Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reasons to vote early

The calendar says Election Day is still six weeks away, right? Well, if you live in Georgia, it's already here. Voters there started going to early polling centers today to cast their ballots. Residents in parts of Virginia and Kentucky can also vote now – and more states will follow in the weeks ahead.

In fact, 34 states allow in-person early voting and as many as a third of all votes may be cast before Election Day. North Carolina doesn't start early voting until October 16, so I haven't earned that sticker yet.

Here are some of the reasons you might consider:

1. You beat the crowds.
You know there will be long lines on November 4th. If you have to go after work, you might be standing in line well into the night.

2. You can choose your favorite place to vote.
Our nearest early voting place in the mall nearby. Lots of parking, and we can shop when we finish.

3. You can pick your day.
Don't wait until November 4th when you might have an emergency at work or a sick child.

4. In North Carolina, if you haven't registered already, you can register and vote the same day with early voting.

5. You have a chance to fix any discrepancies.
If they turn you away for any reason, you have time to correct it and try another day (or location). I always wondered in past years if all the voting challenges were resolved.

6. You can be proud that you voted before the big day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My New Camera

I never would have gotten this shot with my old camera. It would have been a blur. I could say I have it all figured out, but I know it was just dumb luck. The "Image Stabilization" feature doesn't hurt either.

Taken with a
Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to the Issues

There is nothing like a meltdown in the financial sector to get people thinking straight again. Maybe the Palin bump is over.

But I promised to talk about healthcare, at least my take on it. McSame thinks health care is a non-issue because sick people can always go to the emergency room and be treated there. That shows he's never had to go to an emergency room and be treated by a doctor who doesn't know or care who he is. Band-Aid treatment, besides being very expensive, never provides a cure, and never provides preventive treatment. Even if the patient doesn't foot the bill, somebody does. And you'll never get a PSA test, or a mammogram in the emergency room.

But who else has an issue with healthcare besides the emergency-room walk-in? Right now, I'm reasonably healthy, and I'm covered by my former employer's plan. As a retiree of the State of North Carolina, I don't even have to pay a monthly premium. When I reach 65, Medicare will be my primary coverage, and the State plan will pick up from there.

What I do worry about is my children, mainly #2 son. He has worked in sales for about eight years, on commission, no benefits. Paying for a private plan is out of reach so he's gambling with his health. He has had two major health incidents in the last eight years, so guess who took up the slack. When he was too sick to work, he even tried applying for disability, but it was not a chronic or permanent illness, so he was on his own.

Then there are people who have health coverage, or thought they did, until a major illness in the family exhausted the limits of the plan. They end up mortgaging their house or giving up everything, and going on welfare to keep their sick child alive.

I've traveled in third-world countries that do better by their citizenry than we do when it comes to health care.

I hear people arguing about the differences between Obama's proposal and Clinton's proposal for healthcare. My guess is that whatever comes out of the Congress will be something that resembles parts of those two proposals, but not exactly either one. That will be the time for discussion of the fine points, and calling our representatives about what we want.

What we need now is President who understands why this is an issue.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm guilty too

We've been sucked in, co-opted, distracted, and driven off course.

To quote Ariana Huffington:

The point is that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are simply a bountiful collection of small lies deliberately designed to distract the country from one big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is committed to continuing. Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain.

The next few weeks are a test of Barack Obama.
He needs to dramatically redirect this election back to a discussion over the issues that really matter -- the issues that will impact the future of this country. A presidential campaign is a battle and this is the time for Obama to show some commander-in-chief skills.


So let's all get back to the issues. Pick your favorite one from this list and blog about it.


I'm going to start with this one:
(I'll be back with my personal take on it)

Help American Families Stay Healthy

Provide Universal Health Care and Lower Health Costs: Barack Obama is committed to signing universal health legislation by the end of his first term in office that ensures all Americans have high-quality, affordable health care coverage. His plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures by providing affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage for every American; modernizing the U.S. health care system to contain spiraling health care costs and improve the quality of patient care; and promoting prevention and strengthening public health to prevent disease and protect against natural and man-made disasters.

For more information on Barack Obama's health care plan, please visit the Health Care Policy page

Saturday, September 6, 2008

No Child Left Behind

At a town hall meeting in Terre Haute, Indiana today, Sen. Obama answered a question about No Child Left Behind.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Centurion and The Queen by Minnette Meador

THE CENTURION & THE QUEEN, A Historical Romance

Centurion Marius is a tough leader to his men, despite the shame that drove him from Rome. Delia is sister to an uncaring Corieltauvi tribal king, warrior queen to her people. The last thing she expects is to find herself craving the touch of an enemy.

Thrown into the clash between 50,000 angry Britons and 10,000 Roman soldiers, they find themselves on opposing sides, in love, and unable to stop the future. The revolution that sparked their desire...could now destroy them.

"Ms. Meador weaves a beautiful story that I could not get enough of. Her characters are so full of life and were enjoyable to read. The setting was great too…This is one author that I would love to read more. The Centurion and the Queen is a book that will please those that love steamy romance to historical nuts. I was impressed with the balance between the two and recommend this book."
– Coffeetime Romance Review

Buy Centurion and The Queen

Visit Minnette Meador's Website

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Farm News

I haven't blogged about the garden much this year. But even with all the other stuff going on, Tinker has been the busy farmer. He's been out there within days of his hip replacement, pulling greens, picking tomatoes, and tending to fruit trees.

He's so proud to have a watermelon this year that's bigger than his fist. He has planted them the last few years, but with the irregular, or non-existent rainfall they didn't get very far. We'll see if this one is good to eat.

And his fruit trees!! LAWD Hammercy, we have an orchard in the back yard, apples, peaches, cherries, plums, and pears. This year the pears outgrew the tree. There was so much fruit that the branches couldn't hold up under the weight. After Tinker saw the birds and squirrels watching with big eyes, waiting for the right moment of ripeness, he decided to pick a bunch. I don't know what a bushel looks like, but see for yourself.

2008-08-21 001 by tojo1104.

Then he started pealing and cutting pears to make pear pie, and freeze some. I think he might have given some away, but they have so many ugly spots they don't make an attractive gift. But they taste good, once you peal them. When we go to the State Fair this year, we'll have to get advice on peaches. They reach about 2 inches in diameter then they get covered with spots. If you peal them they taste pretty good too.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm not talking about the children...

I am respecting the candidate's wishes and not talking about the children, but...