Python at the Ohio Statehouse

30 03 2011

Today, 3.30.11, Republican Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives (Batchelder) and the Citizens who he represents clashed over SB5… (Paraphased interaction)

Batchelder:  Shut up!  Will you shut up!

Citizens: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

Batchelder:  Shut up!

Citizens:  Oh!  Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!

Batchelder: Bloody peasant!

Citizens: Oh, what a giveaway.  Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh?  That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?





Boccieri Vs Renacci Debate 10/18/10

19 10 2010

Last night my little guy and I went to the final Ohio 16th Congressional debate.

This late in the campaign there really isn’t much new…

Boccieri voted FOR healthcare reform and as a result my son, who has autism, has insurance– Renacci would get rid of it– “Repeal and Replace”– however in a new twist; Renacci says he would keep the provision that gets rid of deniable pre-existing conditions. His website does not reflect this position change: http://www.renacciforcongress.com/Issues/Health_Care

Boccieri cites specific ways that the Stimulus has benefited NE Ohio (http://gis4.oit.ohio.gov/recovery/)  while Renacci just stomps his foot and follows Boehner’s lead… NO! NO! NO! (course when the  asked what he likes to do in his spare time he said golf…)

On Energy: Boccieri knows that green energy will provide jobs, clean the air and keep money at home. Renacci on the other hand (and the energy companies who fund his campaign) think that global warming is fiction so, he didn’t answer the question and the panel didn’t call him on it.

There was only one real stunner in this debate– when asked about their approval/disapproval of the Supreme Court’s “corporations as people” ruling– Boccieri said resoundingly that he disagreed with the ruling while Renacci did a little dance about how the Supreme Court knows about these things and he trusts them– so finally– he said he does agree with the ruling. (WHOA!!)

The truth is that he does not agree with all Supreme Court rulings… he disagrees for example with Roe vs. Wade… So… apparently he only trusts the Court when their rulings benefit him. (Renacci’s positions per Project Vote Smart : http://votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=120678#20942 )

My main take-away (since I already thought Renacci is pretty out of touch and self-serving) was that Renacci followers are rude.  When J and I arrived, we saw a man putting a Renacci sign on each side of EVERY Boccieri sign along the road into the high school… during the debate, they were out-of-bounds– rude! And, towards the end, when Congressman Boccieri cited my son as an example of someone who directly benefits from healthcare reform, the Renacci supporter behind us said– “Who Cares that it helps that kid?!” Well, Rude Renacci lady, I CARE!

Don’t take my word for it… here is the debate:

http://static.cantonrep.com/elections/debate/





The Good Old Days…?

15 10 2010

I am not nostalgic for the days the Tea-GOP seem to long for.

It’s easy to think that government should stay out of our lives– we are a culture that deeply values privacy– but do we really want government to cease its protections?

Do you like the idea equal rights for women, persons with disabilities, persons of every race, creed, color and culture? Do you like knowing that there isn’t rat poison in your Cheerios? Do you like weekends? Do you like public education? Social Security benefits? Do you like public works– water? sewage treatment? roads? Do you think minimum wage protects workers from sweat-shop-like treatment? 40-hour work weeks? Overtime? Breaks during your work day? How do you like IEPs and IDEA? ADA? The end of legal discrimination by insurance companies against children with disabilities?

I want government to continue to protect my son from discrimination by schools,  insurance companies,  public bus drivers, diner owners, employers and bullies.  I want water delivered to my home– and sewage removed. I want to know that the food I serve my family is safe.

Two years ago I voted for change and, although slow in coming, there have been victories! My son has insurance and my credit cards can’t abuse me. That’s not bad!

I don’t want to return to the good old days– they really weren’t good.





3 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket– From Home with No Investment

2 09 2008

1. Gather up your books– the ones in good shape– and go to www.cash4books.net then type in your ISBNs and they’ll tell you how much they’ll give you for them.  You can print out the prepaid shipping label and all you have to do is box it up and drop it off.  They’ll send you a check or deposit the money into your PayPal account. I sold 6 books for $23. They turned down a bunch of books and there were a few that were selling for so little that I figured I’d get more than that in a yardsale and it didn’t seem worth the effort.

*** Check this out*** Brandon sent a comment about http://bookscouter.com/ comparing book buyers to get you the better deal– check it out! I ran a few of the books that www.cash4books.net turned down and was able to find buyers. I didn’t go through the whole process so I’m not sure how user friendly it is but at first glance it looks really great.  Please let me know your experiences.

2. Become a Fashion Designer– go to www.cafepress.com and set up shop with your own designs– no sewing, no shipping, no nothin’. All you have to do is upload the image, select the items you want it on and maybe do a little tweaking.  They sell it, ship it and even do some marketing then send you a commission check.   Many of the designs are fancy fonts and do-able by anyone with MS Office.  (You can have either a simple free shop with one design — or many free shops– or pay about $7.00 for a premium shop with multiple designs.  Check out my shop at http://www.cafepress.com/bullfeathers we just got a check for $62.

3. PURGE.  Clean out your basement, attic, garage, kid’s room, your closet and have a garage sale or become an Ebay Seller. (Be careful on ebay! Look for tricks of the trade on-line before you post and make sure that you are very clear about what you will or will not do… being too easy to get along with might get you in trouble…) On the plus side– I made $2,000 in three months just by cleaning my house.

Please share your ideas and experiences– Have you tried any of these? others?  How did it work for you? Advice? Words of caution?





Yard Sale Philosophy

21 05 2008

I’ve been on a real purging kick for the last six months… it’s amazing that I still have enough for a yard sale considering how much I’ve sold on EBay and given away.  We moved from a monstrous Victorian to a reasonable (cleanable in 1 afternoon) Tudor and there are still a lot of boxes unopened in basement and attic.  I’m tempted to just price the boxes and sell them as a mystery item… that would sure be easier and I wouldn’t be tempted to keep any of these things that I haven’t used in three years!

But no. I’m going through each box and pricing the different items… probably will get more for it that way but, my “keep” pile is growing… Maybe that stuff will go in next year’s yard sale…

I’m amazed at how much I’ve held on to– scraps of fabric, maps I picked up in my travels, a box full of pencils, pens and rubber bands, movies we haven’t watched in years– and computer cables in triplicate for each computer we own. It’s bizarre… I didn’t grow up in the depression like my grandparents and I’m just now getting into reducing my footprint on the earth so why haven’t I gotten rid of this stuff before now?

Growing up making international moves I have one box of my treasures from childhood but, I have a box for each year of my son’s life… maybe I’m over compensating.  Will my autistic son care that I’ve saved these things for him? Do I need these things to remember in addition to the many boxes and discs of photos? Apart from photos, my parents have one shoebox for each of their children– that seems more reasonable than what I’m doing. Oh well…

I have become a conscientious consumer. What we need we buy. What we want we consider whether we’ll still want it next week… month… year. We consider where it will go and, frankly if we’d be able to get rid of it when we are done. Is it cheaper to buy or rent a movie? Will it be on cable in a few months? Will it re-sell on EBay for a good percentage of what we paid for it when we’ve seen it a couple of times?

Yard Sales don’t usually make a person philosophical but, when reducing consuption is a concern/priority even a yard sale makes you think…





My Modern Victory Garden

20 05 2008

Victory Gardens were promoted by the US government during WWII as a way for families to deal with the rising cost of food– and, food shortages. It was patriotic to have a garden producing food for the family. Communities sometimes used vacant lots and those with property planted gardens.

I’ve planted my first Victory Garden.  Unlike the Victory Gardens from the WWII era, my garden is designed to be beautiful as well as functional. Companion plants are also taken into consideration although they didn’t mandate the layout. (I’ll get more into companion plants in another post but they are plants that use different nutritional parts of soil and therefore grow well together– that’s really simplistic but you get the drift.)

The most important goals of this garden are to provide food for my family and my parents (who live in a condo) therefore saving money and reducing our footprint on the earth.  It’s organic. I’m learning about composting. While I doubt that this year I’ll be able to, my goal is to be able to set up a booth at the local farmer’s market– so, I’m growing a lot of unique vegetables– like five varieties of carrots from Seed Savers International and Heritage tomatoes.  Things that most people won’t have in their gardens and I hope will be attractive to gourmet cooks.

This is a learning process and I’m documenting my failures and successes.  Much of the ground I have taken for this was grass– a nice ground cover but, how much of it do you really need? A little room for the kid and the dogs, right? (I digress.)  Anyway, I’ve already missed the boat with the carrots… you’re supposed to put them in as soon as the ground is thawed but, I just got them in yesterday so it’ll be mid August before we get our first taste. Learning curve, right?

I’ve done three beds with weed-matted and mulched walks between them which are modeled after German kitchen gardens although this is much larger than the typical kitchen garden. There will be a row of berry bushes dividing it from the rest of the back yard and a fence separates it from the front yard. I’m experimenting with herbs between vegetables– like rosemary next to carrots and basil next to lettuce and spinach. My hope is that it will affect the flavor. We’ll see since there isn’t any pollination I don’t know if it will matter.

My next project is to get water barrels set up to water this garden and greater decrease our family’s footprint and decrease the cost of growing this garden.

There is something good about a garden. Watching things grow from a tiny seed, getting down on my knees to pull weeds and watering in the evening. It somehow cleanses the grit of real life.

Viva La Gardening Revolution!!





Rain Barrels

15 03 2008

I have just figured out how easy it is to make a rain barrel.  First I did my on-line search and found that they range (with shipping) between $100 and $450… what’s the incentive?! Ok… I’m all for earth conservation– recycle, reduce, reuse and all that but come on! Gotta be able to save some money on the water bill within a year or two, right?

So– what you need is a plastic barrel (wood works too but unless you luck into a great yard sale that’s more expense than it’s worth), a rain chain (can be made out of copper wire for only a couple of bucks) or gutter extender, a piece of hose for over flow, faucet and a screen to keep leaves out.  Also, recommended are mosquito rings– go organic so it’s ok to use in the garden and around pets. Total cost with no shipping–$50-60. Now, that is reasonable. Run an on line search and you’ll find the “how to” guide pretty easily.

I’m going to make three rain barrels in the next few weeks. I’m guessing I’ll be able to make my investment back inside of two seasons. It’s a responsible use of a free resource and can be used to shame my neighbors into a little Eco friendliness!