Friday, March 8, 2013

Random Thoughts - The Busy Week Edition

I love it when a plan comes together.  You can all pat yourselves on the back... all of you who made the call or wrote the letter or sent the email or the tweet.  The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the first piece of President Obama's gun control initiative, making straw purchasing (the buying of guns on behalf of those who are prohibited from owning them) a federal crime.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, voted with the ten Democrats on the Committee. I'm stopping off at his website to thank him for his support.  It seems like the polite thing to do.
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Sen. Grassley's home state saw ads on responsible gun ownership in the days leading up to this vote.  Americans for Responsible Solutions, Gabby and Mark's PAC, must be feeling pretty good right about now; their dollars paid for those ads and they seem to have made a difference.
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I wore the same blouse today that I wore to the press conference yesterday .  It's a pretty salmon color, and several people commented on its loveliness.  Of course, most of those people remembered seeing it on television, too.

There's a lot more to being a faux-celebrity than meets the eye... or the wardrobe... it seems.
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Thucydides is describing the collapse of Athenian democracy, as my Humanities Seminar wends its way through the Peloponnesian War. We're up to the Melian Dialogue, wherein the Athenians explain to the inhabitants of Melos that negotiations can only happen between equals, that Athens will crush them should they resist becoming a colony, that feelings and religion and the rightness of their position were immaterial, that might makes right. The Melians choose to fight, the Athenians win, and then, as Thucydides so succinctly puts it, the Athenians put to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for slaves....

This led to our professor's startling (to me, at least) revelation that there is a branch of scholarship devoted to the logistics of annihilating the population of an island.  How many Melians could an Athenian slaughter before his arm got tired?  How long did the process take?  How did they dispose of the bodies?  It's an island; was there room for them all?

As Little Cuter said when she heard of a friend's college coursework on Modern Norwegian Fiction, "Some people have too much time on their hands."
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I had the opposite issue today - too little time and too many events.  I threw up my hands and went to lunch by myself.  Sometimes self-comforting is in order.
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I visited the newest addition to sheltered care for the demented in our neighborhood this afternoon. It is bright and clean and thoughtfully appointed.  The hallways are broad and well lit and long... very very long.  There are a few private rooms; most are shared bedrooms or adjoining to a shared bathroom.

The pod-castle looked a lot better to me as I left that shiny new building. I walk into a foyer and a living room when I visit G'ma; the new place has a generic waiting room and a locked portal into the living space.  I drove over to hug my mother and congratulate her on raising a daughter who managed to find the best place in Tucson for her to live, but it was Movie Afternoon and she was busy.  The shades were drawn, sodas were poured, popcorn was at hand, and the residents were enthralled, watching a movie the way movies are supposed to be watched: together.

I didn't disturb her.  I refilled her bowl of chocolate and slipped quietly away.
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I'm taking Amster's kids to the Tucson Festival of Books tomorrow, and I'm concerned about the weather. Only in Tucson would a mid-50's-and-occasional-shower forecast be considered stay-home-and-stay-warm weather in early March.  Of course, today we were in the mid-80's, so I'm kinda sorta spoiled.

Don't hate me .... move down and join me.
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All our teams lost this week; none of them were even close.  It was a dismal way to end the regular season, and a less than promising way to start the run-up to March Madness.  Still, it's fun to see the recipients of our tuition dollars on the television screen.

I'd write more, but neither of the kids wanted to talk about it and that's where most of my chatter originates. Poor babies, they had to hide their sorrows in silence.
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I just called Senator Jeff Flake's office to confirm that he had voted against the straw purchasing bill in his committee meeting this morning.  The lovely young woman who answered his phone in Washington had no idea, had no one to ask, couldn't direct me to anyone who could answer my question, and offered no guidance on where to turn.

She did take my address so that she could get back to me with the answer.  Of course, that doesn't help me much for this post, now does it?
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Little Cuter is breaking down and buying herself an ereader.  She's feeling guilty about abandoning her physical books, but the weight of them is becoming an annoyance on her daily commute.  I tried to reassure her, to console her, but I think that Dana Stabenow said it best: they are complementary tools.  You use a pen and a pencil and a keyboard, after all.

12 comments:

  1. I was appalled when Senator Flake voted against straw purchasing. Thought of you and yours.
    He voted against, the news showed him voting NO. I too, shall visit Senator Grassley's site for a thank you.
    A big Thank You to you AB for your thoughts and links.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Ellyn. Hop over to my FB page (Ashleigh Burroughs) for more ideas. I'll be adding a sidebar space as well; your Thank You motivated me!
      a/b

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  2. Senator Flake is aptly named, and that's all I will say about him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With friends like him.... who needs enemies?
      a/b

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  3. Thank you for the note about Senator Grassley. I too went over to his page and left a brief note. You made it so easy to do.

    speaking of using a pen and paper as well as a keyboard, hubby and I were just having this conversation. Many people do not put pen to paper any more and their handwriting is suffering for it. Hubby was complaining about having to read bad penmanship on a sign-in sheet he requires for an organization to which he belongs and spends many hours.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My little friends find it onerous to use their hands anywhere but a keyboard. Forming the letters is a challenge. It makes me sad. Very very sad.
      a/b

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  4. I'm trying to remember the last time I had to stop reading so I could plug in one of my books, or turn off my book as a plane was taking off/landing, or couldn't read my book outside because of the glare, or when a post robot/zombie/asteroid apocalypse hellscape rendered all of my books inoperative.

    And then I remembered that I took one of my overly emotional and illogical stands to be the last hold out I know against e-readers! Another one bites the dust apparently, think she could loan me another bookshelf?

    -Big Cuter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All those things are true. Convenience trumps them all... except "glare" which the Kindle has conquered.
      a/b (mom)

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  5. Bro- I still plan to buy good old fashioned books. I will never deny myself the pleasure. However, talk to me again when you have a 2 hour round trip commute and a mile walk and you're carrying around a hardback version of Kavalier & Clay...

    And no, I have no spare bookshelves. I'm lobbying the hubs to build me a floor to cieling bookshelf in the living room. Boom.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kavalier and Clay... one of my all time favorites! And I thought that bookshelf was a given.... including the rolling ladder <3
      a/b (mom)

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  6. As an avid reader and smeller of books--YES, I smell books. I love the smell of them. Whenever I'm at a book store, hubby gives me this look and acts like he doesn't know me. I love reading my books now on my iPad. As someone that would carry around lots of books in my work bag, it was starting to take a toll on my shoulders. I can carry hundreds of books on my iPad. I can read them in the dark while my little man is lying next to me in bed. I don't have to have the light on. I even get all of my magazines electronically. No more complaining from hubby about the clutter of magazines. I also made a vow to be more green and this is a way of doing it.

    Thanks AB for the link for Senator Grassley's Web site. I will pop over there and thank him. I was totally surprised that he went the way he did. I didn't get that feeling watching the hearings. I hope we have the same consensus with the other bills and the whole Senate votes in favor.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Megan xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smelling books..... and here I thought I was the only one who had a strange and unusual relationship to the physical printed page :)

      Glad you and Little Cuter have less achy shoulders these days!
      a/b

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