So ready for this week to be over.


Last Saturday – I lay on couch all day trying to fight back vomit. Have headache also.

Tuesday – Up till 2AM with Ben who has headache so bad he’s actually laying in bed moaning. Never seen him in so much pain before. Not even when the local pain medicine we didn’t know he’d been given wore off the day after meniscus surgery… and that pain was pretty bad.

Wednesday – After school Cassidy complains of a headache. Notice the rosy cheeks at about 8:00PM, fever already at 102.4 degrees. Give Tylenol, water, bed.

Thursday – Stay home. Cassidy’s fever bounces between 100 and 102.6 degrees. Clean, laundry, cater to Princess. My head starts hurting. Suck it up, kid sick. No time for me to be sick too.

Today – Up at 4:30AM. Cassidy’s fever is 101.3 degrees. *sigh* Have to call in sick again. Boss is probably pissed, I’ve lost 16 hours of PTO. Suck. Sit at computer to check email, flickr, etc. notice it hurts head to look at screen. Take temperature, 99.9. Great. Supposed to leave in 6.5 hours to spend weekend at track with Ben.

Right now – Going back to bed. Getting up @ 8:00AM to take us to Urgent Care. Crossing fingers. Sorry there’s no blog/flickr updates. Check back next week with The World isn’t crumbling around me.

Lens Envy

Last week I bought a Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens for the XTi. It’s. Amazing. Simply amazing. I’ve only just begun to explore around and play with it and so far it’s just blown me away. I should have gotten this MONTHS ago but I guess now was a perfect time because the weather is clearing up and I’ve realized natural sun light + this lens = MAGIC!!

Here are a few of my favorites so far but there will be many, many, many more to come. Oh, and I started 365 again and I promise not to be a complete failure this time. *grin*

011/365 - I have a shoe problem.  I can admit it.

012/365 - Hazel.

"I want my balls back."

My uterus, my right.

I really wasn’t going to go ‘there’. The abortion debate is everywhere and when reading blogs and message boards I’ve managed to stay out of it but GOOD LORD are people misinformed about this latest ruling by the Supreme Court regarding “Partial Birth” and “Late-Term Abortion”. It’s okay to HAVE an opinion. I have good friends that powerfully disagree with me on this topic but at least they KNOW and UNDERSTAND what they are talking about so I’m able to respect their opinions knowing they come from a full understanding of the facts.

So before I go further, I want to warn you that I’m going to explain different abortion techniques in detail below. I think that it’s important and you HAVE to understand the differences to understand the ruling that was made because the ruling was about abortion TYPE, not abortion in regards to DATE.

The form of abortion that was banned was Intact Dilation and Evacuation (or eXtraction so I’ll refer to as IDX from here) and accounts for .17% of abortions performed in the United States (source). In this procedure, the woman’s cervix is dilated and the fetus is extracted whole from the uterus. The fetus is pulled out feet first (breech position) up to the neck and there is a small incision made in the base of the skull and the brain matter is suctioned out of the head to make the head smaller and passage through the cervix easier.

This is a form of ‘Partial Birth Abortion’ which is defined by the federal government as any abortion in which the fetus is extracted “past the navel [of the fetus] . . . outside the body of the mother,” or “in the case of head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother,” before the fetus is terminated.

Late-term abortions (abortions at 21 weeks or later) account for 1.4% of all abortions in the USA. Of that 1.4% of late-term abortions IDX is used in 15%. So about 2,500 to 3000 of these abortions are performed annually by about 30 doctors… out of 1.3 MILLION abortions (according to the most recent Guttmacher Institute research) (source).

There are other forms of late-term abortion still legal. DE’s (Dilation and Evacuation) are one. The difference between IDX and DE is that in DE’s, the fetus is dismembered prior to being extracted a piece at a time rather than whole. This is more trying for the woman because 1) the cervix has to be farther expanded, and 2) It’s more time consuming. There are many doctors out there who say this is more dangerous especially in emergent situations, such as a woman suffering from an acute Placental Abruption where because IDX is faster it’s a better option if saving the woman’s life is the priority.

What the Supreme Court said in this decision is that there is NEVER a case when IDX is the beneficial procedure but after listening to many debates on the radio and doing QUITE a bit of reading, this is simply not true. A case in point would be Hydrocephalus, when the fetus has head growth to as much as over 200% the normal size. Now that IDX is illegal there are less options:

1) Deliver normally. Mother and fetus die.
2) DE. Fetus still dies.
3) C-Section with bigger than normal incision. Mother lives, baby dies shortly after childbirth.

A midwifery web site quotes Dr. William F. Harrison, a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He wrote that “approximately 1 in 2000 fetuses develop hydrocephalus while in the womb.” About 5000 fetuses develop hydrocephalus each year in the U.S. This is not usually discovered until late in the second trimester. Some cases are not severe. After birth, shunts can be installed to relieve the excess fluid on the newborn’s brain. A pre-natal method of removing the excess fluid is being experimentally evaluated. However, some cases are much more serious. “It is not unusual for the fetal head to be as large as 50 centimeters (nearly 20 inches) in diameter and may contain…close to two gallons of cerebrospinal fluid.” In comparison, the average adult skull is about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. A fetus with severe hydrocephalus is alive, but as a newborn cannot live for long; it cannot achieve consciousness. The physician may elect to perform a D&X by draining off the fluid from the brain area, collapsing the fetal skull and withdrawing the dead fetus. Or, he might elect to perform a type of caesarian section. The former kills a fetus before birth; the latter allows the newborn to die after birth, on its own. A caesarian section is a major operation. It does expose the woman to a greatly increased chance of infection. It “poses its own dangers to a woman and any future pregnancies.” Allowing a woman to continue in labor with a severely hydrocephalic fetus is not an option; an attempted vaginal delivery would kill her and the fetus. source)

So it wasn’t “late-term abortion” that was outlawed. It wasn’t “partial-birth abortion” that was outlawed. It was VERY SPECIFICALLY Intact Dilation and Evacuation regardless of the woman’s health that was outlawed. “Regardless of the woman’s health” is the most important wording because this form of abortion had ALREADY been outlawed, EXCEPT in the case where a doctor found it medically necessary. Now, the doctor doesn’t have the option of choosing IDX as an option at all.

Now, the million dollar question, What do I think? I think that the ACT of an abortion is disgusting. Even typing out the procedures above made me a little queezy. I myself, knowing what I know now (being a mommy) would probably not opt for one. I say probably because there ARE situations out there when I’d never rule it out: Rape, major risk of my own life, severe birth defects, etc.

However, I firmly believe that each woman should be allowed the freedom to make that decision for herself. I find it pretty insulting that five MEN on the Supreme Court don’t seem to think that I’m capable of making that decision myself without a counselor stepping in to describe to me in detail what will happen. I also find it troubling that the government has the power to decide what medical procedure is better for me, overruling what my doctor might think. They don’t have the best track record after all. It was just under two years ago that Senator Frist had to unstick his foot from his mouth after swearing on the floor of the Senate that Terri Schiavo was “not somebody in persistent vegetative state”.

Women who believe they they should be in control of their medical future should be scared. Doctors who believe they should be an important factor in the treatment of patient’s life threatening conditions should be scared. I am scared.

Remember Imus?

(EDIT – I wrote this yesterday, 04/17/07)

Go take a look at MSNBC and tell me what is missing… Go ahead. I’ll wait.

What happened yesterday was tragic. I sat at home and after work and quietly watched Cassidy do homework at the kitchen table and tried to imagine what parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, grandparents must be going through. Waiting by a phone for a call to come in. I just couldn’t. It made my throat close and my eyes well up.

I really don’t know what else to say about it. It’s just.. tragic. So until I have more, until we know more, I’ll get to my point.

So what’s missing on the front page of MSNBC? Anything at all about Imus. Well, there is ONE thing down at the very bottom of the page that is just a link to Dateline who’s doing a segment of a show on it**.

I had a pretty long post about the Imus situation. You just couldn’t seem to get away from it for a week there (until the media had something else to focus on) and like everybody else, I had an opinion. The main point of the post however, was how tired I am of people pointing fingers wildly in the face of racial drama.

I have to be perfectly honest though, I WAS one of those people. The first time I brought it up to Ben I fell into the trap. “Well, what Imus did was fucking stupid but SNOOP DOG! And Al Sharpton! And who else can I point my finger at?!?” And it wasn’t until I watched the webcast of Meet The Press on Monday that I had an epiphany. HOLY SHIT I’VE TURNED INTO A MEDIA FED DRONE!

It was a great segment and you can watch if you want. This exchange is the one that I think most stood out in the entire round table:

MR. ROBINSON: But back up, back up a step. I mean, we should have the discussion about, about rap music, about gangster rap and, and, and that language, and, and I—and that’s a discussion, for example, those are issues that Al Sharpton has raised, that Jesse Jackson has raised. And, and, by the way, I got a lot of mail on—when I wrote about the Imus situation as well, and, and one strain of it was, was, “Well, who appointed Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to, you know, to be spokespeople?” And my answer was this business did. You know, we’re, we’re the ones who call them up every time anything happens and kept going back and kept going back. And what does he think today and what does he think tomorrow? So…

MR. RUSSERT: And it was fair to ask Jackson about Hymietown, and it was fair to ask Sharpton about Tawana Brawley.

MR. ROBINSON: Of course, it—of course it’s fair, but, but the idea that, that, in this case, they were self-appointed is not really quite right because that was certainly abetted by, by a news media establishment that, that went to them, you know, 50 times a day.

And it’s TRUE! The media knew the best way to get the most play from the story was to make it as sensational as possible, so they went to the racial injustice ‘Go To Guy’. And it worked! Before we knew it, both sides of the story were wildly throwing around their index fingers going, “But, but, but HE does it!! And you don’t punish HIM!” It was basically a national version of a kindergarten playground. One idiot move does not cancel out the other and tryng to point out that another moron does the same thing only make you look like THAT MORON! You MORON!

The fact that Gangsta Rap is a deplorable display of racial slurs and sexist dribble IS a problem that should be discussed. But NOT as a way of trying to defend another instance of racial slurs and sexism. Or as a way to try and point fingers away from a mistake that should have been able to stand on it’s own for what it was.

MSNBC today displayed why doing this fails. Nobody cares about either issue now because another story came along. Now the media won’t focus on Spoop Dog OR Al Sharpton till another reporter want’s to sensationalize a story on racism.

The only reason Imus became such a big deal was the press made it one. The only reason that people like Rev Shaprton were involved is because the press asked him to voice his opinion. And we all bought it. Hook, line and sinker.

**Dateline canned the Imus show and covered the VT shooting instead.


My heart is breaking for the parents that are waiting by the phone to hear news about their children attending VA. Tech. You are all in my thoughts…

WIRtW: (0004) Amendment F13.

When I Rule the World, Friday the 13th will be considered a National Holiday. Thus the National Holiday policy will be in effect.


Why didn’t somebody tell me it was Friday the 13th? I laid in bed this morning and seriously considered calling in sick and I didn’t really have a reason other than I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed. But my conscious (and my stupid anal PTO militant side) forced my feet to hit the floor exactly 15 minutes before the time I normally leave the house.

I’ve gone into this before but I REALLY don’t like Friday the 13th’s. I didn’t know it was the 13th when I laid there in bed but HAD I, it would have been enough reason to pull the blankets up over my head to hide from the world for the rest of the day.

I am not a hiker.

Ben at 10,023 feet.

Did I ever tell you all about that time in Maui when Ben tried to kill me? I’m not sure if after proposing the first day he had a sudden thought of ‘What the hell did I do? Maybe I made a mistake. How can I get myself out of this? I know! I’ll kiiiiilll her. MWHAHAAHAHAH’.

Or maybe he just wanted to hike.

Ben likes to hike. He’s even been known to do crazy shit like climb Half-Dome in Yosemite. When he’d first talk about hiking I was like, PFFT! I can WALK, dude. Anybody can WALK! Just because you’re walking 8.5 miles straight up the side of a mountain to 8,836 feet then 8.5 miles back down in ONE DAY doesn’t mean you are some BAD ASS. Okay, so I didn’t really think that but I had absolutely no appreciation for just how taxing walking uphill can be. Or how beautiful 10,000 feet really is. Or just how QUIET 10,000 feet can be. I found out when we hiked Haleakala.


We brought a few bottles of water and some fruit and after exploring around the visitor’s center a bit, started down the trail towards Ka Lu’u o ka O’o Vent. We didn’t really have a destination in mind. Ben figured we’d walk as far in as possible while leaving enough time to walk back up before it got dark and cold and we died of hypothermia and were never found again because we were eaten by nocturnal volcano creatures. What? Don’t look at me like that! Thin air will lead to crazy thoughts!

I remember a few times saying that maybe we had gone far enough and should start back but Ben was really encouraging and I was feeling really good (THIN AIR!) and was kind of proud of the fact that the altitude was not effecting me AT ALL. I was practially running down that trail and felt fantastic.

Ka Lu'u o ka O'o Vent

When we reached the Ka Lu’u o ka O’o Vent we took some time to rest and really take in the enormity of it. There’s just no way the pictures can do it any justice at all. The way the ground changed from one color to another with no real pattern is crazy. At one point Ben said, “Do you hear that?” And I listened to NOTHING. Truly what nothing sounds like… except a slight ringing in my ears. I bet I have that ALL the time but when we were there it was like a sound vacuum and it was so quiet that I could almost hear the liquid sloshing around in my eardrum.

So. Then we started to head back up.

“Walk slow”, Ben said. I was like, “Dude! I OWNED the volcano. I am the OWNER OF THIS VOLCANO.. I will kick…” *breath* “this volca…” *deeper breath* “volcano’s…” *lung explodes* “Can we take a break?”

Haleakala Silversword

The walk back up was painful. It bordered on excruciating. The air was like… fast! It would fill up my lungs in less than half the time a normal breath takes but no matter how fast and hard I sucked it in, it just wasn’t enough. My legs started to cramp and my lungs were on FIRE and about 3/4 of the way up I really felt like I was going to DIE RIGHT THERE. I welcomed the volcano creatures. I started to lather myself with butter so they could get a nice brown to my skin on the spit fire. I was D.O.N.E.

But Ben was SO encouraging. He never once lost his cool. He never once got visibly frustrated with me. He’d stop when I needed to and talk me through the pain and misery till we were at the top. And when we got there I stopped and looked down to where we had been and I was SO PROUD that I was standing where I was. At the top.

5 miles round trip. 1697 foot elevation difference. It kicked my ass. And I’d do it again tomorrow if I had the chance.

Unable to Joostâ„¢.

Joost made me sad.

So I got home and fell asleep. Only after Ben kicked me off the big couch so he could lay down. Totally over that though. Let it go when he bought me a steak dinner I’ve been craving since Saturday.

So when we got home from dinner I downloaded and installed Joost and BAM! I get an ‘Unable to connect error’. Quite a few people have suddenly started getting the same error today. They do mention on the Joost blog that they are expanding beta testing by “many thousands of viewers” and have been experiencing some back end server issues but after five pages of people reporting the same “Unable to connect error” there hasn’t been a single response by anybody at Joost. That is kind of disappointing. We all love that you are willing to open the beta up to new people, but in order to MAKE the beta work and for us to be encouraged and open to helping you better develop YOUR SOFTWARE, some kind of acknowledgement would be nice. Anything. A simple, “Sorry guys! We’re working on it!”

What I don’t want? Another rendition of the WordPress support forum. But I mean, I don’t want to go all Sam Fisher on anybody over at Joost yet so they haven’t reached that level of suckage, but still… Give us SOMETHING.

Anyway, I do have to give props to whoever created the error which popped up at exactly 800X600 resolution. Well played, Joost. Just when I’m starting to hate you up pops something like THAT to ruin my bad impression. From what I can tell so far, the actual interface and attention to detail and design has been fantastic. Very web2.0 and very eye candy. For now I’ll just have to sit and wait and look at more screen shots to see what I’m missing.


WEEEEEEEEE!!! I just FINALLY(!!) got a Joost invite and now I’m too excited to get any work done because I want to try it out. I will as soon as I get home and let you all know how much it rocks. Out of curisoty I checked the Joost Invite DIGG out to see how many people were still waiting for invites and now I feel really special. 3127 comments and counting… And to think I got mine from a flickerite.

Lesson: Seek alternatives to the mainstrean. And Flickr ROCKS!

This reminds me of an email we got at work yesterday. Very long and very wordy and as usual the most important point was wrapped up in once sentence somewhere in the middle:

Downloading your favorite song or new video file onto your Major Medical University workstation becomes a legal liability for the hospital.

I’m sure this email was sent out as a direct response to somebody doing something stupid. It’s also probably why the IT guys were here for an entire 48 hours trying to wipe out a worm that somebody let in about a week ago that stopped one of our most important systems from functioning.

I don’t understand why they don’t just walk around slapping The Stupid One’s with a large Trout. I’d think it would get the point across much more effectively.


Cassidy left to spend the week with her father this morning. They got into town at 7:30AM so I had to be up early to get her ready to send off.

‘And now I’m so tired, can’t even think straight. The title should explain. heh 😉

Happy Easter, everybody!

Wish I had more to say, maybe tomorrow when my eyes can focus and my mind isn’t COMPLETELY BLANK.