Monday, October 28, 2013

Changing Our Welfare State

I've been listening to a lot of talk radio lately and I heard something the other day about changing our nation's welfare state.  I am not super political, I don't align myself with any particular party, but I do think this country is currently headed for the shitter.

First off, let me give you a basic understanding of what a "welfare state" is.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica a welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life."

I feel that in today's society there are too many people abusing the programs offered by the USA.  I have some solutions that are sure to be unpopular with a lot of people, but take some time to think them over.

1. Audit those on welfare and disability, including drug testing.  There are a lot of unemployed people out there right now chomping at the bit for work that pays well. These audits should have a required urine test and its aim should be to help people prioritize what's important.  Do you get your hair and nails done every week, but still have issues with getting food to your kids?  Do you have a drug problem?  Do you spend everything on booze and cigarettes before paying your bills?  Are you on full disability but you really shouldn't be?  Do you have the latest iphone, a fancy car, and party all the time while collecting a government check?  These things should disqualify people for receiving government money with very few exceptions (like having served in the armed forces).

2. Limit time to be on welfare to a 5 year maximum.  Welfare is set up to provide a helping hand, not to be relied upon as a source of permanent income.  5 years on welfare is enough time to assist a single mother until her child is old enough to attend full time school.  Complaining about this?  Try getting a job!  I also think that with limited welfare, there should be a program to get people into a skilled trade (there are lots of options when it comes to skilled trades) or factory work.

3. Reform the "No Child Left Behind Act".  This stupid act means that classes go as fast as the slowest student and/or the slow student just gets passed.  You hear about people not knowing how to read or spell or do simple algebra...this is why.

4. Raise the standards of public education.  Believe it or not, our schools are severely lacking.  They want everyone to feel warm and fuzzy.  They pass out dumb awards (graduating from kindergarten, etc), don't encourage the important stuff (science fair, debate club, etc), and let students fall victim to educational ennui.  They should go back to some old standards like Latin and a basic knowledge of fine arts.  Classes should have more of a group discussion feel instead of the basic lecturing feel because its more engaging.

5. Repeal Obamacare.  I've been against this from the start.  I do not like Obama.  I do not like Obamacare.  I will not support this.  I will work hard and earn my healthcare the old fashioned way.

6. Change Food Stamps.  I've seen people buy the worst stuff on food stamps.  Food stamps should be for basic food stuff: bulk items (flour, sugar, beans, rice, etc), milk, yogurt, eggs, meat, bread, and produce.  No junk food, alcohol, frozen pizza, etc.  Learn to cook and learn to eat healthy.  You'll have less problems and you'll thank yourself.  It's not the government telling you what you can and can't purchase.  It's the government allowing you the opportunity to purchase certain foods with government money.  Get a fucking job and you can buy your own frozen pizzas.

7. Mental Asylums & Orphanages, Bring Them Back.  With social services being a stronger force, I think that bringing back orphanages would be a good thing.  It would give the state a safe place to house and educate children.  Each orphanage could even have a small social service office (2 or 3 people) to help place children, keep an eye on them, etc.  Orphanages got a bad rap at the turn of the century, but social services was not in place at the time.  Also, lets bring back mental asylums.  Why not keep the crazy people in a designated place?  It would mean that part of our taxes would go to keeping it afloat, but there's also quite a bit of research grant money out there too.

If I come up with more stuff, I'll add it.  Do you agree or disagree with me?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A female version of "Expendables"

I like to cast movies in my mind, just as a fun thought exercise.  Let me know what you think.

If there was a female version of "The Expendables".  The challenge is finding women who look and/or appear to actually be able to kick ass.  They need to intimidate and not be weary of piling on the muscles for the film.

Good Guys
Lucy Lawless
Angelina Jolie
Hilary Swank
Michelle Rodriguez
Eliza Dushku

Bad Guys
Lynda Carter
Jaime Pressley
Zoey Bell
Zoe Saldana

Top Choices, A Definite Must
Linda Hamilton
Sigourney Weaver

I might start a collection of important reading material for today's society.  I encourage everyone to read what I post and to discuss it with people around you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Etsy Shop

If you're looking for a gift for that rockabilly person in your life who likes to fish, look no further.  I have some retro-inspired hand painted fishing lures for sale at my etsy shop.

Here are some examples.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Goal

Yesterday I had the WORST headache for about 7 solid hours.  Finally talked to my guy...he neglected to tell me that he was back from his trip, but okay.  Anyway, I came up with a new plan: to get a morning, part time job.  I had four days off, split down the middle with one day of work, and realized that every time I have time off I get bummed out.  Why?  It's pretty simple.  I don't like being in Oregon, I don't like the work I'm doing, and I don't like how I'm not in my guy's life in a physical sense (I want to hang out with him).   I've been told that I just have to suck it up and deal with it.  I don't like that answer.  I'm still living out of boxes like I have been since early August.  I'm tempted to sell it all or throw it away or something.

On a brighter note, I'm getting more focused on writing articles for Ultra Swank.  "Why?", you might never ask.  I want to write about something I'm not only interested in, but something that I wish I could live - yes, in the past when morals were valued and hard work paid off.  This day and age two bachelor degrees and a strong work ethic can't get you anything except minimum wage jobs in fields not even remotely related to your educational background.  Way to go America.  I like your new socialist apron.  Perhaps I can strangle you with it before you ruin the BBQ.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Booberry Caper

Maybe 'caper' isn't the right word, but it sounds good for a blog post title.  I went on a big hunt for Booberry cereal a few days ago and finally found some.  I don't buy cereal very often, but the one time of the year I do get cereal it's for Halloween cereal - usually Booberry.  Interesting fact: There's enough food coloring in a bowl of this cereal to turn your poop a new color!   Seriously, it freaked me out.

As you might have noticed, I have a growing list of articles that are being posted over at Ultra Swank.  I have more up my sleeve for that blog. *smile*  I just don't want to overwhelm them by sending in a whole shit load all at once.  I wanted to put this out there though: Ultra Swank is looking for more contributors.

I'm currently listening to the B-52s.  Aren't they great?  At my parent's house I have two albums on vinyl (Party Mix and Mesopotamia).  I should retrieve my vinyl at some point soon.  I have some other gems like David Bowie's Young Americans.

Not sure what I'm going to do for Halloween.  I was thinking about going out to dinner (yep, by myself) and then over to the new martini lounge for a martini. I'm not sure though.  That seems like money poorly spent.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Working On It

It's 8:45am and I'm sitting here in my pink robe, sweatpants, and winter socks wondering what the hell I'm doing with myself.  I was up at 5am today, granted I was zoned out while watching an episode of Ugly Betty on Netflix before I really got moving, but by 6:30am I was at the gym.  I don't like to leave for the gym past 7am.  The equipment I use is always taken if I leave later.  Anyway, I did my weights, then I did my cardio.  I ran 2.02 miles in 18 minutes, which makes me proud of myself. *big smile*

Sometimes we don't get a direct path to where we want to be.

I'm still hunting for a job in AZ and I might be a new contributor over at the Ultra Swank blog.  My book should be coming out pretty soon.  I'm just waiting to hear from my editor on it.  I'm also hoping to tone up and maybe drop 10-15 lbs of fat.  I'm worried about not being able to get Christmas gifts for people, the five people I want to get gifts for.  I'm trying to force myself to get out for Halloween, but I don't really want to spend money....ARGH!  I don't know if it would help if I got a day planner and just start writing everything out.

I keep hearing from everyone that "it'll happen if it's meant to be" or something along those lines, generally in regards to my pursuit of an actual career and relationship.  I keep applying and I keep hoping, and strangely enough I see signs everywhere.  AZ comes up multiple times on a daily basis just from work and signs and the radio.  Maybe things will snap into place by December.  That would be awesome.

I'll keep you all posted about Ultra Swank - which I highly recommend checking out if you haven't already.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Tapioca

I made pumpkin tapioca pudding this morning and thought that I should share it with you.

I used Minute Tapioca and my homemade pumpkin puree.

I followed the directions on the box for the tapioca, but I added cinnamon and ginger to the mix.  I added the pumpkin right before I took the tapioca off the stove.  Just make sure you mix well.

Better Again

After a phone call with my guy that lasted until 3:30am, I feel 100% better.  I even got to the gym today.  My Guy, btw, took first place in breaking and second place in patterns!  He's gearing up for ITF taekwondo nationals this next year and he's opening up an ITF taekwondo school in the Phoenix-area.

I tried this recipe that I found the other day for Orange-Pumpkin Jello.  I roasted and pureed a small pumpkin, then divided the puree into two ziploc bags.  The first bag, I dumped into a bowl and mixed in some ginger, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of agave nectar (cause I don't do sugar).  I opened a box of orange jello and added 1 cup of boiling water, but only 2/3 cup of cold water.  I whisked in the spiced pumpkin puree and threw the concoction into the fridge.  I came home from work and tried it out.  Its strangely good.

Okay, so I didn't whisk it THAT well.  Its still good.
My next thing to make (maybe today) is Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding.  I love Halloween, so expect a lot of baking and cooking this month.