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Monday, January 31, 2011

Gray - It’s Just a Different Hair Color

It’s really interesting when you find a topic that has a definite “line drawn in the sand”.  A topic so emotionally laden that everyone has a strong opinion about it.  It’s even more interesting when it’s a topic that you didn’t realize was or never imagined would be – a hot button.

All of you have friends who over the course of your lifetime have chosen not to tell you things that they thought you should hear and know.  Friends, who –in your best interests – have chosen not to say something about a certain topic or person in your life.  Maybe it’s a boyfriend that’s not right, a dress that doesn’t look the best on you, or a new hair style that is something different for you.  Sometimes friends just don’t give you their opinion.  This is pretty common – we’re use to it.

Well I found a topic that almost every friend has an opinion on.  The topic is really “a process” which takes time – and during that time almost everyone will probably have an opinion about it.  It surprised me what a “hot topic” this process/topic was.

A couple of months ago, I went out for the evening with a friend and her 24 year old daughter - a “girl’s night out”.  My friend is 8 years younger than me.  Her daughter told friends that she was going out with her Mom and her Mom’s “older” friend.  Do I care? Was I hurt? –Nah – I am the older friend.  It’s a necessary story that I will come back later in this entry.

I have been coloring my hair since I was 27.  My Mom was pure white by the time she was 25, my older sister was totally platinum by the time she was 32 and I was completely sterling silver mixed with pewter by the time I was 27.  Great hair genes.  My Mom colored her hair until she couldn’t anymore, my sister still colors her hair.  All of my friends (except one) close to my age – color their hair to hide the silvery gray hair.  I’ve decided to let my hair go silver.

For over 30 years, I have been putting chemicals on top of my head.  I’ve been sitting in the hair salon with chemicals soaking into my hair and head, for almost an hour – 4 to 5 times a year.  Chemicals soaking into my hair, my skin and traveling through my body.  Chemicals that I could smell for days, even after showering and (excuse me) would be present in my bodily excretions (I could smell the chemicals).  Well, no more hair coloring chemicals on my head or going through my body.  Lesson – hair coloring doesn’t just sit on your hair – it goes through your body (take a serious sniff sometime).

Over the course of the last 10 – 15 years, I have asked my stylists if the silver and pewter were coming in nice enough that I could quit coloring my hair and their response was always “You’re too young for gray hair.”  Why wouldn’t they say that?  Coloring hair is bringing megabucks into their salon every day.  Is a stylist going tell you that you have beautiful platinum, pewter or silver hair?  Is a stylist ever going to suggest that you let your amazing silver or snow white hair grow out?  NO.  Suggesting that people quit coloring their hair would be a major loss of revenue for hair salons.  Lesson - this is a decision you have to make on your own.

I finally found a stylist willing to work with me and I am on my way to gray.  Half-inch by half-inch I am cutting off the honey blonde and moving toward silver / pewter.  It’s a process and it takes time.  Ninety percent of my friends are against the change.  Why? Because “gray hair will make me look old”.  That statement in itself is a paradox, because according to my friend’s 24 year old daughter – I am “older” – even though she has only known me with honey blonde hair.  So the lesson to me was – it doesn’t matter what color your hair is – when you get older, you are older and honey blonde hair doesn’t fool anyone.

My major lessons through this decision process have been:
  • Why am I spending all that time in the salon and all that money on coloring my hair? 
  • What real purpose does coloring my hair serve at this point in my life?
  • Do I have better uses for the time and money I spend coloring my hair?

Am I advocating that all women quit coloring their hair?  No, because I’ve seen the reaction – the reaction is immediate and definitive (it’s a hot issue).  I’ve heard too many women - with extremely strong emotion and conviction - say “I could NEVER let my hair go gray.”  It appears that gray hair is a demon of some type.  To many people gray hair is really disgusting (you can see it in their face when they talk about gray hair).  Generally, the majority of people seem to really hate gray hair and the “age” issue that they associate with gray hair - it’s just too distressing for them, and that’s okay.  Whereas for me, it’s just a different hair color.

So why the post?
For those of you sitting on the edge of the platinum, silver, pewter, or snow white hair volcano – ready to jump in - do I or don’t I?
  • Take a second and question whether you really want those chemicals seeping into your head and through your body every six – eight weeks.
  • Do you really, honestly think your hair color is fooling people and making them think you are substantially younger than you are?
  • How much time and money are you really spending on hair coloring?
  • And remember, you’re not alone.  There are a few of us (very few under age 90, but a few) out here who are on our way to gray and looking forward to it every day and we support you in your decision when others cannot – it’s just too distressing for some, and that’s okay.

I stopped coloring my hair.
I now get a cut / trim every 4 – 6 weeks that costs me $40 and takes less than 40 minutes.

If I do not color my hair for the next 25 years,
without factoring in inflation or price increases,
I will not spend
  an additional 220 hours at the salon,
  and over $18,000 - on hair coloring alone.

I definitely have better uses for that time and money.

UPDATE 8/31/2011
My hair is the most gorgeous shade of silver - I couldn't be happier about the way that my hair looks. 

The other day I ran into a woman in the grocery store whose hair was almost the exact same color as mine.  I told her - our hair color matches almost perfectly and I must say your hair is beautiful.  She came up to me in the grocery store about ten minutes later and told me her story.  She quit coloring her hair because she had to - the chemicals were making her go bald in the back and the crown of her head.  She quit coloring her hair - her hair grew back in and she now has this beautiful mane of silver hair - - - - - and her daughters want her to go back to blonde, to start coloring her hair again. 

Think about it - her daughters don't care about her health.  They don't care that coloring her hair almost made their mother go bald.  All they care about is themselves and the fact that - they don't want a mom with gray hair.  How sad it is that our society has come to a point where outward appearance is more important than the health and well-being of those we are suppose to love.

That's my update - I love my hair - it's gorgeous!

UPDATE 10/31/2011
I went to a new stylist last week to have my hair cut.  She commented more than once on what beautiful color I had.  In all the years I was puting dye on my head - no one ever told me I had beautiful hair color.

That's my update - I love my hair - it's gorgeous!  and a trained professional agrees.

People do not grow old no matter how long we live.
We never cease to stand like curious children
before the great Mystery into which we were born.   Albert Einstein
Tags:  Going gray, going grey, grey hair, gray hair

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lesson One: Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution

I have intentionally been staying away from the Sunday morning talk shows that focused on politics here in the United States.  I have found over the course of the past couple of months they bring on panelists that are only interested in forwarding their own political agendas and do not even consider having a political discourse about possibilities.  Every single one of the panelists uses the shows to defend or forward their biased political agenda and rhetoric.  There is absolutely nothing informational about Sunday morning political talk shows – they are the same old, same old – every single week. 

This morning I surfed through the channels and stopped long enough to hear something that was an insult to the United States democracy.

In an earlier entry I challenged the 501(c) (4) “social welfare organization” Tea Party to educate the citizens of the United States on what a democratic (small d) government is truly suppose to be (as opposed to the rhetoric of a tax evading, gun toting, anti-government militia).  This morning on TV I heard rhetoric that again, yes again – misinformed the US citizens about what a democracy is and should be.  I heard misleading statements that mislead the public.

The purpose of making statements that are misleading is to provide misinformation to the public.  The purpose of making misleading statements is to give uninformed speaking points to US citizens who are uneducated on how their government really works.  The purpose of making misleading statements is to feed uninformed citizens incorrect information (that unfortunately they believe as truth), which they cannot parcel out as mistruths, because they are uneducated in the process of government.

Today’s Blurb
The talk show this morning was spurting crap about how it is President Obama’s job to “create” jobs and how he (Obama) would be unable to do so.

Lesson One
When a candidate comes to your door and says “I will do this” – they are not being truthful. Remember that they can do nothing on their own.  Whether it is for school board, city council, state office or federal office – they will HAVE TO work with other people to get things done – that’s what a democracy is all about.

Lesson Two
So when these talking assholes on TV say Obama has to do this, or Obama has to do that, it is wise for us to remember that Obama can change nothing or move new laws forward unless the House and the Senate give it to him for his signature.  He can champion anything – BUT HE ALONE CAN ENACT VERY LITTLE (through executive orders) without the House and the Senate bringing it to his desk for signature.  (Executive Orders are generally orders to staff of the executive branch and not to citizens. Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution specifically reserves all federal legislative authority to Congress, not the president.)  (Source) 

Lesson Three
Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution specifically reserves all federal legislative authority to Congress, not the president.  Quote:  All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”  (Source – The Constitution)

When it comes to legislation a President of the United States is NOT allowed to say, “I'm the decider, and I decide what is best.” (Source - George W Bush)

Lesson Four
A government where the leader of the country is solely responsible for the decisions of that country is called a dictatorship – not a democracy.


So What?
So where does that take us?  Anything and everything that should be important to you – has to go through the Senate and House FIRST and then to the President for his signature.

Thus, anger that you have regarding laws and legislation that are enacted or not enacted should be focused on the House and Senate – not the President.  (Be careful who you vote for.)

Example One
Obama championed healthcare – he did not enact it - the House and Senate did.  It is NOT Obamacare – it is healthcare reform for the nation, voted on by the members of the House and the Senate.  Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution specifically reserves all federal legislative authority to Congress, not the president. 

Example Two
Dec 17, 2010 ... The House passed the standalone DADT repeal on December 15 by a vote of 250 to 175… Dec 18, 2010 ... The Senate voted 65-31 on Saturday to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell… Dec 22, 2010 ... President Barack Obama signs the bill repealing the "don't ask, don't tell"


Jobs
Any jobs legislation has to come from the Senate and the House.  Any decreases in programs will come from the Senate and the House (be careful who you vote for).  Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution specifically reserves all federal legislative authority to Congress, not the president. 

Let me remind you that the Republicans are now in charge of the House and Senate and have been spouting how in charge they are since they won in November. Yet not one of the agendas they have brought forward has to do with job creation in the United States – NOT ONE! 

Hypothetical example:
Dec 17, 2011 ... The House repeals jobs creation bill… Dec 18, 2011 ... The Senate repeals the job creations bill  Tell… Dec 22, 2011 ... President Barack Obama has NO job creation bill to sign


Who is at fault for this hypothetical example? 
The voters of the US, The House and the Senate.

Let me remind you that the House and Senate passed to extend the tax cuts for the top 2% as a way to create jobs (while holding the middle class hostage in the negotiations).  It is the responsibility – the sole responsibility of the Republican majority in the House and Senate to put forth a bill on job creation – to talk with their ultra-rich bosses that they extended the tax cuts to in late 2010 – to CREATE JOBS. 

WHERE'S THE JOBS? 
Ask the Republican led House and Senate.
Ask the top 2% wealthiest Americans who control the Republican Party and got tax cuts extended as a premise for job creation.

That’s where any and all blame - now and in the future - should be focused when you are talking about unemployment issues after 1/1/2011.

PS – Tea Party Patriots - you owe me $1,000 for doing some of your 501(c)(4) “social welfare” tax exempt work.  You can send the check (from the million dollars you got from the Koch brothers) to:   
Tags:  Tea Party Patriot, Article I constitution, Obamacare, House Republicans, Jobs creation, unemployment, wealthiest 2%, outsourcing, President

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good Luck Charlie – Both of You.

This morning on TV they announced that Charlie Sheen was going into rehab.  I truly wish him luck in drying out.  It’s time to be sober, Charlie – both of you.

His character “Charlie Harper” has been the topic of a couple of conversations with friends over the past year.  I love the show 2 ½ Men.  I love the character Charlie Harper.  I was “Charlie Harper” when I was younger.  I drank too much and too often, I slept around too much and too often and I had a wise-ass mouth (still do).  The only thing I was missing was the “Charlie Harper” money.

Charlie Sheen started being Charlie Harper at a time in his real life he should have been seriously sobering up in his real life.  But because of the popularity of the TV show 2 ½ Men and the role he played every week, I think that his mental growth as a real human was stunted by the TV role he played.  Charlie Harper hasn’t aged, but Charlie Sheen has and he’s 45 now – time to act a responsible 45.  I think Charlie Sheen became confused and thought he was Charlie Harper, even though it was just a TV role, the boundaries of who “Charlie” is, got screwed up.  (Not making excuses, they serve no purpose – just looking at an option)

I think it would be extremely difficult to be in a very successful role playing a drunk, womanizer and not have that have an affect on your “real life”.  Charlie Sheen may have forgotten that Charlie Harper is a character in a TV show.  But that doesn’t mean that “Charlie Harper” and Charlie Sheen have to be the same person.

I truly hope Charlie Sheen is successful in rehab.  He’s starting to show the physical affects of too much drinking (he’s looking like a horse that has been rode hard and put up wet; been around the block one too many times).  No one really wants to live the life of a drunk – sobering up can make life much more challenging and yet much more “livable” and real.

The role of Charlie Harper doesn’t change because the TV audiences want “Charlie Harper”.  Maybe it’s time for the writers of 2 ½ Men to change the story of Charlie Harper.  It’s time for him to grow up and sober up, one episode at a time.

So then the challenge becomes what becomes of the TV character “Charlie Harper”?  As I mentioned, I’d like to see him sober-up on TV.  It could be an excellent line for TV and for the audience.  Sobering up can be very funny at moments and can be very dramatic at moments.  Charlie Harper, becoming and being sober, could be a learning experience for the TV audience that you can be sober, still have fun and still have a wise ass mouth.  There are so many new, different story lines that they could do with a sober Charlie Harper.  I think they could make a sober Charlie Harper just as funny and just as wise-assed as the old Charlie Harper.  The only potential pitfall for the new story line would be if they made Charlie Harper a mean, sarcastic, nasty dry-drunk.  

A friend of mine who got sober told me that the hardest part of sobering up was learning to have fun when you are sober.  I think too many people who are in recovery miss that part of recovery and think they can’t have fun and be sober. 

I think the TV character “Charlie Harper” could show the nation that being sober and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

CBS – It’s time for Charlie Harper to sober up on the show.  Have your brilliant writers do their thing and write that into the story line going forward.  

Maybe, by doing so you can help Charlie Sheen stay sober and that’s not a bad thing.  Maybe, by doing so you can help others in recovery find hope, peace and laughter in the recovery process and that’s not a bad thing.

Good luck Charlie – both of you.  Let’s pray neither of you becomes a nasty, old dry-drunk.

Monday, January 24, 2011

State of Michele Bachmann Moments - just for you!

Time Magazine did a profile of Michele Bachman on March 31st.
Before you belive everything you read - please consider that the Time is and always has been a mouthpiece for the Republican party.

So today, I share some  "Michele Bachmann Moments” with you - that weren't in Time Magazine article.

Michele Bachmann in church telling the congregation that God told her to run for Congress.

Michele Bachman claims she was held against her will in a bathroom in a small town in Minnesota at a rally.  This is absolutely true!

Foster Mother to 23 kids – in 6 years - now that’s what you could call sucking from the teat of County government  – when it comes to foster care subsidies.
State subsidy of about $400+ per month for each kid she had in her house -
Talk about being on the government dole!

She serves with “anti-American members of Congress”

A recap with even more stupid shit Bachmann has done.


And my salute to Keith Olbermann for exposing Bachmann’s ignorance – it’s worth watching and worth paying attention to.


This woman is a nutcase and a fruitcake.
If you take Michele Bachmann seriously, you’ve lost touch with reality or you’re either on really bad drugs.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pawl

Sunday – Gotta Be About Mac Hammond

Today is Sunday.  I was surfing the channels and came to the weekly sermon by Mac Hammond and I thought – “There’s my topic for today.  Sunday - gotta be about Mac Hammond."  This past week I had a hit on my blog by someone looking for information on Mac Hammonda and I thought - "Wonder what is out there about Mac Hammond?"  

I’ve been tempted to go to a Living Word Christian Center sermon.  I normally wear jeans and a decent top when I go to church.  At the televised services of Living Word Christian Center the people they show on TV in the front rows always have on suits and nice dresses – so I’ve always wondered where I would be seated if I went to one the services.

It’s been an interesting journey writing this entry.  Learned something – even though religious organizations are classified as nonprofits – they are not required to file a 990 (the tax report for nonprofits).  I didn’t know that before and I don’t particularly like that fact.  Also learned there are a bunch of pages on the web that refer to the Living Word Christian Center as a “cult” (a topic for another day).

__________________
Well here goes -

“Giving is part of our worship but prosperity gospel makes giving a transactional activity,” commented Asamoah. Believers are taught that when they make an offering to God they can expect a certain return. But God blesses according to His wisdom and it is not necessarily material wealth.  (Source1)

And then there’s Mac Hammond:
"God says the only way to get out from under financial pressure is to give, to tithe," he explains. "You may feel like you do not have enough to support your family, but it's just the opposite. Adversity, trials, tests, the crown of life—you must keep tithing through these tests of faith.

"Some people stop when it appears tithing hasn't paid off," he clucks. "But if you keep believing unto death, the crown will be yours. Financial adversity is a test of Satan to abandon the practice of giving and tithing. Do it anyway and you will get the crown."  (Source2)


Ostensibly, the gospel of prosperity does distinguish between being greedy and seeking prosperity in order to be able to minister to others—but according to this strain of theology, that need not include feeding war orphans or clothing inner-city urchins; it really means increasing the size of the church—a goal that can be realized through the influx of new dollars as well as new souls.

Hammond is pretty clear on the point in a pamphlet titled, "Winning in Your Finances: How to Walk God's Pathway of Prosperity": "Do we use our excess money to purchase a bag of groceries for someone that can't afford any food?" he asks. "Do you fill up someone's car with gas? Do we slip him a $20 bill when you shake his hand? Though these are all charitable things to do, they will not, however, meet the greatest need in a person's life. No amount of money can purchase a man's salvation. No amount of money can purchase a healing. The only thing that meets human need on every level consistently and permanently is the Word of God. So consequently, the seed that you have left over is best used to get the Word of God into the hearts of others."  (Source2)

From the Living Word webpage:
Mac (James) Hammond inspires his congregation with the "prosperity gospel," a version of the good news in which following Christ leads to material wealth.

Mac Hammond
Graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1965 with a Bachelor's degree in English.
Pilot training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. He received his wings in November 1966
Mac was involved in varying capacities in the general aviation industry including ownership of a successful air cargo business serving the Midwestern United States.
A business acquisition brought the Hammonds to Minneapolis where they ultimately founded Living Word Christian Center in 1980.

This financial information is a summary of the accounting records of Living Word Christian Center for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008.
From the 2008 Annual Report of Living Word Christian Center
Revenue and Support
2008
2007
Contributions
$ 22,834,692
$ 23,582,500
Sales, Tuition, and Other
     7,406,321
      8,450,626
Investment Income
          39,431
         208,748
(Loss) on Asset Disposition
         (1,324)
        (14,635)
Total Revenue and Support
   30,279,120
    32,227,239



Salaries and Related Expense
   15,334,018
    16,244,384

51% of total rev
50% of total rev

Oh, my
Oh, my


2008 attendance: 7,580
Pastor Mac's flock offered up some $24,047,130 in "contributions" in 2005 (Source2)

Mac & Michele
In 2006 during her political bid – Hammond gave Michele Bachmann the stage on Sunday.  Funny how nothing came of this.

And he gave Michele Bachmann the stage again here – note the different clothes.  Funny how nothing came of this.

Two years ago – he stated his support for Michele Bachmann from the stage of the Living Word Church.  Funny how nothing came of this.

In 2007 Pastor Mac Hammond of the Living Word Christian Center, a Brooklyn Park mega-church, gave Rep. Michele Bachmann a campaign donation of $2,100 this campaign cycle. 

Open Secrets reports in the 2010 cycle Michele Bachmann received the following funds from Mac and wife:
   
Hammond, James    Living Word Christian Center /Vice P    8/9/2010      $2,000        
Hammond, James    Living Word Christian Center                 5/14/2010    $1,400        
Hammond, James    Living Word Christian Center / Vice P   12/23/2009  $1,000        
Hammond, Lynne   Information Requested                             5/14/2010    $1,600
         
I interviewed Hammond and profiled him several years ago. He's smart, charismatic, likable. He has insisted that he started the church when he was already a successful businessman, but court records over an IRS debt clearly indicate Hammond was broke, and that his wealth, at the very least, grew concurrently with his church.

OMG 
Lordy, lordy
Oh, my………..

Friday, January 7, 2011

ISSA - "Step away from the car."

I was kind of amazed this morning when I heard some things on the radio that made me ponder life, ponder life decisions and the outcomes of those decisions’.

Darrell Issa is just a little younger than me.  He is the richest man in the Congress.  He also has a checkered past.   
Many would say  - as he does – that the things he did or did not do are in the past -  should not affect what is happening today.  But I gotta tell ya, Darrell – what you do in the past is applicable in today’s world for everybody else.  What people have done in the past - makes a helluva a lot of difference in a lot of people’s lives.  What people have done in the past  - has ruined people’s lives.  People have been ruined for doing far less than you have – Darrell Issa -  but then you probably wouldn’t care  about that.
I never ran for a public office –even though I’ve wanted to – because my past isn’t squeaky clean.  I’ve had an amazing life – I don’t regret what I’ve done (that would be stupid) - most have been tremendous learning experiences.  But, I have looked at my past and said if someone “vetted” me for a political office, I’d probably flunk – so I have never even tried to run for any office.
Then you have Darrell Issa – a US Congressman.
Based on what I have found on the internet, maybe I should have re-thunk those political aspirations, but then I’m probably not rich enough to “erase my past”.  But then again – he hasn’t been able to erase his past (look at all I found), but it hasn’t stopped his “attention to corruption”.

Alleged Grand Theft Auto (Gone in 60 Seconds)
“Issa was accused of stealing a car in 1971 and indicted for stealing another one in 1972.  (Source1)  In 1972 Issa, then 19, was indicted with his brother William on a charge of felony grand theft for allegedly stealing a red Maserati sports car from a car dealership in Cleveland, court records show.  The case was dropped.”  (Source2)  “As a college student in 1972, Issa and his brother were arrested in Cleveland, suspected of stealing a red Maserati from a dealership. The witnesses recognized Darrell and his brother, William as they pushed the Maserati down the street.” (Source3)  “In the third incident, a retired Army sergeant claimed that in 1971 Issa, then an enlisted man, had stolen a Dodge sedan from an Army post near Pittsburgh. The allegation was published in a 1998 story in the San Francisco Examiner. It quoted the retired sergeant as saying he had recovered the car after confronting Issa and threatening him. Issa denied the allegation, calling it reckless, the newspaper reported. No charges were filed. “  (Source2)  “But one former GI says he has a different memory of Issa.

"That kid stole my car out of the parking lot and took it to Cleveland, and I knew he did it," said retired 1st Sgt. Jay Bergey, who served with Issa in 1971 on the 145th Ordnance Detail, an Army bomb squad stationed near Pittsburgh.   "I confronted Issa. . .. . I got in his face and threatened to kill him, and magically my car reappeared the next day, abandoned on the turnpike," the retired soldier said in a phone interview from his home in Pennsylvania.   Issa was not prosecuted and "he left the unit very shortly after that," the former soldier said.”  (Source5)  “He [Bergey] said he discussed the car with Issa's mother when she visited a few weeks after the car was found.   He said Issa's mother "basically admitted that my car had been in Cleveland," saying that Issa had claimed to have purchased the vehicle. (Source5)
With two car thefts under his belt, Issa was prosecuted in 1980 for auto-auto theft– faking the theft of his own Mercedes and selling it to a car dealer. (Source1)  “In the San Jose case, Issa, who at the time was a 27-year-old U.S. Army officer, and William Issa, 29, were arrested by San Jose police on a felony auto-theft charge in February 1980. They were accused of a scheme in which Issa's brother allegedly sold Issa's cherry-red Mercedes 240 to Smythe European Motors in San Jose for $13,000 cash and three $1,000 traveler's checks. Within hours, Issa reported the car stolen from a lot at the Monterey airport, near his Army post at Fort Ord.”  The case was dismissed even the though “A judge ordered them to stand trial on felony charges, saying he had a "strong suspicion" that the men had committed the crime, according to the records.” (Source2)
Alleged Weapons Charges (Dirty Harry)
Issa was arrested twice on illegal weapons charges and was convicted of a gun possession misdemeanor in the 1970s. (Source1)  “Issa was arrested twice for weapons charges, once in Ohio and once in Michigan.”  (Source4)
In the 1980’s, Issa took over a security company whose manager he fired with the aid of a gun. Issa claims “Shots were never fired. . . . I don’t recall [having a gun]. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.” (Source1)  “While Issa was in Ohio, he was given the job of firing a high level executive, Jack Frantz. Frantz recalls that Issa came into his office carrying a box. Issa opened the box and showed Frantz the gun. Frantz knew he was being fired and felt that was Issa's method of intimidating him. Frantz relayed the story to the Los Angeles Times and in response, Issa told the reporter, "No shots were ever fired." (Source3)
Alleged Arson or (Firestarter)
Eight months after Issa took over the security company, a fire broke out, which state authorities deemed “suspicious in nature,” and which arson investigators determined was “not an accidental fire.” Issa had, coincidentally, I’m sure, just quadrupled the building insurance from about $100,000 to $460,000 and had taken a key computer from the building a few days before the accident.  (Source1)  “In 1982, Issa was suspected, but never charged in a suspicious fire that burned his Ohio manufacturing plant. Although there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Issa, the police suspected he was behind the fire based on two facts. Just a few weeks prior to the fire, Issa increased the fire insurance coverage to quadruple the original amount and according to the company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, a few days before the fire, records and a company computer were removed from the plant, which was completely out of character for Issa. Charges were not filed due to lack of evidence, but the suspicions remain.” (Source3)
Alleged Fibs He Has Told
“He [Issa} attended baseball's World Series in 1971 as part of the president's security entourage, Issa once told an interviewer. “Issa couldn't have guarded Nixon at the World Series because the president didn't attend, according to the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda.”  (Source5)
“A spokesman said Issa accurately has described his military past and had compiled a distinguished service record.”  “According to records and interviews, Issa's service on the bomb squad was marred by a bad conduct rating, a demotion and allegations that he had stolen a fellow soldier's car.”  (Source5
Actual Issa Quotes:
“My brother went on to have a long and sordid career," he told the Times. "I am not my brother. I am not my brother's keeper."
"I do not steal," Issa said.
"When people ask me why I got into the car alarm business, I tell them the truth," he said in a statement to The Chronicle. "It was because my brother was a car thief."
“No shots were fired”
"Step away from the car."  (his voice from the Viper alarm)

My thoughts for Today
  • The dog ate my homework
  • The devil made me do it
  • It’s not my fault
  • Mommy, Johnny just hit me. 
  • Mommy, Johnny just wiped his snot on my shirt. 
  • Mommy, Johnny just shoved me.
Psychopath expert Professor Robert Hare gives a comprehensive list of psychopathic personality traits that outline the major features of this disordered personality.  Glib and superficial charm, Callousness and lack of empathy, Grandiose sense of self worth, Parasitic lifestyle (lives off of other people), Need for stimulation, prone to boredom, Poor behavioral controls, Pathological lying, Promiscuous sexual behavior, Conning and manipulativeness, Early behavior problems (temper tantrums and disobedience), Lack of remorse or guilt, Failure to accept personal responsibility, Shallow affect (no deep feelings about anything or anyone), Revocation of conditional release (put back in jail after failing at reform), Lack of realistic, long-term goals, Many short-term marriages, Impulsivity, Juvenile delinquency, Irresponsibility, Criminal versatility (good at a lot of different crimes)  (Source6)

(PS:  You really need to read the entire sources quoted in this entry – there is so much more to know)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cut-throat Scrabble– You Really Don’t Win Anything

C O M P E T E
13 points x 2 for the first word on the board and plus 50 points for emptying your deck = 76 points
Yippee! or Yuck!

When my son was about 8 years old I bought a Scrabble board.  He and I would play Scrabble in the evenings.  We never kept score and I was always complimenting him on the words that he used and the hooks he built.  We laughed and we had fun.  We quit playing after my husband decided he wanted to be part of the “fun” and came to the board with the sole intention of “scoring” and with the intention of using two letters words worth the most points that (in my words) constipate the board.

When I play Scrabble I love to see a bingo (when someone uses all 7 of their tiles to make a word); I look for unique hooks (building words off of other words) and I will sometimes use parallel words, but not very often as they “constipate the board”.

When I play Scrabble I do it for fun and I like to see the entire board filled with letters at the end of the game.  Yes, playing Scrabble is about strategy and scoring points – BUT to me it’s also about making sure that everyone gets a chance to play their letters and that everyone sitting at the board is having fun.  I’m not a cut-throat Scrabble player, to me it’s supposed to be “just a game” and fun for all the players.

On to the Story
To me cut-throat Scrabble is when the person you are playing with is only concerned with finding bonus squares and hot spots and they don’t care at all about the playability of the board.

I vacation with the same people almost every year over the holidays.    In the past we have spent hours having fun playing Scrabble and drinking wine, talking and laughing while we played Scrabble.  Not this year.   Last year I couldn’t go on vacation because of work commitments.  In the past two years, my Scrabble partners have learned how to play cut-throat Scrabble and when I left my vacation this year – I could care less if I ever played Scrabble again while I am vacation.  There was no fun, no talking and no laughing – only staring at the Board, looking for hot-spots and high scores using one letter.

The first two days of vacation, I pretty much sat back and tried to figure out what the hell had changed and then I got bored.  I would spend my time trying to “open up the board” so it was easier to play and they would block the word with a one letter high scoring hook and the board would get constipated.  Day three and four – I was really bored.  Days one through four I lost every game by at least 100 points - I absolutely did not care.  It didn’t matter – my worth is not based on my Scrabble score.  Day five, I put on my game face (even though I didn’t want to) and gave them a run for their money at cut-throat Scrabble – winning two games just before I came home.  None of it was fun.

On the plane trip back home and for the past two days I have thought about this experience and how I was going to write it up.  What did I learn from this experience?
  • Was I traumatized playing cut-throat Scrabble when I was a kid – hell no – that’s not it.
  • Is it about people knowing more two letter words than me – hell no.
  • Is it about people being savvier about tile placement – hell no.
  • Was I a sore loser – NOT!  (I consciously chose to not play their type of game.)
It all came down to my expectation (based on previous years) that Scrabble was about having fun.  Playing Scrabble was about spending time with other people - talking and laughing.  Playing Scrabble was about enjoying a glass of wine and the company of good friends.  Playing Scrabble was about connecting with people.

Cut-throat Scrabble is about connecting with the tiles in your deck and the hot spots on the board.  Cut-throat Scrabble has nothing to do with interaction with the people you are playing Scrabble with.  Cut-throat Scrabble is only about you and your score.

The moral of the story –
        Please play cut-throat Scrabble only with other blood lust people.
        Please play cut-throat Scrabble on line.
        Don’t expect others to be amazed with your hot spot prowess and your ability to “constipate the board” if the other people at the board are looking for a friendly game of Scrabble.
        If it’s all about “you and your score”, please play by yourself.
If you are into cut-throat Scrabble and the other people at the board are not – you really don’t win anything, even if your score is huge.

Life is about change – and sometimes your expectations have to change.  Sometimes it’s a good thing.  Sometimes is a sad thing.  Next year I’ll bring my Domino tiles and maybe we can forget about hardcore competition while on vacation and get back to wine, whining, talking and laughing.

Tags:  cut-throat Scrabble, cutthroat Scrabble