28 March 2011

Freudian Slip Fashion Show

The show was a great success! There was nearly 300 people there for the event (the Gregerson Family Jam - a benefit for the Gregerson family). We did not have control of the lighting or the stage area (since there were bands playing before and after the fashion show), but it turned out fine anyway. Emerald & Casey (Freudian Slip Fashions) are planning another fashion show for the fall.

25 March 2011

Today is Dad's Birthday

He'd be 82. I miss him.

I wish he was here so that I could call him, although I rarely did (*shame*) when he was alive.

He was born in 1929 - the end of the Roaring Twenties - the same year as Martin Luther King Jr., Dick Clark, Grace Kelly, Imelda Marcos, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Frank, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Yassar Arafat,   and countless others.

In the months before his birth Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta, a revolt (José Gonzalo Escobar and Jesús María Aguirre) failed in Mexico, and Herbert Hoover was inaugurated as the 31st U.S. President.

He was 3 months old when the first public demonstration of color TV was conducted.

He was 4 months old when a secret decree in Russia created the gulags and the Geneva Convention was signed.

He was just 7 months old when the Stock Market crashed.

He was not quite 8 months old when the 7.2 magnitude Grand Banks earthquake occurred, snapping transatlantic telegraph cables and triggering a tsunami.

He was 8 months old when the Museum of Modern Art opened in NYC.

During my father's first year Pablo Picasso painted two cubist works, Woman in a Garden and Nude in an Armchair, the first Academy Awards were given, and Popeye debuted in the comics. Source

Let me tell you about him...

He was extraordinary in his willingness to examine any topic, any idea, any belief that he held. If you had a good argument or explanation he'd be willing to meet you halfway.

He taught me how to look at a problem as something that had a solution, rather than an insurmountable obstacle to complain about.

He taught me how to use tools, how to fix things, how to be more independent and sure of my self than most young women.

He wasn't all that comfortable with us as babies, but as we became able to "do" stuff with him he enjoyed our interactions. He got better with babies as time went along, and was a pro with his grandkids.

He loved cars, and motorcycles and trucks - loved reading about them, looking at them, shopping for them, having them, fixing them, giving them to us.

He often had pit passes to the Indy 500 and Daytona.

He wanted to live to be 100, but said, as he was dying "I've had a great life, not too many regrets. Take care of your mother for me..."

More about my dad

Source: Wikipedia

21 March 2011

I survived, but...

... my phone did not. Well, it did not survive unscathed.

Went for the first outdoor bike ride of the year this past Saturday. A car came quickly out of a driveway right in front of me and I had to come to an abrupt stop. I did not have my pocket zipped closed and when I caught myself (and my bike) by getting one foot down fast, I kneed my phone right out of my jacket pocket.

It landed face-down on the pavement and came apart. I picked up all the pieces (including the pieces of glass from the touch screen and took it home. It still turned on, so I put the glass pieces back in, and covered it with packing tape...

I'm not close enough to the end of my phone contract to even think about getting another phone - I refuse to pay full price for one of these things.

15 March 2011

How to Fix Congress

Below is the content of an email I received today. I'm not certain exactly what I think of it except that I think it represents an overly simplistic point of view.

I have put some questions at the end... What do you think?
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took  only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why?  Simple!  The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed around.

 Congressional Reform Act of 2011
  1. Term Limits
    12 years only, one of the possible options below
    Two Six-year Senate terms
    Six Two-year House terms
    One Six-year Senate term & three Two-Year House terms
  2. No Tenure / No Pension
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
  3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
  4. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.
    All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
  5. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
  6. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
    Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
  7. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
  8. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  9. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message.

Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

You are one of my 20+.  Please keep it going.
My questions for anyone interesting in discussing this:
  1. What, if any, are the benefits from not having term limits on congress?
  2. What, if any, are the downsides from not having term limits on congress?
  3. What, other than the length of time served by individuals, would be different if we had term limits for congress?
  4.  Would there be a financial advantage or benefit if the retirement/Social Security/health insurance changes suggested here came to pass?
  5. I'm curious - does anyone think any amendment limiting congress in these ways would actually have a chance? 
It is - and rightly so - a difficult process to adopt amendments to the constitution. The constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by a joint proposal by the congress (with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate) or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures (none of the 27 amendments to the constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention).
  1. The congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution which is forwarded directly to National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register for processing and publication. 
  2. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it.
  3. The archivist submits the proposed amendment to the states for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each governor along with the informational material prepared by the OFR.
  4. The governors then formally submit the amendment to their state legislatures.
  5. A proposed amendment becomes part of the constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 states).  
It seems to me that no congress is going to promote an amendment with these kinds of changes the emailer is proposing. And I'm not certain that we'd ever get 33 or 34 state legislatures to call a constitutional convention... for this or any other amendment. The payback - on this one especially - might be a bitch.

I also think that for the most part these kinds of changes - whether by law (statutory, case or regulatory) or by amendment - are suggested when there would be a marked advantage to one party or the other (remember that the Republicans were all for term limits during FDR's presidency, but wanting to eliminate them when Reagan was in office, and I'm sure there's a equally appalling example for the Democrats too, but I just cannot think of one right now). And that sort of pisses me off - I don't like it when it's assumed that I won't see the hidden agendas...

So my last questions are:
  1. Who is this benefiting? Or maybe, more importantly, who would think it would benefit them?
  2. With whom do you think this email originated? Not actual people, of course, but what political views, economic status, et cetera... do you think might inform their opinions and motivation?