Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Mysterious Trixie Belden

As some of you may know, I am a reader. I frequent the local library so much so that most of the librarians know me by name. I nearly always have multiple books checked out. One of the services of the library is the inter-library loan. An inter-library loan is when the local library system doesn't have a book in its possession that you would like to read. They send a request to other libraries to borrow the book.

Back in June, I wanted to check out some books in the "Trixie Belden" series. I had read a few of them when I was a teenager. The local library only owned two of the books in the series of thirty-nine, so I requested the rest of the books in the series. A few at a time, the books came in, some from as far away as New York state. The book series is about a group of teenagers, centered on Trixie Belden, an amateur detective, and her best friend, Honey. They are an easy read, intended for young teens.

The first book, "The Secret Of The Mansion," came out in 1948, long before I was born (the year my mother was born!), so the early books can be a bit hokey, and very innocent. Some of the later books were written in the 1980s. But they are sweet and the characters are kind people who continually do good things for others, including raising money for UNICEF.

At the beginning of January, I received the last two books in the series. You would think that would be a good thing. You would be wrong. While I love the series as a whole, and most of the books in it, the final two books were a big disappointment. All of the books after the first six were written by staff writers under a pseudonym. The author of the final two had obviously never read any of the books in the series, and boy, does it show. He/she included many inaccurate details, including the names of the horses the kids ride. Trixie's brother, Mart, likes to use big words, and in the final two, his fun banter is noticeably absent.

In book #38, one of the key characters (Jim) was off at a summer camp, while the rest of the main characters were all included. Since Jim is Trixie's love interest, it was so disappointing that he was excluded. In #39, the final book, Trixie and Honey are on vacation without any of their brothers or friends, so the finale was disappointing, not getting to "say goodbye" to the friends we've grown to love. I realize they probably didn't know at the time that no more books would be written, but the fact that the author apparently didn't care anything about the books or series and integrity of the series is just disappointing.

If you are, or have, a teenage girl, I recommend borrowing a book from the library and starting to read the series. But I wouldn't blame you if you chose not to read the final two.

List of Trixie Belden Books

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Liberal Atheist

Please visit my Facebook group
The Liberal Atheist

Faith vs. Science

As is often the case, I've been having an argument with religious relatives. Seriously, does it ever end? The crux of the issue is religion and politics.  I am, of course, an Atheist Democrat, where they are religious Republicans. I am not afraid of a fight, but the thing is, ignorance abounds. When asked a direct question, they can't give a real answer, because they don't know the truth of the matter, and have no interest in learning it. One even said to me, "You must not watch Fox News." Of course I don't. Fox News isn't a news company. It's an entertainment company. And they admit they lie to their followers, and they are under no legal obligation to tell the truth. I didn't make that up. Fox actually said that.

I know I should be above it, but it just really irks me when people (relative or not) troll my page and can't put up a reasonable argument, then give each other verbal "high fives" for (apparently) putting me in my place. But they didn't actually win the argument. They think they did because they don't know the difference between fact and fiction. And I sit here, shaking my head, because it's so frustrating arguing with someone who ignores fact and chooses ignorance. I mean, come on, at least TRY to learn something new. JUST TRY. You can't actually be that stupid.

Here is a lesson about fact and fiction:

Faith:  firm belief in something for which there is no proof

Science:  a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

Fact:  a thing that is indisputably the case.

Fiction:  a belief or statement that is false, but that is often held to be true because it is expedient to do so.

Just because you believe in something, does NOT make it true. Facts and science are truths that can be proven. Just because you don't understand science, doesn't mean it is wrong. The facts are the facts that can't be changed. Science challenges what we believe and either proves it to be true or false. Science and Faith have nothing to do with each other. (This was a point one of them made, wrongly.)

Believe it or not, I'm trying to help them learn. I know it's in vain, but I must try.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Facebook Groups or Fascist Groups?

I'm getting really fed up with a lot of things lately. Facebook groups are one of my big pet-peeves at the moment. I was a member of a group where people share ideas and help each other (not going to give them publicity by giving the name). I really enjoyed the interaction with the other members and I was quite active. Then one night, a discussion started, about hot dogs, of all things. Which ones are the best, etc. There was a lot of discussion, more than you'd think, and it got a little heated. One person said Bar-S were the best. I disagreed, stating they are the garbage of hot dogs (they sell for less than $1, so you know they aren't a quality product, for Pete's sake). The woman just kept on about it, so I posted a ranking of hot dogs done by some organization, showing that Bar-S are literally at the bottom. I said you can love the garbage, but it's still garbage. The next morning I went to see what new comments had been posted overnight. The post was gone. I posted a question asking what happened to the post. So I got banned from the group permanently. Nothing was ever said to me, I was simply blocked. I suspect the woman who was complaining must have been a good friend to the moderator, but I'll never know.

I am a member of another group, where free items are offered. I posted some items (to give away free) and soon after, I realized I couldn't post anything. I had gotten blocked for 24 hours.

I am getting really fed up with arbitrary rules and how do you know when you've broken one? Most are up to interpretation. I understand they need rules, but unless someone is abusing them, wouldn't a warning be sufficient, especially for a new member and a first offense? Now I am soured on this group, and as soon as I've given away my items (that I've already posted), I plan to leave.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Evil Fascist Must Be Destroyed

I am by no means a political scholar, and this is more rhetorical than actually asking the questions.

Colluding with a foreign government to fix an election is treasonous.  Our false president committed treason. His second-in-command has colluded as well. Why is he still president, why is he still alive after committing treason? The punishment in the past has been death. Why was the election accepted, when we know Russia paid for the theft of the presidency? If this were a real democracy, wouldn't we overturn the false election? That horrible, cheating, lying, sexual assault-committing, racist, hate-mongering, sick bastard should be out of office along with his cohorts. How can one sick fascist overturn every good thing the country has fought so hard for?

I realize he is afraid of women (people who want to suppress someone are afraid of them), so he wants to take away every woman's right to her own body. He's taking away our birth control and then telling us we can't have an abortion if we want or need one. So women are supposed to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Or is it that women aren't allowed to have sex at all? Well, then why aren't you taking away the men's viagra? Who do you think they're going to have sex with? Other men? You've already said that gay people are an abomination, so that won't work, will it? His worse nightmare is that a woman be his boss or run our government. He is scared shitless that this will happen. You notice he isn't telling men what to do with their own bodies? It's just women. If you are a woman who voted for him, you should be ashamed of yourself.

For any of you who support him, unless you are a millionaire, you have screwed yourself and everyone else.

Are you on Disability? Social Security? Medicaid? Medicare? Do you receive food stamps? Do you get subsidized medical care (ie "Obamacare")? Do you get housing assistance? All of those programs are on his hit list. He's trying to take away our medical coverage. After all,  poor people should just die when they get sick, right? Poor people shouldn't get food stamps, they should just starve, right? Poor people shouldn't get rent subsidies (HUD or Section 8, etc.). If they can't afford to pay rent, they should just be homeless, according the the disaster-in-chief. But wait, homeless people are an abomination and we should just get rid of them. We can't have them dirtying up our streets. If you are retired, or plan to retire at some  point in your life, sorry, he's taking away your social security, so I hope you've saved millions of dollars for your retirement, because he's cutting you off.

He's trying to raise taxes on people who can't afford to pay the taxes as it is now. How will they possibly pay more? They can't. He's trying to give the wealthiest people in the country huge tax breaks. He says it's because doing this will help employers hire more people, but employers don't hire more people, they never do. They just get wealthier. He wants to give people who own private jets a tax break. People who own private jets don't need tax breaks. They have too much money already. They have friggin' private jets! Oh, and Pat Robertson says he needs his private jet because he can't ride on commercial flights because the American public are degenerates and drug-addicts, and he can't ride with them.

Do you like sexual harassment? Good, because he sure does. He's committed sexual harassment himself, and he admitted it, before the election. And you voted for him anyway. So you think grabbing a woman's "pussy" (his word) is your right as a man? You must think so, you voted for him.

Do you hate foreigners? People of color, specifically? Well, good news, he wants foreigners out of the country. Of course, they have families here, and jobs, and even if they are not legal, they contribute to the economy. And often in jobs that most Americans wouldn't dream of doing. Not only that, he wants to build a wall to keep them out. And he wants Mexico to pay for that wall. So he can keep Mexicans out. At least the Mexican government said "No" to that. They aren't stupid. The people who voted for him are. So you must hate all Mexicans. Do you hate all Mexicans? Then you are a racist.

He supports the KKK. The friggin' KKK. The people who hate black/African American people and hunt them down. So you hate black people, too? You must, you voted for him.

And let's not forget, you must hate disabled people. And you want to make fun of them. Because they are disabled, they are funny, right? Yeah, he made fun of a disabled reporter (who, by the way, is an American disabled person who works and pays taxes). And you still voted for him, so you must hate disabled people.

So you're a Christian and that's why you voted for him? He says he's a Christian, because that's what you want to hear. If there were a lot of Nazis in America, he'd say he's a Nazi. And, well, let's face it, he is a Nazi. For those of you who don't know what that means, other than maybe knowing that Hitler was a Nazi and had a funny mustache, Hitler killed millions of people (mostly Jews) just because they believed in a different religion! If Trump could get away with it, he'd probably kill all the Mexicans and blacks and non-Christians. Because that's exactly who he is.

And, by the way, some of you think we should go back to being a Christian nation. Well, I have news for you, America was NEVER a Christian nation. The constitution that many people think says we have freedom of religion, it also says we have freedom FROM religion. The founding fathers wanted the separation of church and state. That means you can worship whatever you want, but it is must be kept separate from government. Forcing your religious beliefs on others is not OK. Forcing school children to recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" (which was never a legal document) is wholly unconstitutional. America is a country with many religions. They each have their own views and practices. Of course, I'm an Atheist, so I don't worship or believe in any god or religion, but that's for another discussion. Trump trying to force us to be a Christian nation is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. And it's morally wrong. You have no right to tell me what to believe.

Do you want to have a nuclear war? Trump said (before the election, remember?) that he thinks a nuclear war would be good. So he's trying to start a war with North Korea. He is. He's too stupid to understand that nuclear war doesn't just happen to someone else. If there is a nuclear war, the earth will be decimated (destroyed). Every living thing on earth will be dead. Everything.

Do you believe in climate change? Well, it's a real thing. Humans have caused so much damage to the planet that it will never be like it was before humans existed. The global temperature is getting higher. The polar ice caps are melting. Polar bears are drowning because the ice is melting underneath them, and they have nowhere to go. Recent presidents have tried to slow global warming and enacted laws to protect the environment. Remember, when our environment is gone, we humans will be gone, too. Trump is single-handedly trying to destroy our planet. He is ending environmental protections. He is hell-bent on destroying the earth. And you voted for him.

Now he is trying to destroy national monuments. Because he can.

There is this phrase that gets thrown around, "Family values." Do you know what that means? It means that if you are not Christian, you are bad. If you are gay, you are bad. If you are not a family with a husband, wife and 2 kids, you are bad. If you are a mixed race family, you are bad. It's a phrase meant to force someone else's religion and "values" upon you. Most people don't fit into what "family values" means. Do you???

I forgot something when I originally posted this. The idiot-in-chief has stopped the ban on trophy hunting because he and his horrible son like to kill animals for fun. That means people can go to Africa (or somewhere else) and kill wild animals just so they can bring back a "trophy", the animal's head or tusks, or what-have-you. Look, I understand hunting for food. I don't like it, but I get it. People who hunt elephants, lions, giraffes, etc., aren't going to eat the meat. They are killing just to kill, and to bring back a trophy, "See what a big man I am? I killed this beautiful animal just because I felt like it." There is a reason it was banned. He is the lowest form of human being. I just want to scream!

OK, I've said my piece. I sincerely hope you have read this all the way through. I hope you understand what the Trump supporters have done. I am literally sick to my stomach, because I honestly don't know if I will survive this presidency. In fact, I'm sure I won't. I will lose my housing assistance and become homeless. I will lose my food stamps and will starve. I've been trying to get SSI because I am disabled and can't work. I will lose that. I will lose my medical coverage, and I will become sick and die. I hope you are happy that you have helped to ruin my life and the lives of countless others. Thanks for the death sentence.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Starting

Well, the treatment process has started. It's been a long process to get surgical clearances and what-have-you. My port was installed/embedded on Tuesday, and I will start chemo on Wednesday. Oh the joy! Not looking forward to it, but it's better than letting the cancer kill me. What would we do without Nurse Navigators? So many appointments and doctors, it's hard to keep it all straight. My advice to patients: Get a good planner/datebook.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Update



Well, I am at the library, and the internet is down. Great. So I will blog! Of course if the internet doesn’t come up before I leave, then this will all be wasted since my flash drive is missing and I have no way to save.

So, not much has been happening in my world lately, other than various doctor’s appointments and spending time at the library. I will finally have my port put in on Tuesday, and chemo will start shortly after. The dreaded chemo. But it’s just one of those things you have to do, so I will do it willingly. I still need to find a hat that I like. I am not a wig type of person. 7-11 had some really cute hats, with pink ribbons on them even, but cash is not available at the moment (to purchase one). I’ll find one, or even make one if I can figure out what I want, style wise.