Adventures in Retirement


Hurricane Sandy Victims Please Note

Hurricane Sandy from space

Hurricane Sandy from space

As a resident of the Texas Gulf Coast area, I sympathize with anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. I feel your pain.

I’ve survived two hurricanes, Rita and Ike, and lots of power outages just in the last ten years. The hurricanes usually arrive in hot weather, forcing my husband and me out into the back yard to cool off and to cook on the grill. I remember being shell-shocked during Hurricane Ike when we tried to buy gas and there just wasn’t any to be had at any price. We drove to all the gas stations in the area, staring at the devastation all round us and noting others looking dazed as well.

But the worst result of devastating storms is the loss of communications and not knowing how relief activities are progressing. You can put up with almost anything if you know what’s going on and when it will end. To know some county official is handing out bags of ice, cases of bottled water, and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) — where to get it and when to be there — is priceless. To be totally in the dark is what makes people angry or makes them feel no one cares.

People do care. Neighbors that you see from time to time but usually don’t take the time to speak to suddenly become a source of news when they return home with bags of food from a local fast-food restaurant and cheerily wave you over to tell you there’s electricity and a hot meal in the next little town over. And if they’ve got power, surely yours will be returning shortly.

As your power is turned back on and life begins to return to normal, or something close to that, would the friends and fans of this site and Left Eye on the Media please check in and share your experiences.

Sending a big Thank You to President Obama and all the other folks who are making a difference in the affected areas. Their response has been quick and thorough. And heartfelt, as befits human beings.

Of Mr. Romney, I can only say this: He’s a liar, a cheapskate, and if he were in charge, you wouldn’t be getting any help from the government at all. Thank God the President of the United States is a Democrat. Be sure to vote.

Here’s hoping that your recovery time is as short as possible.


Right to the Point

I discovered a talented poet over at Pemmican Press and have included a sample below. I’m not very good at writing poetry, but she touched me with a subject that is both mundane and ordinary and, at the same time, universal. Especially right now, during such tense political and economic goings-on.

I can see this one from both sides because I’ve been each woman at different times in my life. Thought you might find it as interesting as I did.

Grocery Shoppers

Grocery Shoppers

Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Standing in Line Next to The Lady in Pearl Earrings

Yeah, I know, we’re what you’d probably call
Worse for the wear right now, with our scuffed shoes,
The boys’ hair a shade too long on them all
(Jeans a little bit short, though, so please choose
Which one offends you more: too long, too short
We’ve got em both for the price of one today).
Shopping cart full of rice, beans, day-old bread
No organic tomatoes, no line caught
Trout, those things don’t go on sale much, we’ll pay
For some ketchup and tuna fish instead.

When stores like this one have coupons for them
(And even this store, with its wide aisles of
Pastas and wines, this store will up and run
A pretty decent sale on all the stuff
Most of us working poor use: milk, oats, cheese
Orange juice…). Then, we’ll stand right beside you
In line, right beside you, while you wrinkle
Your nose. We’ll take out our big wads of these
Coupons: dollar days! and buy one, get two
And we’ll smile, while you send us looks to kill.

205 For, 228 Against — WTF???

Can you believe what is happening in Congress?

We’re in a financial situation that Republican Hank Paulson said was disastrous and needed to be handled immediately, if not sooner.  We were speechified by our Republican president, who said we needed this bailout.  A bipartisan group of Congressional leaders said, yes, we need this and we need it now and came up with a bill.  And what happens?  One hundred thirty-three (133) House Republicans prevented the bill from passing by voting NAY.

And what is their excuse — I mean, reason for doing this?  Democrat Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings by laying this whole huge problem at the feet of the Big Spender, Republican George Bush.  Excuse me, but did he not inherit a huge surplus from that bad ole Democrat Bill Clinton?   Did Republican Bush manage to turn this surplus into a deficit so large that you and I can’t even begin to conceive that we could ever imagine that we could understand how big that deficit is?  And Republican Bush did it in only two years!  I thought Republicans were supposed to be thrifty and didn’t like the government spending their reluctantly paid taxes.

Meanwhile, it appears that there are televisions in the various stock markets, and they were all watching them as the voting in the House was taking place.  In fact, the Dow Jones seemed to be in sync with the voting, dropping as the no votes accumulated.  Biggest drop in history — down by 748.  Oops, as I glance over at the TV, it’s now 10365.45, down by 777.68.  Paulson is pissed, almost frantic.

Now, I know that the American people are mad that we have been put in this position.  They are mad that so many Wall Street regulars are greedy bastards and don’t want to bail them out without punishment.  I kinda feel the same way. But I think we need to make sure that this country doesn’t come to a grinding halt.  Let’s fix this problem now, and on election day, just a short time away, let’s show the greedy bastards how we feel by throwing the bums out.  It was Republicans on Wall Street that caused this problem and Republicans in the House that didn’t fix the problem, so let’s just vote a straight Democratic ticket.

The smaller Republican Party has traditionally been the party of the leaders, the managers, the rich.  The larger Democratic Party has traditionally been the party of the working man.  Things began to get really messed up when the Republicans started trying to add more members and held their noses while offering a welcoming hand to people they wouldn’t normally associate with.  Wise up, people!  The Republicans have had their turn at leading the country, and they and their Fearless Leader have lead the country down the toilet!.  Flush ’em and let’s get some Democrats in there to do the job that needs doing.

Either way you decide to vote, it’s going to take time to recover from this.  Better start now.

UPDATE: Change is coming

Gave up on the job search, took early retirement, and upgraded my camera.  Gas is so expensive that we’ve curtailed any thoughts of travel.  My husband and I are both working for Barack Obama’s election so we can get a little relief.  Obama will start undoing the damage done by Dubya, but I wonder how many years it will take.

2008 Presidential Debate

2008 Presidential Debate

I was pleased with the Friday night presidential debate.  All of McCain’s shenanigans during the week leading up to it were so strangely erratic that I wondered what he would do once he took the stage.  McCain didn’t look at his opponent, rigidly stood his ground, stubbornly stayed with his old ideas, and didn’t seem to realize that most of the country is tired of war and ready to spend $10 billion a month on something else.  Repairing the infrastructure would be nice.  Shoring up the education system and allowing teachers to teach children something about art, the teamwork and fun of participating in band, symphony or choir.  Not just teaching for “The Test.”  Paying teachers enough to attract excellent teachers would be worth more to me than funding golden parachutes for already wealthy New York City chief executives.  I could go on and on.

I am so ready for a change.  Barack Obama promises to give the Middle Class a break on taxes.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I know anyone who makes over $250,000 a year.  Most of my family and friends earn in the 20- to $70,000 range.  A few live on less.  So I’m ready for someone to trim my taxes and let the more fortunate shoulder the burden for a while.  Heck, I might be satisfied if Obama would just get rid of a few tax loopholes.  And now that I’m retired, the idea of retirees on a fixed income not having to pay income taxes at all is a lovely idea.  I realize Obama’s list of campaign promises will have to be adjusted because of the financial meltdown, but it is definitely time for a change.

Star Trek's trio - Spock, Kirk and McCoy

Star Trek

One thing puzzles me, though.  I don’t understand why Obama being labeled as “cerebral” is a bad thing.  Mr. Spock is cerebral.  I would think that one would want a leader to be cerebral enough to know what to do in a crisis and cool-headed enough to keep his wits about him when dealing with it.  I know I would.  We need someone with the humanity and compassion of Dr. McCoy, the brash, bold toughness of Captain Kirk, and the cerebral logic of Mr. Spock.  I guess that’s a lot to ask.  The more I think about it, though, the more McCain is starting to look like Dr. Janice Lester.  You know the one.  She wanted Kirk’s job, and the more she encountered obstacles in reaching her goal, the more strident and shrill she became.

I don’t particularly want to drink a beer with the President or call him “buddy.”  I want him to have done his homework, to know what’s going on in the world, to be able to deal with the leaders of our allies and our enemies (and to know which is which), and to maintain a peace that allows us to grow and flourish.  I don’t know about you, but I haven’t flourished since the Clinton years.

Hang in there. Change is coming….

Check This Out

While perusing the election news on the Internet, I discovered a great new blog, Left Eye on the Media.  Check it out for an interesting political analysis about how the national news media is covering the political news.