August 29, 2009

MY OWN HILLBILLY TRAVELOGUE

I have been trying to log in here since I got back from Nebraska with no luck.  I have no idea why it didn't work or why all of a sudden it worked again, but if I disappear for another long chunk of time, at least you'll know why.

So Charlie and I loaded up and headed west again with my mother, across the plains to Nebraska to visit AWTM.  I love this part of the country; it makes my heart sing.  From Ohio to Nebraska, there isn't a piece of highway that isn't beautiful.  AWTM is right: it's the sky.  It's seeing sky and clouds and corn as far as your eyes can take you.  It's seeing clearly where you've been and where you're going.

Sadly, western Iowa won the Plains Off this year, because it was the only stretch of the drive where we didn't have rain.  My plains were dismal this week.

We arrived and picked up the kids from school.  They are both charming as can be.  Pink Ninja decided she was in love with Charlie and wanted to become a tibetan terrier and marry him.

Sir Rowland was very cute too, and spent most of his time asking me about Rokenbok, which I know nothing about.  He built an elevator while I was visiting, complete with shaft and pulley system.  And while he had no intentions of proposing marriage, he seemed to warm to Charlie too.

The next day, AWTM and I tried to do the entire city in a day.  We went to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  We didn't realize that rotating exhibits means that only a fraction of the quilts are on show at any given time.  There just wasn't much to see.  So we moved on to the National Roller Skating Museum.  AWTM wrote about it here.

We also decided to take one photo of ourselves everywhere and just run with what we got.  No do-overs.

We could've used a couple do-overs.

Next was lunch at a down-home ma and pa restaurant.  Taters and gravy and rolls and, at the end, pie.  Er, wait, this is a Hillbilly Travelogue.  I meant to say we ate pah.  Peach cream pah, to be exact.

Then we headed to the Capitol.  The only unicameral one in the 50 states, you know.  And perhaps the only one built without incurring any debt.  Good for them; I already want to move to Nebraska just for that reason.  You will too, once you read this article:

Nebraska shuns all long-term financial commitments, not just for retirement benefits. The state has no debt. Its Constitution forbids it.

One thing Nebraska does have: A balanced $3.5 billion budget and a $563 million cash reserve.

That should be in the String Beans song.

The entrance to the Capitol is nothing to get excited about, so I wondered why exactly AWTM was making such a big deal of taking me there for a tour.  I found out once we rode the elevator up to the main level.

It was the art.

 

So many types of art in so many styles.  All of it depicting the plains and Nebraska.  It was beautiful.

My favorite:

And this series reminded me of Objectivism.  Can't you just see this one, depicting the 'labors of the mind' on the cover of an Ayn Rand book?

Beautiful.  The Capitol was totally worth it.

AWTM wore me out and felt terrible about it.  But it was a lot of fun, and I slept like a log when I got home.

Oh, and because this is a Hillbilly Travelogue, I have to end with random pictures of a dog.

Charlie didn't really know where to sit in AWTM's car...

And he did such a good job tolerating Pink Ninja's hugs and tugs the whole time.  I grow more confident that he will be a good doggy to our little girl too.

Thank you, AWTM, for sharing your home and your state with me.  I traveled 1300 miles in a car to get to you...and it was worth every backache and pain.

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August 25, 2009

RIGHT HERE IN NEBRASKA

I made my way even further west this week and am now sitting in AWTM's living room, watching her daughter give Charlie pigtails and her son build with his rokenbok blocks.

More later.

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August 23, 2009

CORNER LINKS

VDH: "The fault, dear Barack, is not in our stars, But in ourselves"

Andy McCarthy: Cash-for-clunkers: "No one anticipated ..."

Quote of the day via Mark Steyn:

At any rate, in order to “control costs” Obama says we need to introduce a new trillion-dollar government entitlement. It’s a good thing he’s the smartest president of all time and the greatest orator since Socrates because otherwise one might easily confuse him with some birdbrained Bush type.

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August 21, 2009

I'M SIDING WITH CINDY SHEEHAN?

Via Amritas, I just learned that Cindy Sheehan is still protesting the war and will camp out at Obama's vacation spot for another vigil. And apparently, the media who thought her protest was oh-so-important four years ago is now finding her lack of moral relativism inconvenient. 

Good for her for being anti-war no matter who the president is. Good for her for sticking with her convictions. I disagree with her, but I respect her consistency.

And boo to folks like Charles Gibson, who covered Sheehan's old protests like they were earthshattering news and now can't be bothered to care about her anymore. Shame on him for now saying:

Anybody who has given a son to this country has made an enormous sacrifice, and you have to be sympathetic. But enough already.

When Bush is president, she's "standing her ground." When Obama is president, it's "enough already."

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August 20, 2009

JOHN ELWAY IN EVERY WAY

Our baby is living up to the John Elway name.

My husband picked that nickname, you'll remember, because John Elway lost three Super Bowls before he won a fourth.  We lost three babies and my husband really wanted to win a fourth.

Yesterday the genetic counselor called.  I wasn't expecting the call for another week.  Guard Wife and I were eating lunch together and my heart went into my throat when I picked up the phone.

But our baby is a John Elway baby.  A Super Bowl winner.

The baby has perfect chromosomes.  Nothing wrong.  Not even the balanced translocation that I have.  That means that this child will not have chromosomal infertility later on when it comes time to birth the next generation.  Perfect.

Our baby is John Elway in every way.

Except that it's a girl...

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August 18, 2009

IT WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER TO LOOK IN A POUCH. I'M JUST SAYIN'.

I had an ultrasound this morning, and Elway is still fine.

So now let me tell you what CVS is like, in case you ever find yourself in stirrups doing the same test. This is what they do:



Only instead of it being a cutesy drawing you'd see in a brochure, it's a grainy, black and white, blurry, constantly moving ultrasound image. And instead of a perfectly still baby, you have a baby that's flailing about and bouncing all over the place. And instead of a catheter that looks like a harmless straw, you have a sharp pointy end and it's poking dangerously close to bouncing baby's head.

And you're watching all this go on on the ultrasound screen while the doctor tries to take part of the baby's placenta and the baby is clearly irate at the vandalism.

Oh, and your bladder is about five times the size of the one in the drawing because it helps steady things. So in addition to trying not to laugh or gasp or breathe too hard for fear of jostling the whole uterus and putting that pincher through baby's head, you're also trying not to pee on the doctor.

I wasn't prepared for how harrowing this would be. I knew it was a risky thing to do, but I didn't really expect to be watching the risk. And I never expected the baby to go berserk like he did. It was my first taste of motherhood, where my child was in distress and I had to watch him suffer.

I'm still glad I did the test and I will probably do it again with the next pregnancy. But it hurt my heart.

*****

I am leaving today for my annual trip home to the Midwest. And since I am almost 12 weeks along, I have just flat out decided that I don't want to be morning sick anymore. I just don't want to. So I am going to exercise mind over matter and just make myself feel better. So, there, done, no more morning sickness.

Now if someone would just tell little Elway to stop treating my belly like it's a speed bag.


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August 17, 2009

SINCE WHEN IS AN X-BOX A SCHOOL SUPPLY?

People suck.  I can't even tell you how mad this makes me.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said the state school supply grants handed out to New York State food stamp and welfare recipients are not being used as intended by many families. She said the program has “widespread, rampant abuse.”
[...]
“We actually received a telephone call from WalMart on Hudson Avenue suggesting that there was welfare fraud, and indicating they were going to call the FBI because people were going in and buying X-boxes, Wii systems, flat-screen television sets,” said Kelly Reed, the county’s commissioner of social services.

This is a great example of why it's useless to give a man a fish.

I'm sure non-welfare New Yorkers would like the government to give them money to buy a Wii too.

I hope George Soros is glad that his "help the poor" idea just helped people to afternoons of Guitar Hero.

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BLASPHEMY FROM WHOLE FOODS

Wise ideas from the CEO of Whole Foods: The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

Of course, now this means that loons are calling for a boycott of the traitorous lefty store.  How dare they oppose Obama?

I take back all the snarky things I've said about Whole Foods.  I still don't have any interest in shopping there, but good for their CEO for being brave enough to oppose something that the majority of his clientele supports.

(Links found at Althouse's great post, Are We Having a Conversation Yet?, via Boxenhorn)

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August 15, 2009

FOR MY HUSBAND

In case he gets to use a computer tomorrow...


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OVER A BARREL

I meant to say this a while ago but just never got around to it.

20/20 ran a special a few weeks ago called "Over a Barrel" about oil.  First of all, I simply hate the expression "addicted to oil."  It's like saying we're addicted to houses or restaurants.  It's necessary for our lifestyle.  Just because we need it doesn't mean we have to sneer and call it an addiction.  And it's not like cigarettes, where we'd be better off if we stopped using them.  Our lives would be infinitely worse without oil.

Second, T. Boone Pickins really ticked me off.  At the very end of the show, he said:

You are the problem, you, America.  You and I, Charlie [Gibson].  You are the problem because you're using 25% of the oil with 4% of the population.  You're not entitled to that.

Um, we are if we're paying for it.  You're entitled to anything available on this earth if you come by it fairly and pay for it in the free market.

To say otherwise gets right down to the core of my values and ruffles 'em up.

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WHAT A DIFFERENT WORLD WE LIVE IN...

A section at the end of the book Showdown:

The president should remind Americans that for over a century, the country somehow managed to survice without government regulatory oversight. It wasn't until 1887 that the first independent regulatory commission -- the Interstate Commerce Commission -- was established.

Congress authorized monies to extend the Cumberland Road, a roadway that ran from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, West Virginia. James Monroe, our nation's fifth president, used the only veto of his presidency to defeat the congressional bill, arguing that the road's extension should not be done by the federal government but by the states it passed through—present-day Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
[...]
Franklin Pierce, our fourteenth president, in 1854 vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding that to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

President Grover Cleveland, our twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, in 1887, said when vetoing an appropriation to help drought-stricken counties in Texas, "I feel obligated to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriate of public funds...I find no warrant for such appropriation in the Constitution."

We've come a long way, baby...

And what high hopes Larry Elder had for President Bush.  Would that he had been the man Elder hoped he was.

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August 14, 2009

CVS UPDATE

The CVS went without complications, we think.
I am still trying to decide how much I want to share...
But I wanted you to know that I am home and baby was OK as of a few hours ago.

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August 13, 2009

A FACTOR OF THIRTY

Pres Obama said this during a health care speech:

If a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 -- immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

Apparently Medicare only reimburses around $1000 for an amputation, not $30,000.

I want to take something Krauthammer said tonight on Special Report and run with it a little.  He said:

Well, when the president is off, in talking about the fee for an amputation, by a factor of at least thirty, he's got trouble and it makes people worry about all his other so-called facts.  Remember, he's been selling here a free lunch; he says the way I'm going to solve the problem is prevention.  We're gonna put a lot of money in prevention and it's gonna save a lot of money overall.

Krauthammer then goes on to discuss a CBO letter quoting studies that said that preventative medicine actually costs more in the long run, since you're screening far more people who won't end up with whatever disease you're looking for.  The CBO says that all those pittances added up for everyone to get screened for diabetes end up costing more than the couple of feet you have to amputate.

But I want to run in a different direction.  Krauthammer got me going.  The president keeps saying that we're going to save money through preventative medicine.  But he thinks he's comparing "a pittance" to $30,000.  So yeah, that makes it sound like we'll save a ton of money if we can get doctors to prevent having to amputate feet.  Think of how many people we could get in for a simple preventative appointment with their doctor for $30,000!  But if it really costs between $500 and $1000 for an amputation, then that's far fewer preventative appointments for the cost of one amputation.

My question is, Does Pres Obama even know that?  I mean, where did he get this $30,000 figure, which he presents so authoritatively?  And does he know how much smaller the figure really is?

Is he being deceptive or just ignorant?

If he's deceptive, that's despicable.  But I think he's just ignorant.  I think he really believes that, at a reimbursement cost of "a pittance," he can help many more Americans by preventing amputations or tonsilectomies or whatever else he thinks greedy doctors are doing just to make extra money.

But that means he actually thinks that doctors see someone with diabetes and think, "Man, if I just bide my time and fatty here loses his foot, then I can buy a new jet ski!"

I just find it worrisome that Pres Obama thinks we're going to save all this money with his new health care plan because he's overestimating how much we currently spend by a factor of thirty!

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CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT

That was then, this is now.
VDH: On Dishing It Out...

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GRAPEFRUIT INDEED

I've lost six pounds since I found out I was pregnant.  I haven't had much appetite, and for years I've been accustomed to eating big meals with my husband.  But I can't figure out where the six pounds has been lost from...

Normally if I stand sideways in the mirror, I can suck my tummy in and look pretty skinny.  But since my uterus is now supposedly the size of a grapefruit, my gut simply doesn't suck in anymore.

I just made myself dizzy and nearly passed out trying to suck my tummy in.  Heh.

I guess I can kinda start to notice that I'm pregnant.

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August 12, 2009

JOEY UPDATE

Baby's fine again.  He was using my uterus as a hammock, just lounging along the bottom with his legs in the air and his left arm slung back over his head like he was shielding the sun from his eyes.

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August 11, 2009

FARING DECENTLY, IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF

My husband just wrote and said he's worried that you readers will read my recent blog posts and think I'm having a nervous breakdown.  I'm not.  Not really, at least.

I'd like to think I'm faring as well or better than the average person who deals with two years of infertility and miscarriages and the 50% chance of impending death for her current baby, all by herself while her husband repeatedly fights in war.

I'd say out of all the people in the world who are doing that right now, I am definitely near the top of the list of not having a nervous breakdown.

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THE FORK IN THE ROAD

I had to go to the bathroom.  The toilet filled with blood, and I looked down and saw the placenta hanging out of me.  I let out a whimper of agony...and woke myself up.

I am tired of the nightmares.

I am tired of living multiple futures.  In some of my dreams and daydreams, I get the call with good news about the CVS test.  I wait for my husband to call and happily tell him.  I finally update that I am pregnant on Facebook.  I have a big, round belly in my Christmas pictures.  I have a baby, finally, after three long years of pain.

And just as easily as I can imagine a happy future, I imagine the bad one too.  I get the bad news from the CVS test.  I have to decide whether to stay on vacation and attend my friend's wedding or drive straight home to come back to my doctor.  I have my mom call work for me and tell my boss.  And time stops there.  I can't see any life beyond that...

Both scenarios are perfectly mapped out and anticipatorally griefed.  Both are equally likely.

One will happen to me.

I am tired of constantly living at the fork in the road.  I have done it for years now.  It's the choose your own adventure book I can never escape from.

I want out...but there is no out.  This will always my fate.  Even if this pregnancy goes well, I will get trapped in this hell again to have a second child.

I want a linear life.

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August 10, 2009

THEY GET THEIR DIGS IN EVERYWHERE

I just watched last night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent and flipped out.  I checked to see if I was the only one who noticed...Lorie did too:

A former Baader-Meinhof communist terrorist is murdering Wall Street fat cats and talking about overthrowing the capitalist pigs, and somehow the writers for the show tie him in with the Tea Parties.

My eyes are rolling so hard they hurt.

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August 09, 2009

I HEART DANIEL HANNAN

I could've listened to another hour...
Daniel Hannan speaks to The Heritage Foundation

Great bit comes at the end, in response to a question about why we'd pass cap and trade if it's failed in Europe:

The purpose of these things is not to do anything; it's to show that you're a nice man.  The worst aspect of modern politics is this belief that legislation should somehow be proportionate to public outrage, rather than proportionate to the need to get something done.  [...]  The global warming thing...is an elevation of the moralistic over the moral.  It means you place more emphasis on holding the right opinions about big corporations than on actually doing the right thing in your own life.  Little example of this: Do people in this room know who I mean by Irena Sendler, who was a Polish Catholic who smuggled babies out of the Warsaw ghetto during the war?  Incredibly heroic woman who died a few months ago.  She was captured and tortured and, then this is the amazing thing, changed her name and went back to doing it.  She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and do you know who the Nobel Peace Prize went to that year instead of her?  Al Gore!  Al Gore!  Just stop and ponder that for a moment, think about what that says about society's values: that it is more important to have made a film having the correct opinions than to have risked your life day after day rescuing children.

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