poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Jun. 13, 2008 . Time: 7:35 a.m.

forgotten Entry:



Most people - or many Americans - think of witch hunts as something that happened in New England in the 1600s. In fact, it was widespread phenomenon across Europe which targetted women who lived alone, usually elderly. How many died? Who knows. The estimate that wiki*pedia cites is 60,000. That's a hell of a lot of people no matter how you slice it.

7:35 a.m. - Jun. 13, 2008


i love this record baby / but i cant see straight any more

So many songs have been rocking my socks off lately. A short list, most or all available on Ama*zon. I love Ama*zon music.

1.) Cambodia / Pulsedriver
2.) Just Dance / Lady GaGa
3.) Lover on the Line / N Euro
4.) Virgin of Love / Ramon Zerano
5.) Waiting for U / Chromeo

And it's sunny! Hooray.

6:01 p.m. - Jun. 12, 2008


walking versus driving

What a morning. I left my keys in B's car, so he had to drive to my place to give them to me so I could drive to work. I guess I could have walked. It's only two miles, and it actually takes 15 minutes to drive due to traffic. It would probably take 35 minutes to walk. However, due to traffic and narrow roads, it's actually a very hazardous / unpleasant walk. I've never seen anyone ever walking a couple of the stretches. It's too bad, because if it were walker friendly, it'd be a great way to get a little exercise.

I'm actually also really close to the grocery store, about a mile, but I never walk there either. There's a large intersection. In order to get to the crosswalk, it extends the trip by about half a mile and then you half to wait for the light to change. If driving, you can pull into the turn lane. Therefore, it's probably a two minute trip by car and a 15 minute trip by foot. That's a savings of 25 minutes to drive a distance of less than a mile. It's numbers like this that make me really want to drive. I grocery shop by myself, and I want to spend my time with others or relaxing in my house or yard. Walking along a heavily trafficed street is unpleasant.

So. Much. Work. It never, never ends.

8:13 a.m. - Jun. 12, 2008


49 degrees right now

Seattle is colder that Siberia, Alaska, and Norway. In fact, yesterday, the weather forecast called for highs roughly 10 degrees higher in both Anchorage and Fairbanks than Seattle.

There was one 2 day stretch during which I was able to turn off my heat a month or two ago - since then, I have to run the heat every morning and evening. It's June 11th! We had one brief "heat spell" in May, but it hasn't hit 70 since then. Heck, we haven't been seeing 60!

Right now, 7:45 AM, it's 49 degrees and cloudy - "feels like 46" according to weather.com. It's not even sunny and cold - it's cloudy and/or rainy and cold, which makes it feel colder. The predicted high today is 57 degrees.

7:42 a.m. - Jun. 11, 2008


let the citizens dance in the streets / let the champagne flow

I still don't get how a 3 year old can be overweight. It seems to me that if they are overweight, they should send the parents to classes, not the kid. They talk about rising rates of obesity / overweight, but here's the following, "Mrs. Matlack, Melody's mother, was persuaded her daughter was too heavy after the girl was weighed during a doctor's visit. Melody was 37 inches tall and weighed 35� pounds, giving her a body-mass index of 18.4. That put Melody in the 97th percentile for kids her age and height, meaning that 97% of children her age and height have a lower body-mass index. Children at or above the 95th percentile are considered overweight by the CDC." If you define who's overweight by their percentage with respect to others, aren't you pre-defining how many will be called overweight? Also, the article recommends parents get their childs BMI measured, which is something many parents probably didn't do before, so it seems likely additional measurement will lead to additional "diagnoses." Here's another quote: "In separate parent sessions with pediatric psychologist Carolyn Landis, Mrs. Matlack learned which types of foods to keep in the house, age-appropriate portion sizes and how to set boundaries around eating." Maybe the sessions with the kids are just a front to get the parents in the classroom.

This sort of cracked me up:

The Girls kicked into action, encouraging Ms. Greene to track her spending. While some of her income was going to pay down debt, including $14,500 in student loans, Ms. Greene realized she was also spending too much on extras, like her $400 Cole Haan boots and her hungry boyfriend, who she says would consume much of her food when he came over. "Things were particularly bad when it came to produce," she says. "He'd eat like four tangerines at once....Sometimes I'd cut up some watermelon, pineapple and strawberries. He'd eat a good 75% of that."

So, Ms. Greene says she dumped him, after frequent arguments about grocery bills and other money matters. The former boyfriend, a 36-year-old engineer named Lindon Fairweather, says he shared grocery costs but acknowledges he did munch a lot of fruit at Ms. Greene's. "I'll eat more than four tangerines, absolutely....I can eat 18 mangoes in two days," he says. "That's just me."

It's from an article on credit card debt. If eating too much, or eating too much fruit, were grounds for dumping a boyfriend, B would be OUT. Of course, if drinking too much OJ were grounds for dumping a girlfriend, he would have dumped me a long time ago.

The IPhone analysis also amused me. Many of my co-workers have iPhones. They are very nice, but I have to admit I'm not even really tempted by the $200 model. I don't WANT to have internet 24/7. Of course, I held out on cell phones for a really long time, too, and now I'd hate to be without mine. The best quote; obviously the writer is no spring chicken.

One thing I've noticed from personal observation is that a lot of the people who first rushed to get iPhones last year were in their early twenties. No surprise about that, I suppose. I just hope our savings, pensions and entitlement crises have miraculously vanished by the time they turn 65. If they had waited a year, saved $300, and invested it for their retirement they would probably have an extra $2,700 � in today's dollars � by the time they turn 65. That's assuming a modest return of 5% after inflation. If you factor in that a lot of these people put the cost on a credit card, and that they probably aren't maxing out their contributions to their 401k and Roth IRAs, the numbers will be even bigger.... I don't want to be too much of a spoilsport. Obviously any day that sees the launch of a new Apple product is one of national celebration and joy. Let the citizens dance in the streets. Let the champagne flow.

7:25 a.m. - Jun. 10, 2008


the importance of change

Great ramble on feminism. I really liked the point about how NOW embraces "intersectionality" - ie, they are against not just sexism, but also racism, poverty, homophobia, etc. Basically, they are a lot like the liberal Dems with a slight feminist tilt. This has always annoyed me, but subconciously. By contrast, you don't hear the NAACP going on about women's rights or descibing themselves as a feminist organization - or La Raza - and rightly so. Focus, people! We already have a general liberal organization; it's called the Democratic party. I think the lack of focus by NOW probably makes it less effective. It's certainly a disappointment to me. Here's what the article has to say:

But feminists weren't going to do things the old-fashioned, "political" way. Instead, faced with criticism that the movement was too white and middle-class, many influential feminist thinkers conceded that issues affecting mostly white middle-class women -- such as the corporate glass ceiling or the high cost of day care -- should not significantly concern the feminist movement. Particularly in academic circles, only issues that invoked the "intersectionality" of many overlapping oppressions were deemed worthy. Moreover, that concern must include the whole weight of those oppressions. In other words, since racism hurts black women, feminists must fight not only racist misogyny but racism in any form; not only rape as an instrument of war, but war itself. The National Organization for Women (NOW) eventually amended its mission statement to include interrelated oppressions.

Although other organizations work on women's issues when appropriate, none of the other social movements were much interested in making intersectionality their mission. The nation's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, which co-sponsored the 2004 march in alliance with women's groups, says nothing about feminism or homophobia or intersectionality in its mission statement. The largest Hispanic rights organization, National Council of La Raza, unembarrassedly proclaims that it "works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans."

The author blames the seating of Clarence Thom*as partially on this lack of focus, and the general lack of effectiveness of the feminist movement.

One thing that bothers me is how the abortion issue is such a divisive issue among feminists. As a Catholic, I grew up staunchly pro-life (though I have changed my views) but I called myself a feminist from the age of 6. I often got negative feedback for this, in retrospect I think primarily because of the abortion issue. That issue IS critical, but there are so many others that we can agree on. I wish there was a way to harness agreement on other issues independent of the abortion issue.

I liked this paragraph as well.

This is probably the moment for me to admit that I am a Chris Matthews-inspired Clintonite. I started out feeling very lukewarm toward Clinton, but every time someone on cable television called her a bitch or a pimp, my interest in her candidacy went up. A lot of the feminists for Obama were also horrified at the tone of the Clinton coverage, but they maintained that you could be mad at Matthews and Tim Russert and Alex Castellanos and the guys on the Internet and in your office but still support Obama. I am, as my young feminist friends and Obama supporters keep reminding me, old.

Will all the twenty-something women who voted for Oba*ma wake up in 20 years, in their 40s with girls of their own, and realize that we still haven't had a woman president? That 50% of the population and the majority of the voters still go unrepresented in the highest office in the country and arguably the most important position in the world? (Though, of course, the latter may no longer be true.)

Women are not a minority. They're a MAJORITY. Apparently, unlike African-Americans, unlike Mormons, unlike men, we are simply not passionate about the advancement of our "group" to vote accordingly. If we were, Hillary wouldn't have been the only option. There would have been more women on the primary ballot, and those who didn't like Hillary could have voted for another woman if they so chose. There'd be a pipeline coming up so that one could comfortably vote for Oba*ma knowing that in future elections, there'd be women on the ballot to vote for.

Why is it 2008 and men still dominate the positions of power not only in the United States but much of Europe? Am I the only one who thinks it's important that this change?

9:34 p.m. - Jun. 07, 2008



I'm sitting in my house trying to motivate myself to garden. It's cool and drizzly outside. The weather today is "Few showers" with a high of 57 degrees. 57! In June!

According to the Seattle Times, the average temperature for the first week of June in Seattle is normally 59.2 degrees, but this year, it was 52.5. It's also been raining. It's cold! After a cold snowy winter, they were predicting snow at the passes this weekend (3500 foot snowline).

The weather is so weird, forecasters were even expecting up to 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations of the Olympics and North Cascades Friday night. Up to 3 inches of snow was forecast for mountain passes above 3,500 feet, like Stevens Pass, Burg said. That also included Chinook, Washington Pass and roads to Paradise and Hurricane Ridge. The snowfall was supposed to taper off over the weekend.

Normally, B and I are hiking up to 5500 or 6000 feet in June. Last weekend, we went snowshoeing through 3 feet of snow at about 3000 feet. At this rate, the hiking season won't start until August!

Not only that, but the paper notes that a cold June and July are predicted.

And don't expect a warm July, either.

"The three-month outlook for Western Washington shows below-normal temperatures mid-May through July," said Jeff Michalski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The prediction that temperatures will be "below normal" means they could be only 1 or 2 degrees below average � or as much as 10 or 15 degrees below average, as they've been for the past few days.

Seriously, I know global warming is bad for polar bears and for the planet, but we could really use an increase of 5 to 10 degrees, year round, in Seattle.

10:37 a.m. - Jun. 07, 2008


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