are the best bloggy days and it’s best to get your more important posts out in time for the lunch crowd readers. If you’re on the west coast keep in mind that the east coast lunch crowd is three hours ahead. Also somethings are seasonal. I wrote a post in September about my experience with Sears Portrait Studio and the hots for that post spiked in mid November / early December. I’m guessing from people that get family Christmas pictures done.
  3. Links and Comments – If you’re getting information from other bloggers link to them in your posts! Leave post-appropriate comments on various blogs whether they’re competitors or possible customers. It’s fine to add your url in the appropriate url space on the comment form and it’s even ok if the url you leave is to a specific post but don’t use the comment space to advertise your product or your blog it’s rude and tacky. Also make sure to remove “nofollow” from your blog so that you may spread link luv to your commenters. To spread even more link luv wordpress users can use the commentluv plugin.
  4. Bloggy and Social networking sites – Examples of these would be Entrecard, MyBlogLog, Technorati, Twitter, and StumbleUpon.I tried Entrecard and got a ton of hits but it was time consuming to stop by enough blogs and dropping cards to buy points in order to advertise my blog. Also, the hits I got were just drive by card droppings. No one lingered long enough to comment, or even read the first post. Sure, I may have picked up a reader or two out of the thousands that did the equivalent of a drive by shooting.  I wanted a little more meaning in the relationship than pure numbers so I moved on.Mybloglog was great until Yahoo bought it up. It was nice to see the faces and pictures of people that stopped by on the widget they provide and it was easy to select other blogs to follow, but Yahoo ruined it for me. I started getting spam on mybloglog profile page and I have an unreasonable general hatred towards Yahoo.

    Technorati is another site that I quit. It’s wildly popular but anytime I wanted to make changes their site took forever to load and I kept getting error pages. It was incredible annoying and the only time I received traffic from them was when I closed my account, not terribly useful.

    I now use StubleUpon and finally broke down and joined the Twitter crowd. StubleUpon can drive crazy amounts of traffic to you if you know how to use it. The important thing to know about StumbleUpon is that you must be very liberal with your thumbs up and thumbs down and that your ratings will carry much more weight if you also review the page. When reviewing a blog click on the individual post not the site itself that way if the blogger creates another review worthy post you can give them another thumbs up. You can use Stumbleupon to review your own posts too, but don’t do it to every post and make sure to review many other sites in between touting your own stuff.

    Twitter isn’t a big traffic driver but I suspect that will change if I can drive up my number of followers. I’m very new to twitter. One thing that helps for WordPress users is a Twitter plugin called Twitter Tools.

  5. Memes – These are a lot of fun. Most of them are weekly games, but you don’t have to play every week. Don’t make it a chore, and if you participate, try to keep the meme within the scope of your blog.

Blog Bloke gives a great overview for building blog traffic. In the middle of that post is a heading, “How TO Drive More Traffic to Your Site”. “Bloke’s Tips for a Successful Blog” Part I and Part II are also very useful and I highly recommend them. ;-)

I have a Vagina, Vote for me!

Democrats are focusing too much on Palin’s “lack of experience”. She may be from banjo-playing saw-toothed red-neck-central “small town America” and it may take some adjusting to with the big city D.C. folks but I have a feeling she’ll fit right in. Hell, just look at how well our current “C” average high school student did. Prior to being governor of Texas, Dubya’s only experience was running oil companies into the ground digging around for oil where no one else would risk drilling. Bless our look-the-other-way souls, we gave little Napoleon another chance. In fact, at least 50% of Americans enjoyed his smug smirks and simultaneously ignorant and arrogant sound bites. Palin closely follows Dubya’s footsteps by surrounding herself with people like her that “would not allow others to disagree with her”, protecting her from “haters”. She is also as absent from the state capital as Dubya is from the national one. You see, she’s totally ready to be a heartbeat away from the highest office in the country.

Like many people, I don’t fit neatly into the republican or democrat mold. I do agree with a lot more of what the democrats say they stand for and would like the things they promise (health care). During the primaries, I was hoping that McCain would be the selected republican. I figured if we have to have another one of *them* in office he seemed the least offensive. I guess I don’t pay close enough attention to the enemy. After he won, the media meat market frenzy began with his selection for running mate. I was appalled when I read the news. I thought for sure that he picked Sarah Palin solely to pick up the shattered dreams of the rejected Mickey Mouse Hillary Clinton club. I wasn’t a fan of Clinton but I was offended at the thought that McCain might actually believe women would vote for anything with a vagina.

Palin will ‘help me shake up Washington,’ McCain says
Published: Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin made an immediate play for support from Democratic women, mentioning that she followed in the footsteps of Geraldine Ferraro, who was the Democratic vice presidential running mate in 1984.

There are so many similarities between Palin and Ferraro. It’s so obvious, how could anyone miss them? Geraldine Ferraro grew up in New York and her father died when she was eight, forcing her mother to move them to the Bronx. Palin grew up in a small town. As an attorney, Ferraro headed a bureau that dealt with sex crimes, domestic violence and child abuse. Months after becoming became mayor of Wasilla the former Miss Wasilla beauty queen fired the police chief, Irl Stambaugh because he ‘intimidated her‘ and hired Charlie Fannon. Wasilla then became the only town in Alaska that charged rape victims for tests to collect evidence of the crime in order to avoid causing any burden to the taxpayer. In congress, Ferraro focused on legislation to bring equity for women. Palin’s reputation was built by standing up to oil companies by imposing higher taxes, though she’s in favor of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development and she initiated a lawsuit over the federal listing of Polar bears as a threatened species for fear it would affect proposed natural gas pipeline. She also allowed Chevron to increase the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet even though the number of beluga whales in the area has dropped significantly. She is also accused of abusing her power for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan possibly because he didn’t fire her ex-brother in-law after a messy divorce from Palin’s sister. Ferraro was the running mate for the Democratic Party and Palin for the Republican Party; yes, the similarities just don’t seem to end.

She also referred favorably to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who drew 18 million votes in her unsuccessful run against Obama for the Democratic nomination.

Cause she has a vagina too! *eye roll* Like I said, I wasn’t a fan of Hillary. I can understand people choosing Hillary based on her platform, but some of the women blogs I read after she lost to Obama were freakishly insane. I read one that was upset because blacks received the right to vote before woman did. Seriously, this race isn’t about abortion rights or the Iraq war, but which minority group archives presidency first? Are you fucking kidding me?!? People complain that everything on TV is so superficial and revolves around sex but then they reduce political candidates to skin color and genitals instead of their accomplishments and political position. Yesterday it showed up in my local newspaper. An article that made me furious. They do exist. Those people that vote for genitals.

Love her or loathe her, Americans can’t stop chattering about Sarah Palin
By Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press

But Kidd’s mother, a former Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter, likes Palin — partially, her daughter said, because of her personal qualities and also, she said, because she’s a woman.

And that’s an issue that Kidd, like many women, is struggling with: Wouldn’t it be thrilling to see a woman VP, no matter what her policies?

I’ll make this simple so you understand – OH HELL NO! MYGOD, how can anyone who was ready to vote for Hillary go to the republican side so easily? Unless of course she was only going to vote for Hillary because of rumors, that she has a vagina. And what exactly would make it so fucking thrilling? Watching her turn back time with Roe vs. Wade because she’s against abortion even in cases of rape and incest? Headlines of her church putting gays back in the closet by trying to convert homosexuals through prayer? What the Fuck decade does she live in?

Wagner decided long ago that she was voting for Obama. But her friend Katy Huggins isn’t so sure anymore. Huggins, also a mother of four, admires Obama, and though she’s a registered Republican, she had been planning to vote for the Democrat.

Then she watched Palin’s convention speech.

“I was like, wow, I want YOU to be president!” said Huggins, who adds that she isn’t much of a McCain fan. “I could completely relate to her on a lot of levels, especially as a mom. That’s what my world is about now.”

LEAPING LIZARDS Batman! Seriously, you’re picking her because she’s a mom? Lady, there aren’t words to describe the simplicity of your brain functions. Oh look, shiny object! Really, I’m floored at the stupidity. I vote that in order to vote you must be able to correctly answer a few questions about the person or topic in which you’re voting. Maybe then I won’t mind the individual votes of small states counting for more than the more populated states, maybe.

There was a rally against Palin in Anchorage on Saturday. This gives me some hope. Unfortunately, no one gave a specific number of protesters. The Seattle Times says there were “at least 500 protesters” and that, “The protest, outside a public library, came hours after the governor held a morning rally attended by as many as 1,500 supporters in downtown Anchorage, then flew to Nevada to resume campaigning.” USA Today didn’t list any specific number of protesters, but did mention what some of the signs/protesters said.

Some of the signs spoke out against Palin’s anti-abortion position. Laura Kimmel, a 40-year-old Anchorage woman expecting her second baby in April, wore a clothes hanger with a sign attached that said, “This is not a surgical instrument. Keep abortions safe and legal.”

Whoa, now that’s a statement! I’d love to meet that woman! ;-)

The Washington post also covered the protest. They also didn’t give a specific number of protesters but did say that it was, “in the high hundreds — perhaps surging past a thousand”

Glassblowing Morning News

glass blowing ovenThis morning the toga-wearing Tim Robinson (minus the toga) was in Bothell at a glassblowing studio that offers visitors the opportunity to blow glass with local glassblowers and an observation deck for viewing daily glassblowing. They showed a person putting a brick of glass into an oven via a hole and Timmy asks, “So what was that you called it?” The guy grins and says, “a glory hole”. Tim, without flinching turns to the camera and repeats, “a glory hole”. I don’t think he knows what that means. Either the King 5 morning news team is testing the profanity limits or the whole editing crew dropped the ball.

I’m not saying I think it should have been cut. I’m all about free speech, which is why I have a link to the ACLU on my side bar. I just can’t believe it was on the morning news considering 99.9 KISW had to take down some billboards that read, “Harder, Faster, Louder” and 100.7 KQBZ The Buzz had to bleep the word “bum“. I really don’t understand how and where the obscenity lines are drawn. Of the three I would think that “glory hole” would be axed out before the other two.