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A texting while driving ban has been put in place in Georgia.  I don’t really have enough time to  do a full blown analysis because I’m getting ready to leave for Indiana (Yea 4th of July!!)….Anyway, I think LEGALLY banning things while driving is stupid and you’ll never get rid of distracted drivers.  People eat.  They talk to people in the car.  They sing.  Change the radio station.  The put make up on.  They have bad days.  And yes…they use their phone.  Also, it should be noted that I talk on my phone all the time while driving…but if I’m having a bad day (not enough focus for both) or traffic is crazy, I don’t.  I also never text (let alone text while driving) so it doesn’t really affect me…or does it??

  1. The law in Georgia states that drivers under 18 can’t talk or text while driving.  That’s fine and good, but how are police officers going to pick out the teenagers?  By their hot topic-esc bumper stickers?  By a quick glance/judgment of their appearance?   By the loud Justin Bieber music?  (That’s what the kids listen to these days, right?? haha!)  Will I get pulled over if a cop is unsure and he/she wants to check my age?  (OH!  I know!  Just make those “Hows my teen driving?  Call 1-888-OverProtective!” bumper stickers legally mandatory for all teens!  Thats a perfect idea…)
  2. My phone requires me to glance down while dialing.  (It’s a touch screen so you can’t just find the buttons on feel alone.)  Will I get pulled over for that?

It just seems like a hassle to prove your innocence from texting.  I also disagree fundamentally with the notion that legislating more rules should always be the solution to all problems.  (It seems like it  is much more difficult to get laws repealed than put in place which therefore just adds levels of control and bureaucracy.)  I always found it stupid that in Indiana (way back when I got my drivers permit), a teenager could drive with anyone that was a legal driver with this permit, but then after he/she got the full blown drivers license, could only drive with individuals over 21 for the first 6 months.

I do also think that everyone on the road is too quick to blame the all powerful – “They“.  “They” are the crazy ones.  “They” drive too carelessly.  “They” are the root of all problems!  But in truth, we are all part of “They”.  Drive a little nicer.  Give a little more space.  Don’t push.  Don’t flip others off.  Use your judgment and minimize your distractions when needed…simple things that shouldn’t require laws but probably all eventually will.

It should be noted that drivers found guilty of violating the laws on texting (or talking if you are under 18)  while driving face a $150 fine and a point added to their driver’s license….so happy travels and happy 4th of July!! 🙂

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I heard this story on NPR yesterday on my way home.

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

A nun, after what was reported as going through an agonizing thought process, allowed the termination of the pregnancy to save the woman’s life.   She was excommunicated by the Catholic church which the article states is “the most serious penalty the church can levy.”

This is a sad story.   It should be noted that this isn’t an attack on the Catholic church in general…but this is just unacceptable.   The general public is wondering how can this woman who saved a life be so severely punished when the church is known to not punish those who have abused children.  What message does this send?

To me it still says….

1) A woman’s life is unimportant and she is nothing but a baby-carrying vessel.  If she dies too, so be it.

2) A woman of the church (a nun) is held to a different standard of actions than compared to the men of the church (the priests).

3) Intent to follow canon does not matter.  The nun and the hospital tried to do what the church would have wanted.

“But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother.

There is no way that the priests were thinking of following the church doctrine when they were abusing the children of the church.

4)  Hospitals and churches should not mix.

Another thing I learned from reading the attached hospital report (link from NPR as well) was that the woman who became pregnant was taking “great efforts to avoid it.”  She knew she had a health condition that would be very dangerous should she become pregnant.  But being the good Catholic (she already had 4 children at 27), it appears that she would not take any birth control measures.

There also was a statement by the Diocese of Phoenix.   I understand and can appreciate some of what they are saying, but really…this part summed it up (emphasis mine)….

What is the purpose of excommunication?
The purpose is to repair scandal, to restore justice and to reform the offender. It is a scandal to the entire Church that a woman religious would consent to and encourage an abortion.  It is also a scandal that a Catholic Hospital would perform such a reprehensible act. Furthermore, it is a grave injustice to the child who was killed, as well as to the mother who was told that it was permissible.  Finally, a person who has been excommunicated definitively knows that by their own evil action, they have removed themselves from communion with the Church. The action of excommunication is a call to repentance and conversion.

No priests have been excommunicated for their evil actions.   According to the church’s own words then, by not excommunicating the priests, they do not want to repair the scandal.  They do not want to provide justice to the victims.  They do not want to reform the offender.

I just don’t get it.

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Rainy days.

Its days like these when I’m glad I don’t have my dream house by a river or lake.  It hasn’t stopped raining here in Atlanta in what seems like ages.  (There has been a reprieve today but we’ll see if it lasts.)  We are pretty lucky though.  Our house is dry and as far as I know, our friends and co-workers are unaffected as well…

I found some crazy pictures and videos you should check out…

Video:   Flooding down the street

The first place they are taking video of is on my way to work.  Normally this creek barely trickles.  It is amazing if it flows at all.  Wow.  The second location is on our way to church.  It’s so weird seeing everything underwater that normally is beautiful grass and houses.

Picture:  I-75/85 flooded.

Who would’ve thought that the highways would flood?

I guess it was good that I had to work really, really late last night.    Driving home I had to take an alternative route because of the flooding and I encountered the creepiest thing.  All the power was out on Howell Mill.   Super markets, gas stations, traffic lights…everything was pitch black.  A car had pulled up with its headlights on to the front window of Fellini’s so the people inside wouldn’t be in complete darkness.  It was as if we lived in the middle of nowhere.

What a strange few days in Atlanta.  I have a feeling the clean up is going to take awhile…

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I‘m sure most of you have read about the woman, Nadya Suleman, from California that just had a set of octuplets on January 26th.  It’s probably quite old news by now, but as the story develops, I can’t help thinking about it.  It’s fascinating to me to see how my personal feelings of the situation has changed with more information. At first, I was happy for her.  I imagined a couple that had been trying to conceive, were unable, then suddenly were gifted with 8 babies for the price of one.  It’s like Jon & Kate Plus 8, except they all are in diapers at the same time.

  • Then I found out that she already has 6 other children.
  • …then I found out she was unemployed and has been basically since 1999 as a result of a work related injury…
  • …and then I found out she was single.

Wow.  Separately I think these things wouldn’t look so bad, but when you stack them all together, the happy little family picture changes dramatically.  I don’t want to criticize a womans decision to have children, nor do I think that any law should be able to regulate her reproductive choices, nor am I saying that in order to be happy, a family must be “traditional”….But I simply cannot fathom having 6 children on my own and consciously decide to have up to 6 more.  (She was quoted as saying she was implanted 6 embryos that led to the 8 babies.)  I am not a mother, but if I do not have the means to care for the children (financially) and I do not have some sort of partner to help, I would think it irresponsible and selfish to bring those children into the world.  One problem I have with this case is I see it as a burden to not only society but also the environment. I read an article not too long ago debating the environmental impact of large families.  In this case, they were discussing 3 children.  I wonder what they are saying about this case as she has almost 5x’s times that many.

On a side note, I also find it odd that she got divorced in 2008, but was quoted saying that all her children were born via IVF through donated sperm of a friend.  Is this friend her ex-husband?  And if not, does that seem odd to anyone else that she was having children with donated sperm and never tried with her husband?  (My apologies if he is unable to have children…I’m just going on the information I have.)  And moreover, is there anyone else that will  have legal responsibilities to contribute to the well being of these children?  (I’m not counting on a million dollar book deal.  They need hugs and attention too.)  A spokesperson for the family stated that she may consider going back to work and she is exploring all options at this time.  I just don’t see how that is possible….

Joe and I were discussing this the other night before I knew more about her situation.  I only knew about the 14 total children.  I heard on the news that people were pushing for legislation to regulate the number of embryos, but I don’t think it is prudent to jump to new laws because of an ethical outlier.   It’s sad because the more I read about it, the more it seems like she sees her pregnancies almost an equivalent to some womens “retail therapy”, or an escapist way of not thinking about problems.  But before you know it, you have a closet bursting with clothes and an house with 14 children.  When is enough truly enough?

Does that sound horrible?  What do you think?  Should she be able to have as many children as she can?  Should there be restrictions on the number of embryos implanted?  How should these babies be supported?  Should the medical personnel have additional responsibility? Should society?

What is ethical in this situation?

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Wow!  Congrats to the Pittsburgh Steelers for making it to the Super Bowl!!

steelers_logo01

My family comes from a long line of Steelers fans.  My Grandma, my dad, and now my sister is probably the biggest fanatic of them all…bless her little “Terrible Towel” carrying heart.  Granted, I’m not quite so devoted, but I know I had a great time watching the game at Andy and Emma’s.  (Thanks for having us over!)  My favorite part was that awesome interception and run back for a touchdown by Troy Polamalu.  I was jumping up and down and screaming…trying not to wake up Emma in the next room.

That is why I love football.  Ahhhh…………

Now, to wait for February 1st.

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COWS!

A post about all things cows…

Cows in the News:

So, there is all this hubbub about how cows all over the world align themselves to magnetic North.

Joe and I were talking about it in passing and he said…”Maybe they are just trying to keep the sun out of their eyes.”  I love that idea.  It just makes logical sense.  I’d like to read more about the scientists theories about why the the cows align North/South and it would be very interesting if this action were an indication that the cows have little internal compasses…but I don’t see the evolutionary benefit to eating grass and sleeping while facing North or South rather than East/West.

A more personal cow story…(Mom, sorry if I get this wrong…)

Apparently, we used to own a cow.  If I remember right, her name was Bessie.  (I’m not even sure if I was born yet…I just hear the stories and feel like I was there but I was just too young to remember it clearly….so I’m assuming I was around.)  So, my Dad is a truck driver.  When we were younger, he would go on the road for a few days  leaving the girls (Mom, 2 daughters, 1 cow) to fend for ourselves.  One cold snowy evening in Indiana when my father was away, poor Bessie felt trapped and needed to stretch her legs.  She got out and proceeded to run down the street.  Upon noticing this, my brave mother had to take off running after this cow.  Again, as I wasn’t there….I’m not sure exactly what happened…but I just picture her…frantically running after this farm animal in her nightgown and overcoat….all the while, muttering to herself…”Man, Chuck.  When you get back…..” At the same time, Bessie was probably humming to herself…””Can’t catch Meeeeee…….”HAHA.  🙂 After that fateful evening, I don’t know what happened to Bessie….perhaps I don’t want to know.

Probably what Bessie looked like running away from my Mom.

Probably what Bessie looked like running away from my Mom.

Cows on Parade:

I think I’ve blogged about Cow Parade before…but back in 2000, my mom fell in love for the first time with a collectible item.  She is a very “low fluff” kind of person.  Her motto is, “The more stuff I collect, the more I have to dust.”  So it was a shock to us all when she found amusement with these figurines.  Cow Parade is a public art exhibit in which artists take the standard cow form and modify, paint, decorate, etc it.  These cows are displayed all around the city, and after the show, the pieces are auctioned off for charity…and they sell smaller replicas for individual households.  My mom got such a kick out of some of them…for awhile, it was a running joke to come up with most creatively themed cow.  (My brother-in-law was quite good at that…)  Some of the cows sold were Tutan-cow-man (dressed like King Tut), Moo-dolph (Santa’s reindeer, Rudolph)…you get the idea.

So my first memory of college is my parents moving me in, hugging me goodbye, and watching them drive off to Kansas City to see the Cow Parade in person.  I don’t think they were going to mind being empty-nesters at all!  At least I had my own cow…my Mooo-net (painted like ‘Waterlilies’) to put on my desk in my dorm room.  (I should note that my family’s amusement with these collectibles has greatly tapered off…but they still have a few around the house that make me smile when I come over to visit.)

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Cheeseburger, anyone??  Mmmm……

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Well, there have been some interesting developments at my apartment complex.  It has become quite a common occurrence to see the police outside asking questions and filling out investigative reports.  The residents were informed that there was ONE attempted/forced entry break-in last week… which made me feel a little uneasy, but then Joe and I learned about 2 more in our cul-d-sac within the last week.  After talking with our neighbor extensively last night, it’s clear that I have reason to feel a little more than uneasy. With this new management company (our complex was sold recently), they have introduced some doubt as to their professionalism and their concern for our well-being.

The complex is supposed to report all incidents to its residents, but that clearly has not been happening so, I wanted to know what was truly going on.  I went to the Atlanta police website, crime stats mapping page and did some research.

So, what this shows me is:

  1. Yes – There has been an increase in incidents over the last few months.
  2. Our apartment complex is not isolated in its events.  The neighbors behind us (townhome owners/private golf facility) is also having issues if not more.
  3. Not everything is reported on this site so the numbers could actually be low.  (i.e.: I know that Joe’s moped was stolen and reported.  I could not find any record of such incident.  I also know that some kids were robbed while swimming late at night, which there was also no record of…)

I think the numbers will be going up for this last week as soon as the website makes those available.  So, we are presented with some difficulties…

The residents are uneasy.  I have heard several talking about how they don’t want to have to defend their property and home with force, but will pull out their gun with no hesitation is someone is attempting to break-in.  We are talking about creating a ‘crime-watch’ and wanting to petition to get a security personnel on site to patrol the neighborhood.  I think a little deterrence is all it would require.

Part of me just wants to break the lease and move.  There are more contributing factors to that sentiment too…the new owners are trying to bill us each for $85 for unknown water usage.  It’s not our bill because that comes from the city.  There is speculation that they are trying to pass off a $45,000 bill onto its residents.  Whatever the case, it’s shifty and its a lot of money.  I’m tired of not having a place to park.  I’m tired of having to share walls and know when my neighbors are smoking.  I want some outside space to plant stuff and have a porch swing….But I like my house.  It’s personalized.  It’s fairly convenient for Joe and my needs for work/school.  It’s spacious and affordable for now…

I’m sure if we stay, things will blow over.  It’s just a little unsettling sitting at work, worrying about your house being broken into…and what’s most silly, is that I don’t worry much about the stuff.  Sure, I don’t want to be violated, but I worry most about Koda.  If someone kicks in a door during the day, steals stuff, leaves….will my favorite little kitty know not to wander away??

Data for figure includes:

CR apts:  3 vehicular larceny, 3 vehicular theft, 5 residential burglary, 1 robbery, 1 larceny

CC apts: 11 vehicular larceny, 2 vehicular theft, 3 residential burglary, 1 non-residential burglary, 1 larceny

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