...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quote for today

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely riduculous than absolutely boring!

- Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

in case you missed it yesterday...

...Zelda turned 25!


back to business in WI

At least, as much as it can be.

Protests continue, but much less than before. And the Senate and Assembly are both in session, although the "Feisty Fourteen" have not yet returned from Illinois. It's a shame.

And the rain has finally stopped here in San Diego - back to clear blue skies and sun. Too bad I have class tonight.

I enjoyed this article by George Will - seems to be a pretty civil argument.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

snow heading toward Madison

I'm wondering if the snow storm that is now forecast for Madison and much of the rest of the state will start to dial things back a bit in the WI capital. Guess we'll find out.

On a side note, I did say a prayer for safety for my brother, who is working as a law enforcement officer today at one of the entrances to the capital building.

Here's another great read on this whole issue:


I'm interested to see how the reactions will be now that there will be supporters as well as protesters on each side. The national news coverage continues to increase...I'm even getting a healthy dose of it over here.

Do I really have to finish a book, read, and write a paper this weekend? (sigh)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Craziness in WI day 2

Well, it looks like the Milwaukee Public Schools have also decided to close today due to teachers calling in 'sick'.

Not sure how this is all going to end up, but I agree with some that those who may be losing out the most with this whole thing are the students (yes, yes, I know, they get days off and who wouldn't like that, but that's not really the point).

This particular op-ed piece was shared this morning, and I think it does a great job of articulating some of these thoughts. Please take a gander if you have a minute or two:


Thursday, February 17, 2011

As I ride...

Here I am...on a solitary trolley ride home from USD, writing. It's very peaceful actually....lets me contemplate life. And realize how tired I am.

I do enjoy public transportation. I seem to have good luck catching trains and buses, so I always recommend those options if available.

Tomorrow is Friday. Yay.

Quote for today

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
-- George Bernard Shaw, "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1893) act II

the craziness in WI

I've been thinking long and hard about whether or not to post an opinion on what is now happening in WI, but when it got down to it, I just couldn't help myself.

If you don't know, there is a bill in place to change a bunch of things related to the budget crisis being experienced in the state (not unlike CA right now). One of the items being proposed by the new Gov, Scott Walker, will include a reduction in the union bargaining rights for state employees.

What I think is getting lost in this whole discussion is the fact that most, if not all, of the state unionized workers are already able to claim civil service protections under state agencies and current law. Not only that, but most if not all employees are receiving greatly reduced if not free health-care and are paying nothing into the pensions they are receiving. All of that money is coming from the state. One writer wrote it up like this: the new bill would require "public employees contribute 5.8% of their pay to their pensions and 12.6% of the cost of their health care premiums."

As a unionized employee myself, I can easily relate to the discussion. What I can't get over though is the thought that people in WI are so upset by the prospect of having to pay into pensions and for health-care. Where does it say that the state or federal govt for that matter is obligated to just give money to people for free? Now I realize in some cases and in some professions, music comes to mind, that income is so greatly reduced that some kind of concession is needed to assist those who have a limited income (and I don't disagree with that). But for those who make $40-50k a year, I don't think its unreasonable to expect those individuals to contribute something to their benefits packages.

The other argument is the reduced cut of unionized bargaining (most of which I think is what's causing the state "sick-in" that is happening today). My only question on that is this: If current law provides civil protections for state employees and is already in place, then why shouldn't there be consideration (or at least a discussion) for reduction in something that will help balance the state budget?

I'll come back to my main thought. It's easy to get riled up, especially when the big picture seems a bit cloudy. But if everyone is so upset about what has been proposed, why doesn't someone offer an alternative??? I'm sure that the legislature would be willing to consider another option if presented. But right now it seems like getting all riled up and vilifying Scott Walker seems to be preferred, rather than the focus being on trying to fix a state budget that is on parallel to CA's by proportion. It may not have been a popular choice, but at least the Governor decided to offer something. As participants in a democratic system, other alternatives are allowed to be offered and debated.

Will someone in WI step up and offer an alternative? Since most schools are now closed in the state, everyone should have a good chance to think about it.

Addendum: Just a little more context on this issues regarding the union rights:

First, Walker hasn’t “outlawed” unions, or even proposed outlawing them, either. Walker’s proposal would restrict negotiations with non-law-enforcement unions to wages only, and would require re-certification votes each year. It would also make Wisconsin a right-to-work state, ending automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks and instead make them voluntary. That may put unions in a tough position to justify their continued representation, but it hardly outlaws the unions.

Monday, February 14, 2011

its Monday

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Saw this note - thought I'd pass it along regarding what some consider to be a Hallmark holiday:

Did you know? Valentine's Day celebrates an ancient Christian festival. The day was originally set aside in honor of Roman soldier Valentinus, who was martyred for his faith. So, Happy Valentinus Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Peaceful walk home last night - a good chance for reflection. The stars weren't bad either.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

has it sunk in?

I don't think it has for me yet. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm still in a slight state of shock regarding the Packer Super Bowl win. Just watching the last pass thrown incomplete and realizing that at that moment, it was done - the victory in hand. It was almost too much I think. Such a long season with so many injuries and so many different ups and downs, and now here we are - champions for the foreseeable future (lockout pending). Just a tad bit nuts.

Flights back home this weekend were fairly ok - was my first IAD to SFO trip, all six hours of it. It's hard to be back home and be back to work, but I don't have much choice in that matter at this point. I found myself trying to calculate how long our forefathers would have taken to get to San Fran on horse...or carriage.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

no fun

So here I sit, while everyone else gets to have fun snow days and enjoy the blizzard. Lucky. I can't honestly say that I would be happy to try to shovel all of the blizzard, but I think I would definitely enjoy not having to go to work. And sleeping in would be nice too.