You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2008.

My love of football is significantly reduced when I’m not winning my pick polls. I’m sorta “all-about-me” like that.

Last week was magical – not for me – but magical none the less. Mama Ginger Tree turned her dismal last-place finish from the week before into a championship week. A true comeback story that warms even the most bitter heart.

Well, not this heart because I don’t like to lose. And I don’t much care even if it is the Rocky-esque comeback tale of a decade or not. (Please see paragraph 1.)

I can’t even muster up some decent trash talk. I’m deflated, dejected, disillusioned – all-around dis’d.

Oh, quit that belly-aching and put it on the line
I’m coming back strong – my picks for Week Nine

NY JETS @ BUFFALO
DETROIT @ CHICAGO
JACKSONVILLE @ CINCINNATI
BALTIMORE @ CLEVELAND
TAMPA BAY @ KANSAS CITY
HOUSTON @ MINNESOTA
ARIZONA @ ST LOUIS
GREEN BAY @ TENNESSEE
MIAMI @ DENVER
DALLAS @ NY GIANTS
ATLANTA @ OAKLAND
PHILADELPHIA @ SEATTLE
NEW ENGLAND @ INDIANAPOLIS

MONDAY NIGHT GAME
PITTSBURGH @ WASHINGTON

TIEBREAKER: 47

Experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat yourself – join the BFL. Visit the Commish’s site – aka INSTA-MOM and get in on the action.

If you are using Twitter and are also doing Weight Watchers we want to invite you to join our group. The Twitter name is wwtweets. We aren’t affiliated with Weight Watchers. We are a fan group and we remind everyone to go to Weight Watchers Online to use the many tools. WWTweets is a place to get links to helpful places on the Weight Watchers site, stay on plan, dash off a quick note between weigh-ins, get an ‘atta girl or boy and connect with other Twitter users trying to do the same.

Here’s how to join wwtweets.

1. Follow wwteets.
2. Within 24 hours wwtweets will follow you back.
3. Anytime you want to send a message to the wwtweets group either use the DM feature of Twitter OR just type d wwtweets in the message section before your message.
4. Everyone in the wwtweets group will see your message.

***Coming Soon*** Get the Badge! If you would like to put a wwtweets badge on your blog or website the code is below. Let everyone know you’re tweeting and eating right! ***Coming Soon***

It’s hard to not to have some healthy skepticism in this world.  Worries about your marriage, your mortgage, your kid’s future, your choice in President.

But God help me, I am free of worry when it comes to Barack Obama. 

In tonight’s reachout to the American people, this man spelled out in the simpliest terms the hows and the whys behind his candidacy.  You can view it here if you missed it.

He sure wasn’t speaking to me, he’s had my support for many, many months.  But to those he was speaking to, I hope his words rang true.  I pray they listened.  

He spoke to the nation – one family, one story at a time.  The fears over the economy so visible on each face.  The strain of no or limited health care causing an unbelievable burden on our most vulnerable citizens.  The stress that comes from not knowing what the next day might bring – will you see your way through it or collapse under the enormity?

D and I are that couple in Cincinnati he spoke of at the end.  We worry about the whens and ifs of our retirement.  We thank the heavens each day that we aren’t closer to those golden years.  We have friends and loved ones who are and the horizon ain’t pretty. 

We don’t look to Obama to magically take care of us and put us in a big house on the hill.  We work hard, and don’t mind doing it.  We want a comfortable life.  We want to keep our home and maintain it’s value.  We want to save for P’s college and future.  We want to retire at a reasonable age, enjoy our grandkids and live happy.  We don’t need much to make this happen and we certainly don’t look for handouts.  Our parents managed and even did so without college degrees of their own.  The question then is why is it so hard for us to manage the same?

I’m voting for Barack Obama because he sees the struggle, he knows it doesn’t need to be so hard and he’ll work to make life for the middle class a little easier.  And that’s all I ask – for it to be just a little easier.

I believe in you, Barack Obama.  You’re the first presidential candidate I’ve ever said that about.  I hope you know the gravity of that statement.  You took a bold step tonight.  When you sit in that Oval Office in a few short months, I know you’ll remember the vows you took tonight. 

And I’ve got it recorded just in case you don’t.

I wanted to get this post up before the election so there would be no chance of it seeming like a whiner in case the unspeakable occurs on November 4th. That and should the unspeakable occur on November 4th, I’ll likely be busy as I plot my escape to Canada or Bali. Can you just live in Bali? Note to self: google Bali immigration website.

Let me preface my argument with: I have a great deal of respect for the founding fathers. I mean if you overlook the whole slavery thing, lack of women’s rights and whatnot, they were the best of the best when it comes to creating this little thing we call Democracy.

But let’s face it, there is no perfect union. No matter how many times we pat ourselves on the back for such, it really has a number of flaws. One of the bigger ones is the Electoral College in my humble opinion.

I’ve read the arguments for and against the system we currently use. Did the founding fathers lack faith in their fellow countryMEN? Was it about protecting the little states? Poor, poor Rhode Island. You know I’ve never in all my travels met anyone from Rhode Island? Don’t you think that’s a little weird?

Where was I?

Oh yes, the Electoral College. Back in the day as the watercolor that would be our political landscape was painted, great concern was given to the small states. Many feared that small states would lose any voice in federal government in a straight one MAN – one vote system was put in place.

But according to some sources, though this is the reason so many quote for the EC’s inception, the founding fathers might have had other thoughts in mind.

from Wikipedia article:

The design of the Electoral College was based upon several assumptions and anticipations of the Framers of the Constitution:

1. Each state would employ the district system of allocating electors.
2. Each presidential elector would exercise independent judgment when voting.
3. Candidates for either office would not pair together on the same ticket.
4. The system as designed would rarely produce a winner, thus sending the election to Congress.[13]

On these facts, scholars have described the intended role of the Electoral College as simply a body who would nominate candidates from which the Congress would then select a President and Vice President.[14]

[13] Chang, Stanley (2007). “Updating the Electoral College: The National Popular Vote Legislation”. Harvard Journal on Legislation 44 (205, at 208). Cambridge, MA: President and Fellows of Harvard College.

[14] Berg-Andersson, Richard E. (September 17, 2000), “What Are They All Doing, Anyway?: An Historical Analysis of the Electoral College”, The Green Papers

Interesting, no? If this is the truer reasoning behind the Electoral College, it needs to be abolished immediately if you ask me.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume the intention was true and they were simply looking out for Rhode Island and all future Rhode Islands, you know like Montana and Alaska. It’s still outdated and should be revised at minimum and dissolved at best.

How can we claim that each vote counts in America when it really doesn’t? How in the world can we risk the electoral votes falling opposite the popular vote? How do we excite the voters and get them to the polls when it’s so easy to conclude that one extra voter is unimportant in the grand scheme of things?

The argument for the smaller states? Let’s be realistic, when it comes to presidential numbers, these small states are window dressing. How many visits did either candidate make to these 3-pointer states compared to Ohio or Pennsylvania or Florida? It’s absurd to think this system gives smaller states an equal voice, it simply doesn’t.

All voters regardless of state matter in a popular vote. Even those in the remote, small-tier states, long overlooked by candidates and campaigns, benefit from the abolishment of the EC. Their vote would count just as much as a voter in big California or Michigan because each vote would carry the exact same amount of weight. Nevermore would we hear about candidates pulling out of x state because it was a foregone conclusion. There would be no more red states/blue state arguments. Just millions and millions of votes that actually matter for the first time. One voice – one vote.

In 2000, George W. Bush claimed the Presidency without the popular vote. Al Gore held over 500,000 more votes than Bush and yet was never sworn into office. How can we tell our young people that voting is a responsibility that must be prioritized when it could very well mean nothing when the counting is done. Imagine if you were one of those half-million people?

As far as I’m concerned, I was one of those people. My vote didn’t count in 2000, along with 543,894 of my closest friends. As much as I blame W for the state of things right now, perhaps those framers of the Constitution deserve a little of it as well.

It does us no good to dwell on the what-could-have-beens, but now is the time to think long and hard if this is the version of democracy we want to continue with. Is it?

Ever since D and I got married, my mother-in-law has clipped coupons for items she thought we would use. Just between you and me, til now those tickets to savings often sat quietly on the television as I headed out the door to the store. Only to later be tossed in the trash after they had expired.

Those days are over. It’s no surprise with the economic woes we all face, the time has come to take the couponing plunge and join the ranks of savers everywhere. Now, if I just could figure out the secrets to coupon success. It can take forever to find coupons that actually benefit you – it’s not much of a savings if you’re buying things you don’t even need just because you have a coupon. And how much have you really saved if you had to buy so much of an item that most of it expires before you can use it? What you need is a easy, worthwhile (and quick!) way to get to the savings.

A friend recently recommended checking out Kroger’s website for in-store deals and access to great coupons. She told me this months ago and I just got around to it. It saddens me when I think of all the savings I missed out on in the meantime. I’ve been a long time Kroger Plus Rewards Member, but I had no idea about the online benefits.

One of my favorite features is the direct link to P&G savings. From the Kroger’s home page you can click directly to the P&G offers currently available for laundry detergent and diapers and soap and…the P&G list of products goes on and on. Find coupons you’ll use and you can hit a button to have them directly added to your Rewards Card – no printing or clipping necessary. Even a rookie like me can handle this and it’s oh, so eco-friendly!

The links don’t stop there shoppers. You can go directly to Shortcuts.com to get savings on entire meals – so easy for the busy mom who needs inspiration for seven nights of supper.

There is another area on the website you can click and enter your zip-code to print out coupons specifically for your area Kroger store. I entered mine and more than fifty coupons popped up. After looking through them, over half were for items I use regularly – not just stuff no one really needs or uses.

It will take you days to check out all the great things on Kroger’s site: in-store ads, recipes, links to free samples…there’s a whole lot packed into that little web address.

The generous folks at Kroger’s have given me a $25.00 gift certificate for one lucky reader. To enter, simply visit their site and tell me what your favorite part of it is, provide me a link to it so I can check it out too. I’ll take entries until 11:59 pm EST, November 14th so the winner will have their gift certificate in time for Thanksgiving shopping. Winner will be chosen randomly from qualified entries. Good Luck!

You’re wrong, then it’s right…ah, Katy you’re singing my BFL blues lady.

Okay, last week sucked. I’d rather be at the bottom than lose by points. It’s less painful. But so it goes. I wish Tom all the best. All.the.best.

This photo has nothing to do with my picks. This dude isn’t even in the league any more and he’s covering College Football. But ain’t he pretty? Insta-Mom reminded me today of the real reason we watch football – the eye candy.

Now if you could wipe the drool from your mouth…

The BFL’ers gotta be set straight
Yo, here’s the picks for Week Eight

OAKLAND @ BALTIMORE
ARIZONA @ CAROLINA
TAMPA BAY @ DALLAS
WASHINGTON @ DETROIT
BUFFALO @ MIAMI
ST LOUIS @ NEW ENGLAND
SAN DIEGO @ NEW ORLEANS
KANSAS CITY @ NY JETS
ATLANTA @ PHILADELPHIA
CLEVELAND @ JACKSONVILLE
CINCINNATI @ HOUSTON
NY GIANTS @ PITTSBURGH
SEATTLE @ SAN FRANCISCO

MONDAY NIGHT GAME
INDIANAPOLIS @ TENNESSEE
TIEBREAKER: 49
Byes: Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota

Go to Insta-Mom’s site for all the BFL action or play along with everyone’s picks at the BFL Spreadsheet.

So Halloween is a week and a half away. I’m not nearly as excited about P’s costume this year. Last year she was cute as a button:

In this pic, D is standing next to her dressed as the Gordon’s Fisherman carrying the net and all. Kinda like this:

But less burly. Oh, and no boat.

For some reason I can’t put my mouse on the picture of the whole family – I was wearing a tag that read “Hello my name is Annette”. I know, I’m clever, clever, clever.

The year before she was the most adorable little chicken and almost made a bawk bawk sound when you prompted her. It sounded more like blah blah, but dude she was four months, cut her some slack.

See the problem with success like this is you set the bar high. People expect a winner each October. You can’t disappoint. You can’t let your fans down.

To that end, we have four costume’s to choose from this year and I’m taking your opinions into consideration. Don’t you love this new WordPress gadget? And you don’t even need a tutorial to make it work. My first survey last week was wildly accurate, so this might just become my new Magic 8 Ball.

So what say you? Which costume will win over the cute category judges and not emotionally scar her?

She has voiced a desire to be Abby Cadabby, but I think we’re gonna hold off on that until next year when the odds of her poking my an eye out with the magic wand are lessened. I know, I’m terribly self-centered.

Move over Tina Fey, the greatest moment in television history (for this election season anyway) occurred live on Sunday morning.

(And it proved what I’ve known all along: I have the most intelligent readers on the web.)

I have a love/hate relationship with Colin Powell. I believe he is one of the greatest military minds of any time and that intelligence translated amazingly well into the private sector when he entered the political sphere. He was one of the few Republican leaders I trusted and I found his ability to strengthen non-partisan politics extremely reassuring.

Then came word of torture talks in my White House. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed. Devastated.

I go back and forth on the concept of defining a man – any man – by one instance in their lives. My gut tells me that Colin Powell regrets his involvement, if any, in such shameful events. That blemish will be tied to the necks of all of those participants until the end of their days.

But I can’t discount the decades of service he offered this nation. I can’t forget the leadership he maintained in the Army and the lives saved because of this leadership. None of us can.

So when word started to leak that Powell would not only endorse this past weekend, but likely endorse Obama, my heart swelled.

If there is one sure way for Powell to redeem himself, it’s to redeem this country. I hope this endorsement is the beginning of a long standing relationship between Powell and the Obama White House. No one knows more intimately what got us into this military mess, and I believe no one has a greater ability to find resolution. The left got far more than a boost of support with this endorsement. The whole nation received a most valuable tool as we begin to rebuild.

More than another vote for Obama, Powell defined so brilliantly the reasons why Obama is the better Presidential choice for him and this nation at this very pivotal time.

“I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor.”

Knowing their history (Powell and McCain’s), one can only imagine how difficult it was to come to these conclusions:

“In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn’t have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.”

“I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president.”

But far more than the why not’s on McCain’s side and the why’s on Obama’s, Powell spoke a truth that each and every American needs to hear and hear again:

“I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

For months, in living rooms and at water coolers all over this country, Obama supporters have shouted that ‘Obama’s a Christian! Obama’s a Christian!’ when they should have been demanding ‘This is America and it doesn’t matter what God you pray to, if you’re a Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Atheist…you’re an American, period.’ That’s the only qualification when it comes to service to this country.

When the hell did we lose sight of this simple truth?

On November 4th we regain our vision.

On November 4th we redefine our priorities.

On November 4th we repeat the words of long ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”.

On November 4th we reclaim our nation.

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Go ahead, GET LIPI!

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Digi-Scrapping Done Right

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LOSING IT IN CINCINNATI

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Why get so riled by the events of the world, you ask? Because…

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." Charlotte Gray
October 2008
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