Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nativity Fun

Who invited THAT guy? We've never seen anything like him....

This should be enough to celebrate the birth of a king!

(he he.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Can You Believe It?

New York City (population 8.2 million within an area of 321 square miles) does NOT have a mandatory recycling program.

I admit that I am kinda obsessed with recycling (I alert the media when I find a soda can in the garbage) but a city the size of New York with a "suggested" recycling program is a CRIME!!! Isn't this the city that had problems with WHERE to put their garbage? I remember when a barge was stuck out in the Hudson River because they had no place for disposal. Hmmm.... and THAT was in the 90s.

Ok, so NYC HAS a full recycling program, apparently nobody cares to actually recycle. I cringed when I had to put my water bottle in with the "real" garbage- the garbage that already contained newspapers, many Starbucks cups and other plastic containers and bottles. I nearly brought all of my recyclables home to Portland so as not to contribute to the insanity. (In fact, after I wrote this, I went home and unpacked and I HAD brought my empty travel-size shampoo bottle home with me.)

Am I missing something here? Is it DIFFICULT to use two separate containers for waste? Does it not help our environment? If all those items WEREN'T in the landfill, how is that NOT worth it? Is it not economically feasible for some reason? My very conservative "hometown" in South Dakota has a mandatory program in place and the population there is only 62,167. What does that say about you, New York?

This is just plain unacceptable. Attention New Yorkers: your taxes will go up LESS if you do your part to recycle.... think of it as one extra pair of fancy shoes per year.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Losing control?

I think I liked it better when South Dakota was NOT in the news on a regular basis...

The significance of this unfortunate event (see article) is that S.D. law states that the governor of the state shall appoint a replacement in the event that a senator dies or resigns. Well, the senator of South Dakota is republican, so he will most definitely replace Senator Johnson with a republican. That means that the majority (which was narrowly won by the democrats in November) will not be democratic.

Sen. Johnson Suffers Possible Stroke
Dec 13, 6:12 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota suffered a possible stroke Wednesday and was taken to a Washington hospital, weeks before his party was to take control of the Senate by a one-vote margin. Democrats won a 51-49 majority in the November election. South Dakota's governor, who would appoint any temporary replacement, is a Republican.
Johnson, who will 60 on Dec. 28, became disoriented during a conference call with reporters at midday Wednesday, stuttering in response to a question. He appeared to recover and asked if there were any additional questions, then ended the call. Spokeswoman Julianne Fisher said he walked back to his Capitol office after the call but appeared to not be feeling well. The Capitol physician came to his office and examined him, and it was decided he should go to the hospital.

He was taken by ambulance to George Washington University Hospital around noon, Fisher said. "It was caught very early," she said. Johnson's office released a statement saying he had suffered a possible stroke. "At this stage, he is undergoing a comprehensive evaluation by the stroke team," the statement read. The White House issued a statement wishing him a speedy recovery.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Johnson and his family," said spokesman Alex Conant. If the two-term senator must be replaced, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds would make the appointment. If the Senate is split 50-50, the vice president breaks ties. That is Republican Dick Cheney at present. Johnson is up for re-election in 2008.
South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson said there are no special restrictions on such an appointment by the governor and a replacement would not have to be from the same political party. Johnson, a centrist Democrat, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and has been one of the more reserved members of the chamber, rarely taking center stage at news conferences. He served in the House for 10 years from 1987 to 1997. His focus has been on committee assignments important to his state's interests - Indian Affairs and Energy and Natural Resources - as well as a spot on Appropriations. The latter allows him to direct funds to South Dakota. Johnson narrowly defeated Republican John Thune in his 2002 re-election bid. Thune defeated Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle two years later. Thune issued a statement saying his prayers were with Johnson and his family. Rounds also issued a statement, saying he was hoping for good news. Johnson has worked as a lawyer and county prosecutor and served several years in the 1970s and 1980s in the South Dakota state Legislature.

Both Johnson and his wife have battled cancer. The senator underwent prostate cancer treatment in 2004, and subsequent tests have shown him to be clear of the disease. Barb Johnson is a breast cancer survivor. The couple have two sons and a daughter: Brooks, who served in the U.S. Army in Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq; Brendan, a Sioux Falls lawyer, and Kelsey, who works in Washington. In response to one reporter's question on the Wednesday conference call, Johnson said he was most looking forward to spending the holidays with his family and grandchildren. Johnson is the second senator to become ill after the Nov. 7 election. Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas, a Republican, was diagnosed with leukemia on Election Day. He is back at work.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Plan B

BREAKING NEWS: Plan B, or emergency contraception, is now available nationwide withOUT a prescription for women 18 or older. (It has actually been distributed for more than a month.) Now it will be more effective because women will not have to call their doctor and wait for the prescription to be filled! Cost ranges from about $30-$60.

Only Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota allow pharmacists to opt out of providing emergency contraceptives.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Today's Virgo Horoscope

Ok, so I'm not one who really believes in these DAILY horoscopes (although the sun sign profiles are always right on) but sometimes the excite.com dailies are eerily accurate....

If you've been looking high and low for a true sense of purpose, stop the search. You are not going to receive some sort of mystical sign from beyond as to what you should be doing with your life. Instead, pull your focus in and examine the things you enjoy -- because enjoying life is as good a purpose as any. Spend your time exploring whatever gives you the biggest sense of accomplishment. This is where you will find what you've been seeking.