The Widdershins

Archive for November 2013

man crying

Yes Fredster is shedding some tears here along with our chat I’m sure, as the regular season of college football comes to an end.  LSU played their last game Friday against Arkansas for “the boot”, a gold-plated trophy in the shape of Louisiana and Arkansas.  LSU won the game, but my God was it ugly.  What can I say though, because it was a win and if the Tigers are lucky enough to win their bowl game that will give them a 10 and 3 season; nothing to sneeze at.  The rest of the SEC will play today except for Ole Miss and Mississippi State who played Thanksgiving night.  However, as chat reminded me, we still have the bowl games to go through.  🙂  So with that said let’s take a look at some of the things I’ve found that were amusing, odd, or otherwise interesting.

Okay this is an older one

I’ve had this bookmarked for awhile…perhaps because I wanted to avoid using it?  Anyway, what could be worse than the HoneyBoo Boo clan or the Kardashian clan?  Why the melding of the two into the Katrashaian Clan!  Oh Miz Pat where are you?

Here’s Mama June and her band of deep fried balls of butter as Lucifer’s favorite whores the Kardashians.

Uncle Poodle and Mama June are Kim, Honey Boo Boo is Pimp Mama Kris, Chubbs is Khloe, Chickadee is Kourtney, Sugar Bear is Bruce and Pumpkin is Scott Isadick.

If the Kardashians had souls, had butter running through their veins instead of the black blood of Satan and were filled with cheese balls instead of Botox, this is exactly what they would look like. It’s perfect and a million times better than the real thing. If being the Sketti Sauce Queen of Georgia doesn’t work out for Mama June, she should be Kim Kardashian’s double. If she perfected the whole “dead-eyed whore” look, she’d be a dead ringer.

And yes indeed, here they are:

There’s nothing else I can add to this and now I can delete the link!

But I’m not done with the Kardashians!

It seems that Kim K. decided to hold an ebay auction of some of her clothes with the announcement that “a portion” of the proceeds would go to help the people in the Philippines who were affected by the typhoon that hit.

“Hi guys, this is a very special auction because a portion of the proceeds of my eBay auction are going to International Medical Corps, a nonprofit organization that provides critical health services on remote islands where families are struggling to access medical care and basic resources like food, clean drinking water and vital medications,” she explained.

“The proceeds will go directly to the communities they’re serving in the Philippines and will help typhoon survivors get access to medical care and ultimately save lives,” she noted before adding, “My prayers and thoughts are with those affected by the typhoon. Check out my eBay auction here and support those who need our help in the Philippines.

What she didn’t disclose was that she was going to donate a lousy ten percent of the proceeds to this nonprofit.  Grrr!!!  If we don’t hear from Pat, I do hope that Socalannie will give us a comment since she’s actually been, like, up close and personal (within the same room) with them.  Bleh!

 Puhleeze say it ain’t so!!

Geez, I didn’t even know he was a grandfather, but Mick Jagger is about to become a great-grandfather!  😯

Jagger’s daughter Jade says that her own 21-year-old daughter Assisi is due to give birth in early 2014.

The 70-year-old Rolling Stones frontman has seven children and four grandchildren. Jade Jagger told the paper that the new milestone doesn’t seem like such a huge deal to him now. “I think making Mick a grandfather obviously had a big impact whereas, now, making him a great-grandfather is no longer particularly fascinating,” she said. “My dad has always been great at keeping the family together and having those important moments – Christmas parties, his birthday. We’ll be spending New Year’s Eve together, nearly all of us [in Mustique].”

Sheesh!  I sorta feel like I should go pick out my urn now!

I’m sure you’re tired of Black Friday stories

However, I have to admit this one is kind of cute as far as they go.  Annie Luck lives in Anchorage Alaska, not exactly known for balmy temperatures in November.  She was shopping for her three teenaged sons and saw some things at Best Buy that looked pretty good.  So Annie was there at Best Buy Wednesday at 4:00 pm.  Now she was no “dummy” so to speak.  She wore “five pairs of pants and five shirts to stay warm in 16-degree temperatures.”.  But Annie wasn’t going to be encamped in line at the store.  Annie had a better idea:

The 53-year-old Anchorage woman set up a lawn chair at 4 p.m. Wednesday, local time, to stake out first place in line for the opening of Best Buy 26 hours later. She spent part of Wednesday night sleeping in her car. A dummy in a face mask and construction hat held her place.   She figured she could save $1,100 by getting to the store early for two laptop computers and three iPods.

I’m just wondering what the person behind her, the 2nd in line felt about the dummy occupying space?

A few youtube videos

These two fellows were down under in Oz, when what pops up on their windshield but a red-bellied black snake, a poisonous critter native to Australia.  There are two clips and there is profanity in them.

Part One:

And part two:

Again, sorry about the profanity but these two guys were hilarious!

From Americablog:

A guy on a motorcycle goes 300kph (184mph) on the Germany autobahn (their federal expressway), and then you see him pull into the right lane to let some guy pass him, because you wouldn’t want the slow guy, going nearly 200 miles an hour, to cause a traffic jam.

Watch the speedometer on the motorcycle.  You can get some clear looks at it.  You can see where he drops down to 180 kph and then accelerates back up.  Yikes!  Oh I checked and 288 kph = 178.9 mph.  And your Fredster here freaks when he gets on I-65 and folks are doing 75-80 passing me by.  LOL!

Okie-doke that’s it for today.  Let me know below how your day is going.  I’ll be watching some college football trying to catch as many games as possible.

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Hear ye, hear ye Widdershinners!  I propose we start a new tradition and it starts today.  Instead of fretting about what obscene wee hour Black Friday shopping starts, the new tradition I propose is to take this day after Thanksgiving to think about how many times we have been fortunate enough  to utter a simple, “Your welcome,” in our daily lives.Your welcome package

Thanksgiving is a good day to take stock of all things for which we are thankful.  Taking Friday to assess how many times we have done something worthy of a “thank you,” seems fitting.

We all have buckets of emotional energy.  The best way to fill our buckets with positive energy is to fill the buckets of others with good words or good deeds and to keep our dippers out of the buckets of others.  See, the parable of The Dipper and the Bucket.

Negativism is easy.  It isn’t the product of particularly stellar intellectual activity.  It is common and pedestrian.  It saps life energy.  It is polarizing and stultifying.  It isn’t happy-making.

Your welcome sign languagePositivity in thought and deed is just the opposite.  It buoys our hearts, our souls, and our minds.  It makes us better people.  It rewards us with the smiles of those we may meet later on our life’s journey.  It challenges us to lift our eyes from the ground to the horizon and beyond.  Positivity is the antidote for the commonplace and the elixir of the exceptional.

Counting your “yer welcomes” is a good way to take stock.  It is a small bit of self-indulgence paying dividends far better than a trip to the mall or another turkey sandwich.

While saying thanks is always important, being able to utter a “your welcome” means you have left the world a little better place by word or deed.  That is indeed worth celebrating.

This is an open thread.

Happy Thanksgiving, Widdershins, and a good Thankgivukah to our Jewish Widdies as well. Thaksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather and reflect on the blessings of the year before,  It is my great honor to assemble my candidates for the Annual Widdershins Thanksgiving Playlist, so before I go join my family and local friends, let me just say how much I have come to cherish the friends that I have made here at TW.  Y’all mean a great deal to me.

So, without further ado, here are my choices.  Please add yours, and anything else that you might like, to this open Thanksgiving thread.

(1) Sweet Potato Pie – James Taylor and Ray Charles

(2) Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Theme – Vince Guaraldi

(3) Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie

(4) Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver

(5) Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel

flights-delayed2

Madamab is in travel mode, but not for work.  She’s on the way to visit for Thanksgiving and let’s hope she makes it with the weather the way it is lining up.  When she asked if one of us could do the Wednesday post for her and why, I immediately thought of the hilarious movie about turkey-day travel or travails!  What can you say about holiday travels nowadays?  It’s torture, that’s what you can say.  If you are flying you have worries about the weather, as we do this year, and you get to be up close and extremely personal with your friendly TSA employee, plus deal with an entire lot of people you’d really, really, really rather not get to know that well while barreling through the skies in a tin can.  If you are traveling by train you mainly have options only in the northeast or if you happen to live on or near the few train routes we have in this country.  Also, forget it if you are thinking cross-country unless you leave several days before your holiday celebration.  There’s always “the dog” aka Greyhound, but most of us don’t want to relive any scenes from Midnight Cowboy.  There is a new option in bus travel called megabus which looks interesting, and they also have wi-fi on the buses! They even look halfway decent as you can see from the picture below:

Then there is always the automobile, which we Americans are in love with but then there’s that pesky weather thing again.

All of this is to lead up to the movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which I guess we’ve all seen at one time or another and have probably been able to sympathize with.  How perfectly it described the nightmare of trying to get from point A to point B around Thanksgiving!  planestrainsautomobiles02

The movie featured Steve Martin as the fastidious business traveler who gets bumped from first class into “steerage” sitting next to John Candy as the perfect slob.

planes-trains-and-automobiles-poster[1]The movie is just a complete laugh riot all the way through and perfectly described the horrors of holiday traveling, closed airports and tacky motels, especially the tacky motels when you have to share a room and a bed with a perfect stranger! PTA-underwear

And let’s not forget Steve Martin’s encounter with the rental car lady!

PTA-FUI’ve got a few youtube clips of the movie here which I hope you enjoy.

another good one here:

The one which had me almost fall onto the floor, laughing so hard:

And lastly, the car rental scene involving the worlds worst car rental agent (note –  copious use of the F word!) :

Okay Widdershins, I hope all who may have been:  in the air, on the road or riding the rails have or will soon be arriving at their destinations with no problems and hope you have a GREAT Thanksgiving!  Should you still have a loved one who is traveling by air this holiday you can check the FlightAware Misery Map here.

Good afternoon Widdershin friends.  Here’s hoping your work week is a light one in preparation for a Thanksgiving holiday heavy in family and friends.  Given that this a holiday week, I’m just going to throw out a couple of subjects for your consideration — please talk about anything and everything circulating on the interwebz.

Somewhere back in time I read Colin Powell kept a Thucydides quote on his  desks throughout his career.  That quote:  Of all the manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most.

This past weekend we saw the embodiment of that Thucydides quote with the announcement of the interim agreement with Iran.  All the secret meetings, all the intrigue, all the high drama to announce a six months speed date to see if we can trust one another long enough to come to the simple understanding that throwing kerosene on the fires of the Middle East wouldn’t be a good thing.

Sounds infinitely reasonable to almost everyone except the neo-cons who have never seen a war they didn’t love.

Walrus envy or whisk broom experimentation gone horribly wrong...

Walrus envy or whisk broom experimentation gone horribly wrong…

Chief among them is that human with a whisk broom implanted on his upper lip — John Bolton.  Bolton is not alone, but he is the go-to guy anytime the neo-con chicken hawks feel they have been cheated out of a war.

Among other things, the interim agreement provides for daily monitoring of the Iranian enrichment facilities, a 5% cap on any enrichment activities, a commitment to dilute any uranium above that 5% cap, and in turn, we will just so slightly loosen economic sanctions on Iran to the tune of $6.0 to $7.0 Billion out of the $100 Billion we are holding over the next six months.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s position of total elimination of nuclear development for peaceful uses by Iran is unworkable, inadvisable, and ultimately dangerous for the world.  There are those of both political stripes in Congress who Netanyahu controls so there are sure to be obstacles to this agreement.

Any additional sanctions during these six-months completely voids the agreement.  Anyone, of whatever political flavor, voting to abandon this process before it begins should be shown the door at the next election.

No matter what the ill-informed reporters and pundits offer, there are only three options logically available if a negotiated settlement isn’t reached:  1.  Retain or enact tougher sanctions; 2. Actively work to change the Iranian regime; or 3. Military action.

We’ve tried military action next door in Iraq with abysmal results and during eight years of the Bush Administration where the official policy was regime change, Iran went from zero enrichment centrifuges to over 8,000.  At some point politicians need to pay attention to those stubborn things called facts.

Since the Saturday night announcement, I’ve been amazed at the number of critics who see absolutely no alterative other than a military strike.  The dirty little secret is this:  A military strike only temporarily eliminates brick and mortar, we do not, as yet, have a bomb that can suck out the brains of Iranian scientists.

Hassan RouhaniA military strike just prolongs the inevitable and with it, hardens the resolve of the Iranian regime against constructive engagement with the West.  The new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has shown great courage to take such a positive step after thirty-four years of our countries ignoring one another.  We should reward such courage.

No matter what the protestations of Bolton and his ilk are, we need to show, as Thucydides advised, we are powerful enough to exercise restraint.

The next story I want to share is one I’m sure you will think I’ve dug out of The Onion.  It is not.  This is real.  This is scary and most disheartening.

More time hobbyin' less time hobnobbin'...

More time hobbyin’ less time hobnobbin’…

The Supreme Court, just a few minutes ago, decided to take a case out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (sits in Denver and covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming).  The case:  Whether or not for-profit corporations have guaranteed religious freedoms.

You read that correctly, the case is whether or not Hobby Lobby, a secular, for-profit corporation has guaranteed religious freedoms based upon the religious beliefs of its primary shareholders and executives.

Supreme Court watchers had their eyes on this case since it is such a departure from anything we have seen before.  If corporations are people with free political speech rights, who’s to say they don’t have religious rights.

This is yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act by Paul Clement who was the Capt. Stubing of the unsuccessful 2012 challenge.  This case centers around whether or not Hobby Lobby can deny its employees coverage for birth control, sterilization, and certain other services based upon its owners religious beliefs.

The 10th Circuit, in overturning the lower court decision, used Citizen’s United to essentially say if a corporation has free speech rights then the Supreme Court must have also meant for a corporation to have other First Amendment rights.

“This is a perfect storm,” said Richard Garnett, a law professor at Notre Dame.  “Debates about campaign finance in Citizen United and abortion and Obamacare could distort the court’s analysis of religious freedom.”

Bad law begets a progeny of bad law and this is another potential ugly stepchild of Citizen’s United.  It has implications for privacy rights, contraceptive rights, women’s freedom of choice, and most importantly, the applicable constitutional test for religious freedom.  Beware — the improvident legal stepchild which may spring from this mess might well be named Damien.  Watch this space.

This is an open thread.

medical staff picture

generic picture of medical folk

The other night I was in a semi-public location (it’s the lobby of the small hotel where I have two rooms) and an older gentleman was checking in.  While he was in the process (and I have no idea how the conversation started) he got onto the topic of Obamacare.  He was berating it, describing it as “socialism” (I sure wish it was!) and talking about how it would be the ruination of the American health care system which is “the greatest the world has”and how it was going to “destroy the country”.  I listened to the point where something clicked in my brain and I found myself getting up and asking the gentleman if I could ask him a few questions. I asked him how he thought that Obamacare was going to ruin the healthcare system of the United States.  He replied that one way was because of the people being thrown off the plans that they had and that they were happy with.  I asked him if he was aware that folks were sent those notices because the plans they had did not meet the criteria for health policies under Obamacare and were, in essence, “junk” policies.  I asked him if he had seen  the story about the lady in Florida who was happy with the plan she had, but when a health care specialist from consumer reports analyzed her policy it paid for practically nothing.  I explained to him that many of these types of policies were cash cows for the insurance companies because they raked in hundreds of dollars a month in premiums to cover almost nothing in return.

The gentleman then countered by explaining how Obama was funding Obamacare by “robbing” medicare to pay for it.  I explained to him that, no, medicare wasn’t in the least robbed, that what was done was to curtail the excess amounts the government paid to “medicare advantage” plans as opposed to what the government paid for a claim under regular medicare.  Now, I didn’t have this information at hand from the Kaiser Foundation, but it would have bolstered my argument:

Over the past decades, Medicare payment policy for plans has shifted from one that produced savings to one that focused more on expanding access to private plans and providing extra benefits to Medicare private plan enrollees.  These policy changes resulted in Medicare paying private plans more per enrollee than the cost of care for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, on average (MedPAC 2010).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 produced another shift in payment policy by reducing federal payments to Medicare Advantage plans over time, bringing them closer to the average costs of care under the traditional Medicare program. It also provided for new bonus payments to plans based on quality ratings, beginning in 2012, and required plans beginning in 2014 to maintain a medical loss ratio of at least 85%, restricting the share of premiums that Medicare Advantage plans can use for administrative expenses and profits.  (my comment:  hence the “we was robbed” position taken by some)

You can go over to the Kaiser website if you want to read more about the Advantage plans.

But here’s the thing in my conversation with this gentleman:  I could not tell him that I personally knew one person  who was going to benefit by Obamacare and who was going to be healthier because of it.  I couldn’t do that because the person was the man working behind the front desk.

James appeared to be the picture of health.  He’s very fit, no belly or gut hanging over his belt, runs a couple of miles several times a week and lifts weights.  He’s what you might call “fit and trim”.  However, a couple of weeks ago he did something that guys sometimes like to do:  he had a place on his hand that was bothering him so he picked at with a needle.  Well…at a point after that he started feeling bad and within a matter of hours had a fever of 105.  James has no health insurance (and no car) so he took a cab to the local doc-in-a-box outfit.  After being seen and paying $165 he found out his hand was infected.  So, he was given a prescription for an antibiotic and a test was done for  his blood sugar.  Fredster here got a call from the doc ina box to see if I could give him a ride back from the office.  He got his antibiotic script filled at the doc’s office but they didn’t have the test back for his glucose and other things.  A day or so later James wasn’t feeling that much better so he decided to go to the emergency room.  There they made the diagnosis that he has type 2 diabetes.  They “washed him out” with probably two bags of saline and got his blood sugar down. He got a script for metformin and we got him a glucose meter.  He hasn’t gotten a statement yet from the hospital but he’s talked to one of the financial counselors and he may luck out and be able to get a reduction in his charges since he has no insurance and his income isn’t that high.  So now James has a disease which will be with him for the rest of his life.  I had put James in touch with our nurse chat and she said he’s probably had the disease for awhile but because of his overall good health conditions it never manifested itself before the big ole infection on his hand.  But there is a good part to this story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Good Sunday, Widdershins.

It’s the weekend before the holidays begin, and we need some serious relaxation here.  My thoughts turn to old movies……..

At some point in the next couple of weeks, we are all going to be in need of some serious down time.  Let’s plan ahead for a lazy day when we can lock ourselves in with some of our favorites films.

The movies can be from any era, any genre, anything whatsoever.  Just pick the flicks that you would choose to spend a lazy day viewing.  Otherwise, the thread is wide open .

(1) Vertigo, 1958

(2) West Side Story, 1961

(3) To Kill A Mockingbird, 1962

(4) The Graduate, 1967

(5) Patton, 1970


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Blog Archive

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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

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