Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Secret Santa Strikes Again

I missed the arrival of my wonderful Secret Santa gift but opened it first thing Sunday evening. Inside was the newest Stephen King hardback and a large, beautiful Santa china doll.

Much thanks to my Secret Santa over at the Coffeypot. You done good.

Friday, December 24, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

From the best version of the Christmas Carol, I give you, "Bless Us, One and All".

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DADT Breaks the Filibuster!

DADT has passed cloture by 63-33!

Now it's on to the vote to repeal. There are some indications that the vote may take place as soon as this afternoon. Either way, this law is destined for the history books as repeal takes only a majority.

It's long past time that the US repealed this law and allowed all military personnel to serve with honor.

Happy Holiday Blogtastic Shout-Out

Hey there all, it's that time of year. Since Jen at Sprite's Keeper has taken a break this year, Kate at Recommended Daily Dose has taken over. For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, this is a chance for participants to spread the bloggy love and highlight one of their favorite blogs assigned to them by Kate.

This year, I'm sending out the love to Aliceson at Feet Off the Table. Aliceson is one of this blog's faithful followers who comments regularly. She's even seen fit to friend me on Facebook. Her blog is full of her family, her dog and some really amazing photos. It's been great fun to watch her take her photography from a hobby to a business. She's got a great eye and I predict she'll do quite well. (I get to say so with all the authority of a never used Bachelor's in Journalism with a photojournalism concentration.)

I love reading her posts about her kiddos. They remind me so much of my own at that age. One part goofy, one part precious and all about seeing how much they can torment their mom with their antics. In other words, pretty typical. Though I do have to say that if Binny's wardrobe choices are any indication, she's got a future in the creative arts.

I hope you all go visit and say hi. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Wear a Plunger On Your Head Day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Senate and DADT

With thanks to Juanita Jean's.

Here's hoping that the Senate does the right thing, for once. The indicators are good that Reid has the votes. Though McCain is mumbling about a filibuster. Hopefully, someone will tell the old fart to sit down and shut up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Secret Santa Soiree

So this year, I get to blog about the gift I'm sending instead of the gift I receive, which is different. And kinda cool.

I got lucky and got a fellow Texan in the draw so this offered up all sorts of exciting possibilities. Since my giftee said she likes sweatshirts, I made this one for her on Zazzle, which by the way, is a really cool site that's easy to use and makes customized t-shirts and stuff.

She also said her favorite fast food was Chick-fil-a and Whataburger, so I opted to stay with the Texas theme and got her a gift card to Whataburger. My sister, who passed in 2001, lived in Georgia and whenever she came home to visit there were two restaurants that she always had to visit - Demeris Bar-b-que in Houston and Whataburger. So, the choice was extra easy.

About the sweatshirt - the phrase is an edited version of one my email signatures. The full version reads:
The state that gave you Willie Nelson, Nolan Ryan and Walter Cronkite; Blue Bell, Shiner and Dr Pepper. Who wouldn't want to be from here?

Unfortunately, the entire thing wouldn't fit, so I had to edit. Thus, the extra comma. Makes it special, dontcha know. The art is my own personal logo designed for me by one of Youngest's friends. It's on the sidebar over there and it seemed the perfect opportunity to use it on something tangible.

This Secret Santa Soiree thingee is fun and challenging. I like trying to decide what to get someone and making it personal somehow. Merry Christmas to my Secret Santa recipient and all of you as well.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My New Motto

This is too good not to share. H/T to Joe.My.God

"Intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism", my new motto.  This is what television, and all art, at its best is all about. Opening people's minds and letting them view the world anew. And as for me, I will take intellect and romance over force and cynicism any day of the week.

All hail to the geeks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

Today is the 22nd annual World AIDS Day. To date, some 25 million  people worldwide have died in this epidemic. The latest numbers from UNAIDS, show that 33.3 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. The largest concentration being in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Only six African countries are not geographically a part of Sub-Saharan Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara.)

Hidden in among the number of deaths and people living with AIDS is this number: 16.6 million.
An 'orphan' is defined by the United Nations as a child who has 'lost one or both parents'. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 16 million children under 18 have been orphaned by AIDS. Around 14.8 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
In some countries, these orphans account for more that half of all orphans in the nation. For these children, without the AIDS epidemic, their families would still be intact.

The impact of these orphans is hard to calculate. In Nigeria alone, there were 2.5 millions AIDS orphans in 2009, or almost 2% of the total population of the country. In addition to the stress of watching a parent die, these children often have to become income earners for their families, face separation from siblings and stigma from the community. They often end up leaving school, face greater economic, health and nutrition problems than their peers and may suffer from higher depression rates. In all, it's a recipe for disaster as a generation of children is being neglected, undereducated and relegated to extreme poverty.

The first step in handling this problem is to teach prevention. We must also increase access to antiretroviral treatments and last find ways to support those already orphaned by providing access to education and health care.

We may never find of cure for HIV/AIDS, but we do know how to prevent transmission. We must educate people worldwide in condom use and remove the stigma associated with the disease. As much as I don't care for the Pope, his recent endorsement of condom use for male prostitutes is a first, baby, step in the right direction.  It overlooks the fact that just over half of all adults living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are women and that the primary mode of transmission in Africa  is not through same-sex contact but heterosexual contact.

So, on this day we remember those we have lost to this scourge and those still living with HIV/AIDS. Find a charity that you feel supports HIV/AIDS prevention. Here's a short list:
Keep A Child Alive
Unicef: United States Fund
Buy (RED)