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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Libertarian Option

A good friend of mine fell in with some Libertarian’s and has never been the same since.

I was excited about the idea of a new and replacement reigning American political party for about a minute.

It is still and will probably always be a possibility. I have no idea what is taking so long or what it is finally going to take.

I am still excited for my friend even if I do not feel inspired to follow his lead.

When I was done looking at the platform for the party I realized there were things I liked and things I was missing.

Platform Issues:

Fiscal responsibility
Civil Liberties
Rights and freedoms for the individual
Restrict international military activity
Social Security Opt Out
Smaller Government

For as much as there are certain political issues that hit everyone right where they live there are just as many issues that are further removed. I live largely in that place. 

This means it does not matter to my daily living who is president or which political party has control of the house and senate. 

Everyday I wake up and have a choice to check in or be checked out of my local society.

I can work, go to school or stay home. I can volunteer or keep to myself. I determined that these choices I was making close to home would have more impact than if I threw myself behind a new party.

Campaigning for them did not seem like something that would change my life for the better so I declined to affiliate with them.

It was a tad disappointing. Human beings like joining things as I mentioned in previous posts. 

It would have been exciting to find something that was really an ideal fit and maybe feel like I could impact the world. 

My friend and I are on different paths. Last I heard he was deeply involved with the local movement, volunteering and helping get the word out on public access television.

I commend him while at the same time maintaining that the average American I know can do more in their neighborhoods aside from whatever political party they choose to throw their weight behind.

It was around this time if not before I became aware not just that some people are die hard R or D for life by tradition but also that there are one issue voters and the like.

I can almost understand that since I do believe there are a few issues worth staking a claim even unto death over.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maybe You Lean Right

Day two in the series.

Onward to the issues. Wait no, we are still defining party platforms. I realized after I posted yesterday that I left off two of the hot buttons for this election year:

Immigration and Health Care.

Maybe they need their own post or posts of their own. 

My daughter was just asking me "What is the big deal about the health care bill issue?"

She has been hearing the term Obamacare but had not been really plugged in to what it is all about.
We had already discussed immigration issues. 

She knows someone who had green card issues. My mother herself immigrated to this country. A fact that did not really register as a big deal to me when I was a child.

Sometimes politics hits us where we live.
Never the less a clear understanding of who is on what sides and what is most important is needed.

I remember when I first started voting. I sat with my voter information on parties and read through them. I read about all of the parties, candidates and issues on my ballot. 

Speaking of things I remember. I was born under Carter but the first president I remember was Reagan. Being a Californian at the time all I really knew about him was that he was from here too and had been a movie star. 

My daughter has been such a delight. Once I had her doing some school work. We had some sort of kids little factoid book. It had a section on American politics, history and presidents. Each president had a few line bio.

I told her to look it over and do a mini write up on one that stuck out to her. Later when I looked at her work she was writing about Nixon. 

She was too young to know about the scandal. 

Innocently I asked her what had drawn her to this particular guy. 

I thought she might settle on one of the presidents that she had seen on t.v. in her life time, just because they would seem more familiar.

She said "Mom, Nixon was from California, like us."

I could've fallen over both with laughter and surprise. I am not sure I knew that. 

When I think about the history of this country I always focus on the people. 

The circumstances and situations, how working together hand in hand and side by side produced successes.
Conservatives are said to be right of center. Contrasted by liberals being associated with the left.

The Republican Platform:

Smaller Government
Pro Military
Traditional Man Woman Marriage
Legal Immigration
Pro Life
Justice for individuals

I took an online quiz a while back and came up slightly Centrist.

It sounds funny but it makes sense because I am a realist. 

There are conservative stances to hold on to and liberal ideas to embrace. It must be a delicate balance.
Some former Republican Presidents:

   "Teddy" Roosevelt         Lincoln                McKinley

Monday, August 27, 2012

Do You Lean Left?

Let us just start this week of blogging off with a bang. Shall we?

This post was in mind as a series on the topic chosen in some what random order.

Then a tweet came across my Twitter feed. It was a variation on the idea that being aligned with a political party means total lock step agreement with the party platform.

Further it stated that those in the wrong were going to hell.

OUCH! That is such an unbiblical, uneducated assumption it hurts my head.

I have learned a lot by living. Why is it I  feel so often as if people missed the memos I got?

It does not take long being in groups to understand that there is very little such thing as a group in total lock step about whole manifests of information.

People join groups that make them feel secure or powerful. They join things to get support and show their general opinion without having to restate and re explain it to everyone they meet.

I decided not to try and defend the sides and issues I am for as I see them. That is going on in the blogosphere but it just did not feel right. 

Instead I will lay out the platforms as publicly displayed for citizen consumption. It is a good tool for discussing anew all of these issues with my daughter.

She is a passionate soul. She is a right fighter as well. I can dig both of those things. She is already caught in this web. I think it was the election that came down to the hanging chads which had her all fired up this time that year. 

When my voter information came in the mail I told her about the issues on the ballot. Between that and t.v. ads she had decided what her votes would be.

She would point her little finger in the faces of our adult friends and ask them if they were planning to vote. 

When they expressed concern and confusion over the issues she would break down things as she saw them.

Quite the hoot and riot. It was one of the many clues that, "like mother like daughter", mine was growing up quickly with an amazing on point mind. 

It is not like we are highly political family. There are just things we are passionate about. Some issues are clear, front and center.
There are many political parties but the largest are the ones in power.

As such we will start with the oldest: Democrats.

Also associated with words and terms like the left and liberalism. 

Political words and terms get thrown around with such vitriol at times, it takes careful thought to remember they stand for simple ideas that in and of themselves may or may not be all bad.

The party symbol is the donkey. The party color is blue. 

Big Government

More in Taxes

Less on Military Spending

Abortion and alternate marriage support

Community and social over individuals

Well known and in some cases loved democratic presidents: 

FDR Roosevelt        Kennedy        Clinton

Saturday, August 25, 2012

(Late) CCC Recipe

While busy with the Ultimate Blog Challenge last month I heard about an upcoming contest.

A Chocolate Chip Cookie (CCC)Recipe Contest

I have not heard who won but the due date to enter was August 15th.

I missed it. I wanted to create a new, unique and ubertasty new recipe. I thought adding coffee would be my ticket.

Last I heard someone had incorporated bacon so I knew the competition was formidable.

Life just stayed taxing and then there was that heat wave. Even with the air on the last thing I wanted to do was fire up the oven.

Creating a new masterpiece recipe I figured would take at least three batches. One for control. One with the new additives and a follow up either to tweak or confirm that I had created a winner.

Maybe this needs to be a winter plan of mine.
I cannot recall the last time I made cookies. It has been a while. It has been even longer since the last time I made CCC cookies. I want Mrs Fields moist and chewy cookies.
I dislike them cakey. I do not eat raw cookie dough. 

I will give it a taste if I can get one chip, a bit of nut and a swipe of batter all in one lick but there must be balance and I really want the finished product.

My very first batch of CCC came out all but perfect for what I wanted and I have not been able to replicate that since. I have no idea what I did.

Instead of cookies they spread out onto the whole pan. They tasted perfect!

Maybe I added butter and skimped on flour. Did I use a high altitude recipe? Oh I have no idea. 

This is why I feel the need for experimentation. You can imagine this to be daunting.

So much so I missed the challenge. My extra butter bought for the event chilling in my kitchen.

For some reason not too long ago I thought to look back in my personal recipe book. 

One of the late recipes I had stumbled upon popped up. I could have submitted this. It is definitely unique. It produces a solid cookie. Good for tea perhaps.

 Old English Cookies
2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup Shortening

2 Eggs

3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Cup Brewed Coffee

1 Cup of Raisins

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat and bake at 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar, butter and shortening

Add the eggs, mix well

Sift the dry items

Add to the cream

Incorporate the coffee

Add nuts and chips last

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet

Bake for about 15 minute. Enjoy after cooling!

I have given up the use of shortening. I also do not like raisins.

I could substitute apple sauce and wheat flour. Keeping up the consistency and adding a smidgen of extra sweetness. 

I probably followed the recipe to the letter the first time I made these.

Friday, August 24, 2012

1st Stranger Landlord

Ran across an unfolding tale on my G+.
It inspired me to share more of my story:

My mother moved out of state after my father died. I had been living with them. 

Shortly after that an old friend took us in. I allowed this with the understanding that I would get us moved out in 3 months.

November, December and January passed. I had thought I might get a job. Instead we ended up utilizing social services. 

I want to say it was at this time we got a small delivery job dropping off magazines a few times a month.
I started looking for a roommate as the month of January got underway. That is a story in and of itself.

Febuary 1st I awoke with no plan. Nothing I had tried had panned out. I logged on to the internet via my friends computer and answered a new ad.

The lady contacted me right away and we planned a meet.

I got the daughter and I up and ready. We went to see the place and meet the lady. She was a new widow about 50 years old. Her husband had died suddenly just the month before. 

He had been self-employed so that mean his income had stopped. She was working as a waitress. The room in their home that had been his office was off limits to us. 

It was an older house and there was a tiny room next to it with a half bath. We agreed to rent it. 

I moved as many car loads as I could into the house before night fall. I think I had a storage I wanted to empty.

Things seemed to be going along fine. Three weeks later she came home from work all upset and told us she wanted us to leave.

She was not kicking us out in that moment but she hoped we could find a new home before the end of the month.

February is the shortest month on the calendar!

I wanted to panic but I did not have time. What I did was start searching as well as defrosting some ribs I had in the freezer.

Things looked gloomy and then my phone rang. It was an old friend that I had not talked to in months. She is a great gal and was a single mamma when I met her.

At the time she had kids, pets and had found a guy. 

“My landlord is a slumlord." she told me as we set about to chat. 

"My oven won’t turn on my heater won’t turn off."
I laughed and said "Well at least you have a home. We are about to be homeless"

To which she countered "Oh you can come stay with us."

I laughed and repeated what she had just told me about her slumlord living conditions.

Not just that but I told her I needed more than a bed or a couch for the two of us.

Having emptied our storage and wanting to save money there was all of our random stuff to worry about.

We have room in the garage and empty storage units in back of the house she told me.

What more of a sign did I need? 

What other options did I have? 

Was it just coincidence that this friend had called when she did?

Was dinner good? 

Hahahah Yes!

Yes it was. 

Yummy BBQ ribs and Rice a Roni was the last meal I ate in the home of our first stranger landlord.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

1st Apartment (Pt 2)

My 1st guest poster and good friend Brian was one of my first visitors. He would take his allergy pills and come to hang out for a couple of hours some days after work.

I entertained a few other random guest but there were no loafers that never left or wild parties. It is something I try to explain to my daughter. 
My friends and contacts were in school (Heald Business) or from work. None of us were unwed parents. I did not get caught up in neighborhood fights or drama. 
I went to work and I came home. I made friends with people I encountered out and about busy doing things not just anyone I happened to meet at the mail box.

It matters what a person is involved in and where they are coming from mentally and emotionally when they come in to your life. 

I am all for meeting and befriending strangers. There is just a level of discernment that needs to go with that. My daughter is watching young families we have run into where no one works.

It is just teens and young adults wasting time day by day. There are all types of fights and problems. It took me looking back to think of how and why my young years living away from home were so different.
When I moved out I had no car and the bus system  did not have a straight shot route from my home to the job so it worked out better to cross the freeway overpass on foot.

I looked at some other apartments in the area that I would not have wanted to live in. I do not like gated communities. I do not like apartments that feel like match boxes. 

I would rather have a pantry in my kitchen than a microwave. That was not so then but I still loved the idea of space and shelving from the very start.
I am a book lover as well as a baker. I did not do a lot of baking or reading in the first little apartment. I however did not do take out and fast food either. If I did not eat at work I had to cook. 

When my sink got full or I ran out of forks, cups, silverware or whatever I had to wash the dishes. I alone was there to clean the cat box.

It was a restful peaceful life after a life living with neat freak parents. I did things because they needed to be done not because there was some external mandate.

I loved living on my own but it can be a tad quiet and lonely especially when just starting out alone. I think I bought the big 25 inch television. 

I am sure I had the radio I am not sure I played it. I did not have a sterio. If I had a tv there was no VCR. I did not have a microwave.

My apartment did not have a patio. Which was fine since I had no outdoor furniture. I bought a few things like bathroom essentials but I did not decorate.

Partly because there was no budget for that and partly because I am not overly concerned with such things. I like things girly and cute but I am not driven by them.
Once I move my stuff in where I am is home.