Clearly, I'm in the wrong business
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 03:16 p.m.
Hey there. Did you know that to replace just a single graywater field line - we're talking one sized only for a clothes washer here - typically runs around two thousand four hundred dollars in Huntsville, Alabama.
Yeah. WE DIDN'T EITHER.
Here's the deal - our graywater line has crapped out. Water is still flowing, but at a reduced rate. We can wash one, two, sometimes even three MEDIUM loads before water starts pouring out of the drain standpipe all over the laundry room floor. Really, three medium loads is pushing things, especially if we washed a load or two the day before. Even one large load is out of the question – it results in doom every single time. Since this is clearly not an optimal situation, we called Mr. Rooter out last night. And that was the ballpark figure the tech dropped on us: $2,400. I think I pretty much ceased breathing on that one, folks. Granted, that's not an actual estimate. Perhaps the real damage could be lower, but still, that's WAY out from what we were expecting.
What makes this even more irritating is that the line quit working for no discernible reason. Shit, if there was ever a time I think water might actually percolate in our yard, now would be it, what with three years of drought and all. It's dry as a bone and suddenly we can't get water to seep out of our field line? What. The. Hell.
Honest...scary as hell, but finally honest
Friday, January 18, 2008 - 01:33 p.m.
I'm still frantically busy, but this was just too crazy to go without comment.
The Republican candidates spend an awful lot of time trying to out-Jesus each other. But after all the discussions of faith and values and whether or not they read the Bible literally, the candidates still claim (occasionally) that they respect our right to practice our own religion and they still profess support for the Constitution (especially when it comes to their personal "right" to shoot their fellow man).
But then, Mike Huckabee stood up on January 14th and said this:
I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
It's an open declaration that, if elected, Huckabee would attempt to impose the requirements of a single, specific religion on the people of the United States, and that he desires that Congress make laws respecting an establishment of religion, starting with an amendment to nullify the First Amendment. And even though I already knew he had no intention of upholding the First Amendment if he were to be elected, I can't say I was expecting him to just stand up and say it.
I choose to believe it is indicative of the overall sanity of the American people that Huckabee is the first Republican candidate to promote a theocracy so bluntly. I want to think that the reason none of the other candidates mention their similar goals is because they know the citizens of this country won't vote for a candidate who deliberately spits on the values professed in the First Amendment, declares that he wants to force us all to live according to his narrow definition of religion, and essentially states his intent to strip certain categories of people of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But the fact remains that, whether or not they say it plainly, those ARE their goals. Every single one of them has at least one area where they would attempt to impose their religious views through law. The only difference between Huckabee and the other Republican candidates is he's at least stating it openly.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 05:26 p.m.
As of right now, I am this close to completing the massive, difficult, brain-eating project that has consumed the last two (or is it three?) months. I was thrown into this thing with absolutely no knowledge of the theory, policies, terminology, or software, and it was pretty much horrifically stressful there for a while. But now I think I've finally got it figured out (hopefully...maybe?). Today a small portion of the stress was lifted as I completed the rough draft of the report, and...is that the sound of angels singing? I THINK SO.
Hope is the bedrock of this nation. The belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
That is what we started here in Iowa and that is the message we can now carry to New Hampshire and beyond. The same message we had when we were up and when we were down; the one that can save this country, brick by brick, block by block, callused hand by callused hand, that together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Because we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America. And in this moment, in this election, we are ready to believe again.
Happy Freakin' New Year
Monday, January 7, 2008 - 11:14 a.m.
I have to tell you, this has quite possibly been the most craptastic start to a year I've ever experienced.
1) First there was the post-Christmas cough that slowly morphed from a mild wheeze into a harbor seal / Canadian goose mating call.
2) Then there were the now-regularly-scheduled half days of praying for the sweet release of death while my uterus spent some time attempting to claw its way out of my abdominal cavity.
3) Somewhere in there was the New Year's Eve Overindulgence of Doom (although the party itself was excellent).
4) Then the seal cough finally morphed into the Egyptian Death Plague. For the next three days I was certain I was going to either cough up a lung, spontaneously ignite both my clothing and nearby flammable furniture/pets/vegetation, freeze to death, vomit, or fall asleep in my lunch plate.
5) Worst of all, Todd's grandmother passed away on the 2nd. We spent Thursday evening and most of the day Friday in Birmingham with his family. I attended my first-ever open-casket visitation and funeral. (Side note: I am so incredibly thankful my grandmother was cremated, because an open casket service for her would have been seriously traumatic for me.)
6) I'm still not feeling great myself, but now Todd has the Egyptian Death Plague and he has it about ten thousand times worse than I did. He's got a fever of around 102, along with crazy chills and sweats, and really, it's pretty damn awful.
Yeah, not a whole lot of cheer going on in there.
So, here's the thing: 2008 should totally get a mulligan. I'm seriously considering having a re-New Year's party to see if we can't start this year off right. Who's with me?