Random Thoughts

Want real reform? This is how.

Police are not the problem. The people making the laws are the problem. They choose where your money goes. For decades money has been channeled for political gain. Step over a dollar to pick up a dime.

I was a 911 operator for years. I heard call after call after call that never should have gone to the police. OF COURSE the police have had to weaponize and militarize – they have to protect themselves. OF COURSE they have had to hire more and more officers – they have to spend more time doing things that have ZERO to do with enforcing laws. Important things—things that have to be done by SOMEbody. Why does a sheriff’s deputy have to serve papers for civil court? Why does a police officer have to arrest that homeless man or take that drug addict to the hospital yet again, knowing that person has no real way out of their situation. Why does it take 3-4 hours a day to file paperwork on non-crime items like traffic accidents (AND, if they miss crossing a T, actual criminals walk… if they can afford a lawyer?).

If it doesn’t involve enforcing a criminal (not civil) law, why are we making our police do it?

What would happen in hospitals if we fired all the nurses and told the doctors to do all of the work themselves? Nurses are certainly not lesser jobs. They’re clearly needed. All of the important things they do keep the machine running and everybody knows it. But what if some politician said, we don’t need nurses. Doctors can do all the monitoring of their patients, and all the paperwork. They can respond every time that little button gets pushed. How easy would it be for the doctor to specialize? How could he focus on the most serious cases? Well, just hire more doctors, right? Instead of having the top 40% of each medical class become doctors, let the top 80% in. What harm could possibly come from that? So what if they didn’t do as well on their training? So what if that guy is a jerk to patients? We need more bodies! Let’s make our entry criteria even easier so we can take the top 90%.

This is how we get so many “bad apples” folks. And I don’t mean “bad people” – I mean there are people who were hired to do a job who were not suited for it or qualified for it who are in over their heads. I was a good 911 operator… for a while. Thank God I was self-aware enough to realize I didn’t like the person I was becoming. I simply wasn’t cut out for that line of work. I’m pretty smart and educated and capable – but there are some jobs I just shouldn’t do. I should not be a singer. I should/could not be a nurse (God Bless all y’all). But if I had to feed my family, and all the desk jobs were gone, but the hospital was hiring a thousand singing nurses and all I had to do was show up to the interview wearing pants… well, I think we can all imagine how THAT would be.

This is a lot longer than I set out to post. I think it’s important though. I get why people freak out about it. It’s hard to really understand because it’s a long game, not a short game. Politicians need quick wins so they’ll get re-elected next time, so they’ll always choose the option that will make them look good today – let tomorrow figure itself out.

You want real change? Defund the politicians. Better yet, defund the political parties. We’re at war with each other and most of us don’t know why. I don’t like abortion and I don’t like capital punishment, but I’m asked to choose between them. Having only two strong parties turns every single issue into black or white. Only the “far left” and the “far right” really believe in every single issue their party sides on—especially since so many are contradictions.

Changing the political landscape is a long game. Money will still be given hand over fist to the parties at a National level with the current regimes (and I mean BOTH of them). Change happens locally. Why does it freaking matter if a coroner is a Democrat or a Republican? Like any other doctor, I would like someone neutral doing autopsies, thank you! Why do we have parties listed on school board elections and for the local sheriff? We have ALLOWED this narrowness into our communities. We don’t listen to the candidates without their party labels—the labels that come with stereotypes and expectations.

Do you know what I want from a sheriff or a judge or a coroner? Impartiality. I want them to make decisions based on context and facts, not on maintaining an image that aligns with a party. I want a school board and local government who makes decisions that make sense for MY community, not basing it on needs for some big city 600 miles away.

You want real reform? Start with your local elections. Find out who the candidates are – don’t just flip a lever to red or blue. Get rid of the party structure locally and you’ll see change at the state and national levels in the future.

Random Thoughts

What’s next?

I’m back!! W00t! My husband, Wayne and I are both back on social media after a crazy long hiatus. Truthfully, we have endured the most difficult couple of years in our entire lives. I’ve been silent for various reasons, but I think we’ve processed enough to be able to share and, hopefully, use our experiences to help others. I’ll get into all that eventually.

Living Proof Live 2015

But first, something positive. No period of time is all bad, just like none is all good, so I have a lot of various tidbits and interesting things I’m looking forward to blogging about. Today I’m super excited about two different Beth Moore events coming up this fall. If you have never heard of Beth, I highly recommend looking into her work. Her bible studies have made a tremendous impact on my life over the years. I don’t have a clue how just yet, but I am certain Beth will have some kind of influence in shaping my path on a project or event or “thing” I’m feeling led to do. That still small voice says the time is near and I’m excited to find out what it is!

So this fall, the first bit of awesomeness is Lifeway Women Live – a conference happening in Greenville, SC in August. While I’m looking forward to hearing Beth Moore, one of my other favorite and most influential writers, Priscilla Shirer, will also be there — as will Jen Wilkin, Jackie Hill Perry, Kelly Minter, and Jennifer Rothschild.

The second :::squee!!::: is a Living Proof Live New England Adventure. What a great new way to see Boston, Portland, and Bar Harbor, plus I’ll be seeing Saint John, New Brunswick (Bay of Fundy) and Halifax, Nova Scotia for the first time. And while Royal Caribbean is probably my least favorite cruise line (one of these days I’m going to get around to writing that post comparing various cruise lines), my time on the boat will be extraordinary, if not life changing.

Girlfriends’ NYC Trip – Erika, Grace, Donna, and Morgan

Sharing in both of these adventures is my sister-in-Christ, Grace, one of my dearest friends. We have been traveling together for more than 10 years now and we ALWAYS have a good time. This is going to be amazing!!

Just for Fun, Random Thoughts

The Penna Keyboard is GREAT for writers

My husband knows me so very well. One of my favorite presents for Christmas this year is my Penna Keyboard. There is something deliciously satisfying about the tactile experience of a good, old-fashioned keyboard. Years ago, I got the Hanx Writer app by Tom Hanks (yes, THAT Tom Hanks) that at least allowed the sound of a typewriter on my iPad; however, I still pined for an old school word processor just so I can have keys that depress. Since I prefer writing in the fantastic Scriviner app, I never pursued the word processor desire and lose the ability to work and type right in the app.Penna Bluetooth Keyboard with White Chrome Keycap(US Language) (Switch-Cherry Mx Brown, Baby Pink)

The Penna Keyboard is the best of all worlds. The keys (round Retro Chrome Keycaps on my version) have a pleasing click-clack and are very responsive. The keyboard can pair with up to five devices and, since it is not OS-specific, so I can use it on any device as I float between my Mac, iPad, and PC… and even my iPhone.

Since I just opened my new toy this morning, I’m still getting to know all of the features. Despite looking like an old school typewriter, all of the key options you’d expect to see on a quality Bluetooth keyboard are included, and then some. Multi-media keys control things like volume and screen brightness, while the clever little faux return carriage lever allows you to record and automatically retype favorite keys or sentences.

Overall I’m super excited and suddenly inspired to write. Whether that’s from the keyboard, the vacation time, the wine, or some combination, we’ll never really know. I’m humoring my husband now by writing this blog post about the Penna Keyboard using the Penna Keyboard, but I think I’ll finish up the dozen or so posts sitting in draft and retro-publish them this week.

Merry Christmas!

Random Thoughts

An important perspective on Suicide Prevention by my friend @joethepeacock

How To Help Someone Who Is Suicidal

…And no, it’s not by posting the Suicide Prevention Hotline to your social media feed.

On May 30, 2011, I tried to take my own life.
The last thing I did before I committed to killing myself was throw my phone into the river behind my house… So, telling me to call the suicide prevention hotline wouldn’t have helped. Not right then.

Keep reading at joepeacock.com

Random Thoughts

How Responsible Tourism Can Challenge Patriarchy in India.

I would love to go see what difference, if any, a year has made.

The Shooting Star

Over the course of my travels in India, I’ve found myself in some strange predicaments. Once, I was in the home of a middle class family in the mountains, ready to pounce on delicious local food after a long, back-breaking journey. But when I arrived in the dining area, I found myself joined only by the men of the family, as the women served, and then waited on us from a distance.

I sat in awkward silence, not sure if I should join the women in the kitchen and further the house’s patriarchal traditions, or eat with the men as the women waited. I could imagine the same scene playing out in hundreds of households across the country.

At the end of the awkward (though delicious) meal, the elderly male head of the household said to me with a disconcerting confidence: I think I’ve figured out why you ate so little, it was probably because…

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Human Issues, Random Thoughts

Spammers, Stalkers, and Trolls – Part 2 (or possibly Part 947 :::rolls eyes::: )

Since getting called out in January for trying to comment on my blog, my stalker, Melissa David, has been so quiet we started hoping she had finally gotten help and moved on. She’s blocked from our Facebook accounts and we’ve stopped updating profile and cover pictures to try to make her lose interest. Our Instagram accounts are set to private, we stopped using Tumblr all together, and we don’t put family pictures anywhere she can get to them, since she really loves attacking our children and grandchildren.

sorryEven still, I can see when she lurks on my blog thanks to WordPress analytics, and my Pinterest analytics show a disproportionately high number of visits from the New York area. This inspires me to try not to post anything that might accidentally provoke her. Unfortunately, she’s perpetually convinced everything we do has something to do with her. I had to stop tweeting anything that would indicate where we are traveling at any moment, especially trips to New York, because those really set her off.

I do still haveimg_3454 her name on regular rotation for morning prayers. I can’t shake a lingering feeling she’s really needs all the prayers she can get. The IP address she used during the last comment spam harassment episode indicate she’s using Dunkin’ Donuts free wifi to appear she’s living in a respectable neighborhood instead of a shelter or the projects, which just makes me sad for her on so many levels. Single and alone, destitute, no family, childless, alcoholic. Wildly obsessed (for seven years) with someone she’s never met. I pray for her for all that and in general; however, I have to admit, she has rarely come to mind otherwise.

IMG_6572Then, a week or two ago, totally unprovoked and out-of-the-blue, we started receiving random letters and packages. At first, it was just a catalog here, a free sample there. Obviously it was her (using random homophones of my name is typical of her often middle school like tactics), but again, feeling more pity for her than anything, we chose to ignore it.

Unfortunately, narcissistic sociopaths do not like being ignored.

IMG_9318The mailings increased every day. More types of junk mail, more weird name spelling, more Jr. High obnoxiousness. Plus-size clothing catalogs. Religious brochures. Adult incontinence product samples.

She must have enjoyed some pretty intense drunken binges and several late night Google searches accompanying her daily visits to my social media sites. How miserable does a person have to be? I cannot even imagine how much time it would take someone to do all this. All just to get my attention? I might feel special if it weren’t so incredibly creepy. Of course we still ignored her. I’d still be ignoring this if it hadn’t continued to get worse and worse.

IMG_0900 3-downThe past two days, I finally reached the point where I decided to publicly call her out (and hopefully shut her down again) because of the OTHER victims in this ridiculous stalker prank. All of this costs people money to send, but the bulk magazine and bulk mail advertising is one thing — but making people send us things using Next Day Fed-Ex is something totally different. Especially when it isn’t a regular envelope. In just the past two days, we’ve received three books that cost the senders between $4.00 and $8.00 each. Why would someone do that to people?

IMG_7865The other victims are our postal workers. Today alone we received 14 POUNDS of junk mail. The mail carrier had to get out of his delivery car and make two trips to bring it all to the door. The ONE DAY pile is 9 inches tall.

Seriously? These poor people have to work hard enough every day. I could not possibly care less at her pathetic attempts to garner my attention, but I’m pretty irritated that she’s involving total strangers. It’s just so immature and gross.

Sadly, outside of calling her out on her obnoxious stalking, I imagine there is little we can do to help the other victims. We’ll cancel what we can, obviously, and we’ve reported it to the Postal Inspection Service. Will they be able to do anything? I doubt it. It’s not like anyone is going to set up a sting operation at Dunkin’ Donuts.

I used to wonder if my husband exaggerated her crude and bitter ugliness when he told miserableme stories about her, but I realize after years of her torment that he was actually generously flattering. What right does an uneducated, homeless, unemployed prostitute have to do this to people?

This tasteless prank illustrates how very basic she really is. The epitome of classlessness. These hardworking folks – just trying to make an honest dollar hauling mail in the South Carolina heat. WTH?

Just because someone she doesn’t even know is living the life she thinks she wants but doesn’t think she can have? If she would just get a job and take her meds regularly – plus get a sponsor and stay on her AA program – I’m sure she could find some guy to marry, get a little house in the suburbs, plant a garden, learn to cook. I’ll even unblock her on Pinterest so she can repin my life to her heart’s content – I would wish anyone a wonderful life like mine… even her. I am the first one to say I’m blessed far beyond what I deserve.

I guess I need to keep praying for her. Maybe I need to take her off rotation and add her to the daily list.

Luke 6:27-30 – 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Romans 12:20 –  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

If you feel so inclined, please pray for a woman named Melissa David.

UPDATE 5/21/17:

Sadly, the harassment continues. She must have wanted to make absolute sure I knew it was her since she’s using calling cards. “Ericunt” is, apparently, her favorite pet name for me. The fake email addresses she keeps using to order stuff online (from the U.S. Government!!) follow the same pattern she has used on all of her fake profiles and her personal gmail address (erroin76heroin – anais77nin).

Only someone with absolutely nothing to lose would risk felony charges for stalking, mail fraud, slander, and identity theft over and over again. It’s so sad! Continually attacking innocent people demonstrates a complete lack of morals.

IMG_5106

Just for Fun, Random Thoughts

Painting, Pinterest, and Procrastination #redecorating

We’re getting ready to redecorate. Well, I say redecorate, but we never really got around to finishing the decorating when we bought the house three years ago. Recently, my husband and I have started feeling artsy and inspired to take on the redecorating ourselves. I have a vision of a warm, inviting kitchen with a Tuscan color scheme and old world / southern country French accents and my husband is determined to master the Tuscan faux paint technique.

Innocently but inevitably, this drove me to Pinterest. The vortex. The black hole. The incessant time suck addiction which has, of course, taken over my every conscious free moment. A thousand pins on 20 boards later, we haven’t bought any paint brushes, but I’ve planned out my next 5K, 10K, and half marathon; created a reading list through 2023; and planned the next three vacations (India, Germany, and Budapest – I didn’t even know I wanted to visit Budapest).

Like most women, I pretty much planned my wedding on Pinterest. And our vow renewal ceremonies every five years until we die. You did it, too. Don’t lie.

Pin pin pin pin pin.pants

I mean, seriously. Look at these gold jamavaar cigarette trousers with diamanté embroidery that I now have to buy!! —————>

Even with all the distractions, I managed to find a lot of great decorating ideas. The husband has at least four different painting techniques he’s going to try out and we actually landed on a color for the kitchen (three shades of color, actually) that will complement the living and dining rooms nicely (if we ever get around to finishing them).

Thanks to Pinterest, I also located my two artful contributions – hand-painted ceiling medallions and stenciling for the archways. Right now, since it’s all in my head and no where near a reality, the project will be easy, not at all exhausting, and a wonderful fun bonding experience for me and my husband. Aren’t you excited for us? Wanna help?

Random Thoughts

9 signs he loves you for who you are #Blessed

My husband and I will celebrate our anniversary in a couple days and today this timely article popped up in my blog feed. All these years together and we still look forward to seeing each other every day after work. These are my sweetie to a tee, and I can definitely say I am one lucky lady. I wish all my readers this kind of love… if not now, then in the near future. Cheers!

1. They love the things about you that you don’t necessarily love about yourself. When you’re running around your apartment like a chicken with its head cut off because you forgot where you put your keys only to realize they’re in your hands, your SO isn’t annoyed, they’re one part amused, and two…

via 9 Signs Your Significant Other Loves You For Who You Really Are — Thought Catalog

Random Thoughts

Meet and Greet: 3/11/17

Meet and Greet! #amwriting #blogging

Dream Big, Dream Often

 dreambigwallpaper-pinkombre

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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