Four for Friday

It’s been a while since I’ve done this one…

  1. Parents: What’s the most important thing you learned from your parents that you hope to pass along to your children or young people you mentor? You, too, can be a grown-up. There is a time to stand on your own two feet, and when that time comes, you will be capable. When I think about what my parents did differently from other people’s, what stands out is that we were expected to grow up and be on our own, self-sufficient. They weren’t shoving us out the door on our 18th birthdays, but there weren’t plans of moving back home after college, either. I really appreciate that, since many parents seem to coddle their kids and never prepare them for adulthood (like not teaching them how to do laundry).
  2. Traffic: Have you ever diverted your route because of something you heard on a radio or television traffic report? No, I haven’t. But I don’t drive that much, and my commute is only three miles of highway in the morning, and local roads only at night.
  3. Groceries: Do you make a grocery shopping list as you run out of items or notice you’re running low, or do you make a list right before leaving to go to the grocery store? We keep a list on the fridge (just like we did growing up) of the week’s menu, and there’s a big spot for a shopping list. Of course, this is only for groceries. When it’s time for a Target run, I usually make the list right before leaving the house, often just in my mind, and then totally fail to get what I need. The grocery shopping system is clearly much more efficient.
  4. Dinner: What did you have for dinner last night and was it fulfilling? If not fulfilling did it at least hold some nutritional value? made Lloyd’s pulled pork, so I had that on a bun, and then a lovely iceberg lettuce salad with some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. I was pretty much starving when I got home, and could definitely have eaten more, but I restrained myself. I ate some chocolate later when I got hungry (so I guess it wasn’t all that fulfilling).

Four for Friday

Editor’s note: This meme is posted so late in the day on Fridays that I have already left work by the time it pops up on Google Reader, which is darned annoying, seeing as how I almost never check my Reader at home, and definitely not on Friday nights. So… look forward to Four for Fridays on Mondays.

  1. Homeownership: Burden or Joy? Joy. First of all, I’d love to own a different home, so clearly that’d be a joy to me. But really, I love making home improvements and all that stuff ( is groaning as he reads this). I grew up watching my parents continually make improvements on the homes we lived in (at one point, the moved an entire wall five feet to make the kitchen bigger), and it just seems natural to me. I like the feeling of satisfaction at the end of a project, and the continued joy after the fact of getting to use/enjoy that project (like our pantry), or even just the end of an annoyance. I know they’re a lot of work, especially the work we don’t have to do right now because the Association takes care of it, but I think the trade-off is worthwhile. But, as ke again in 5 years. I may feel differently.
  2. School Year: Make it longer to boost students’ academic achievements or shorter or the same so kids can be kids? I’m undecided on this. I suppose as a future teacher I should have an opinion, but I don’t. I know lots of teachers like having summer break off, and we’d have to pay teachers more if they were working more. But, 3 months might be too long. Maybe a two month summer vacation? June isn’t that bad of a month to still be in school (but August, when it’s boiling outside, in a school without air-conditioning, is just cruel).
  3. Weekend: Saturday morning or Sunday morning? Saturday, because then I know there’s still another morning to sleep in.
  4. Quickly: Instant Messaging or Texting?  Neither, really. I do a bit of both, mostly with , but not to any great extent.
  5. Bonus Question: Newspaper: Hardcopy or Online edition? Online. The only newspaper worth getting in paper is the Sunday version, because of the coupons and sales fliers in the middle. I like reading the online version of five different newspapers, though, and like that I can pick and choose the articles I want to read (without out the waste of all that paper for all the articles, like the entire Sports section, that I don’t want).

Four For Friday

  1. Your Job: What’s the best thing about your job? If you do not have a job, what’s the best thing about not working? Ah, I had to make a list of the best things about my job this week to prevent myself from quitting on Tuesday. The good things about my job: will let me have a flexible schedule so I can go to school, my health insurance is good and affordable, and because we’re union I make a wage that is better than I’d get elsewhere (sometimes, at least).
  2. Health Insurance: Whirlpool Corporation’s refrigerator plant in Indiana has suspended nearly 40 production workers suspected by the company of continuing to smoke despite claiming on health insurance forms they were nonsmokers. Additionally, the company charges smokers an extra fee for health insurance. Do you think companies should be allowed to deduct higher amounts of money from employees paychecks for health insurance if the employee smokes cigarettes? I’m tempted to say yes, but I know that it could quickly go from the mentioned situation to charging people more because they have risky sexual behaviors, or very expensive (and through no fault of their own) medical conditions, and I think that would be not cool. I work with a lot of people who have medical conditions, as well as the situation and find themselves in regarding health insurance, and it makes me believe more firmly (however implausible it may seem) that affordable health care should be a basic human right (notice I said affordable, not free or government-provided; the details can be worked out by someone else).
  3. Borders: In its quest to secure the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has embarked on a construction project to build a 15- to 18-foot high wall along large swaths of the territory. But a lot of south Texans are mad about the plan. The proposed path of the fence cuts directly through some residents’ backyards and even a local golf course. Do you think the United States should be erecting such a wall? I think a wall is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Seriously. And wasteful of money. And, did I mention stupid?
  4. Deterrence: A wall-mounted gadget designed to drive away loiterers with a shrill, piercing noise audible only to teens and young adults is infuriating civil liberties groups and tormenting young people. Nearly 1,000 units of the device, called the “Mosquito,” have been sold in the United States and Canada, which according to its manufacturer, is a completely harmless solution to the problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls, around shops and anywhere else they are causing problems. Background: it seems that there is a very real medical phenomenon known as “presbycusis” or age-related hearing loss which, according to The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, “begins after the age of 20…” It first affects the highest frequencies (18 to 20 kHz ) notably in those who have turned 20 years of age or older, which means, there’s real science to this Mosquito gizmo. How would you feel about the Mosquito’s use in areas you or children frequent? I think this is a bad (and potentially hazardous or dangerous) idea. People need to get over the idea that groups of teenagers are inherently evil and that they’ll do bad things. Kids need a place to hang out. It’d be better for them to be at the mall than unsupervised in a someone’s basement having unprotected sex and doing drugs, right? Get a grip on yourselves, people.

Wow. Seems I’m opinionated today.

Four For Friday

  1. Judged by a Supreme Being: If their objective were to judge us, what would the three worst places be for extraterrestrials to land in the U.S. and observe Americans? In this order: an upper-middle class neighborhood in California, then anywhere in the third world. I think that would speak for itself. No need for a third place.
  2. Changing it Up: After checking into a hotel, have you ever been so disappointed with your accommodations that you asked to be moved to another room? If so, what were the circumstances that led to the request? No. We should have, but I don’t think it would have changed things. I am referring to the Motel 6 that and I stopped in on our way back from Boston. It was so very very bad. I’m not sure we did anything other than brush our teeth, go to the bathroom, and sleep. It was so gross. Almost worth the $40, simply because otherwise we were driving for more than 24 hours straight, but still….
  3. Wedding Bands: Do you have a system for when you do and do not wear your wedding band? For instance, do you wear yours 24/7/365, remove at night or when participating in strenuous activities, etc.? If you are not married and you wear jewelry on a regular basis, what system do you employ? I take my rings (all of them) off at night, and frequently have to remove them while knitting, especially if it’s cold (my fingers shrink and then the rings move about freely and it’s just darn annoying). Also if it’s super cold at work and I have to do a lot of typing, then I’ll sometimes remove my engagement ring. Occasionally I decide to wear just my wedding ring for a day instead of my engagement ring and my wedding ring. (That is the major reason why I picked the wedding band that I did, so I could wear it by itself.) Maybe some day I’ll get more used to this, or something, but for now that’s the way it goes.
  4. ???: What’s your reaction to this? Um, that’s one of the worst cartoons I have ever seen. You should not click that link. I need to go hug kittens or something.

Four For Friday

  1. Underwear: Pull up your pants or else! That’s the sentiment behind efforts in cities across the U.S. to ban droopy trousers that reveal men’s boxer shorts, and baggy sweats that reveal a women’s thong. In just the last seven days alone, city councils in Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana, and Atlanta, Georgia, have taken up measures in favor of banning fanny-flaunting pants. Do you think it’s okay for cities and towns to legislate apparel?  I spent most of my summer in Arizona telling teenage boys to pull up their pants.  I think it’s a stupid trend that has gone on far too long.  There are quite a few other trends that I’d love to legislate away, but I’m actually kind of opposed to that.  I’m very cool with schools having dress codes and uniforms, but I think legislation of apparel should be focused on indecency (though the definition of that could be… anything).
  2. Compensation: Richard Jewell–the contract security guard who was falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and who despite never being charged with any crime underwent what was considered by many to be a “trial by media” that took a great toll on his personal and professional life–died earlier this week of what appear to be natural causes. Nearly 10 years after his ordeal, in April of 2005, Jewell was completely exonerated when Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the bombing attack at Centennial Olympic Park, as well as three other attacks across the southeast portion of the United States. Considering Jewell’s situation, do you feel people who have falsely been accused of major crimes should be entitled to compensatory reparations, or is having to deal with such situations simply the cost we must pay in order to live in a society that affords us with so many freedoms? In my understanding, most of the pain caused to Jewell was from the media, not the police.  Granted the police were the ones responsible for falsely accusing him, but I think that happens far more often than we know.  And he wasn’t actually charged with any crime, so I’m not sure what they should be held responsible for.  Isn’t that their job, to figure out who would be responsible?  Perhaps if his character was actually slandered by the media there would be a case for that, but against the media, not the police.  I don’t think it’s the cost we have to pay to live in a free society, but the cost we pay when we are a society so focused on celebrity and gossiping and are generally media whores.  That has nothing to do with our freedoms and everything to do with… us.
  3. Make Room: What particular item of food, regardless of how stuffed you may be, can you always find room for?  Chocolate.  Perhaps only small pieces if I’m really full, but nonetheless I could always find room for a Hershey’s kiss or a Lindt truffle.
  4. I Insist: Growing up, I had a neighbor who was rumored to wear a brand new dress shirt each and every time he went to work. Never would he wear the same dress shirt twice. What is one thing that you are absolutely particular about? Clothing-wise, I’d have to say socks with athletic shoes.  Or really socks with any kind of enclosed shoe.  I recently had to wear a pair of enclosed dress shoes without nylons (due to poor planning) and I wasn’t a big fan.   Not nearly as horrible as being barefoot in sneakers though.  Ew.  The other thing that comes to mind would be shoe-wearing while riding a bike.  Closed-toe shoes, to be specific.  There was a traumatic childhood incident.  ‘Nuff said.

Four For Friday

  1. Back Seat Driver: When sitting in the back seat of a car, do you have a preference of which side–passenger or driver–you sit on? What if you were the only passenger sitting in the back… would you have a preference then? Related question: As the driver, do you have a preference of which side a lone back seat passenger sits? Driver’s side. Because throughout my entire youth, that was the side I sat on, and sat on the passenger’s side. I think we switched once. It was weird. But in all honesty, it’s usually better for me to sit on the passenger’s side, because I have long legs, and have a better chance at leg room on the passenger’s side.

I don’t have good answers for any of the rest of those questions.

Four For Friday

  1. Fall: While the Autumnal Equinox is still over a full month away (Sunday, September 23, 2007), what are you most looking forward to about the change in seasons… cooler temperatures, college and pro football, only three months till Christmas, an impending trip, something else, or do you just not care for fall? I loooove fall.  Particularly fall clothing.  But also leaves, and it being cool enough to cuddle under a blanket, and hot cocoa (yes, I drink hot cocoa all year round, but it seems much more appropriate when it’s… not summer and 95* out).
  2. Bringing it Home: What are some of the very first things you do when you arrive home after work? If you live with someone–roommates, spouse, children, parents, etc.–is there something you’d do different if you lived alone? Feed the cat.  Turn on the TV.  Read mail.  At some point get inspired for dinner.
  3. Ouch!: Physically speaking, what is something you wish you could still do but cannot? Touch my toes without bending my legs.  Never have been able to.
  4. Your Bestest Friend: What is your best friend’s best quality? Forgiveness.

Four for Friday

  1. Sleep: Where is the most unusual place you’ve fallen asleep? I can sleep pretty much anywhere I want to, so if I tried, I could probably have a really great answer for this. But, I’m going to have to say… in the middle of a French exam. In high school, I spent a lot of time sleeping through various classes. One day in French class I was really tired, and put my head down on my desk, and woke up about 15 minutes later. Of course, we were taking a test at the time, and so I picked up my pencil and finished taking the test. As I recall, I didn’t do poorly on the exam.
  2. Guns: Do you think blind people should be issued concealed weapons permits or be allowed to own guns? I’m opposing this question on matters of discrimination on people with disabilities. It seems… well, I could easily come up with an answer, but since I’m at work for a state agency that works with people with disabilities, it seems wrong.
  3. Driving: Taking into consideration errands and the drive to and from work, how many miles do you drive each weekday? Zero. Even when I did have a car, it was probably only around 5, since most days I didn’t drive at all, and then Wednesdays and Sundays I drove to church and back, which was a pretty long drive.
  4. Packing: When do you pack for a trip (the day of, the night before, or earlier)? The majority of my packing gets done the night before. Usually, there’s a small pile that starts earlier than that, things I want to make sure I don’t forget. That happens with my backpack that I take to ‘s house on weekends – sometimes during the week I run across things I need to bring (like the thing I bought for him this week – I’d tell you what it is, but then he’d find out), so they get thrown in there. But all my clothes get picked out late Thursday night.

Four For Friday

  1. Gift Cards: The National Retail Federation says that we spent $24.81 billion this past holiday season on Gift Cards, and that each one us spent more on gift card contributions last year than the year before (the average consumer, says the NRF, spent $116.51 in 2006 vs. $88.03 in 2005). Did you purchase a gift  card for someone last year? If not, did you receive a gift card from someone as a holiday gift? I did both. gave me a gift card to the MOA so I could own clothes that fit, and I gave a Best Buy gift card to , my brother-in-law, because he’s really hard to shop for and I got lazy.
  2. Email: When you open your email in-box for the first time each day, which messages do you read first? Do you read them in reverse chronological order or do you pick and choose which ones to read first based on a different priority? I read the personal ones first, and then delete all the ones advertising sales at my favorite stores, unless I’m really bored, in which case I may actually read them.
  3. Weather: The current El Nino weather anomaly that can create atmospheric havoc around the world should continue into the spring, extending unseasonably warm temperatures in North American through March, the U.S. National Weather Service predicted yesterday. How has the weather impacted your life these last few months? If you live up north, are you receiving more or less snow; and if you in the down south, is it cooler or warmer than normal? Despite whether (no pun intended) you normally receive snow or not, are you happy, sad, or indifferent about your area’s current weather? When my life includes standing out at the bus stop with semi-wet hair in the morning, I prefer it to be as warm as is reasonable. If it has to be this cold out (it’s in the teens today, and was 5* when I woke up this morning), I’d prefer snow on the ground. Oh, and I hate the cold. But you already knew that.
  4. National Guard Service: For the first time since President George W. Bush mobilized the National Guard and Reserve (after 9/11), the Pentagon is abandoning its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty. Until now, the Pentagon’s policy on the National Guard and Reserve was that members’ cumulative time on active duty could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months. In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as 24 additional months. In your opinion, is the Pentagon’s change fair, and furthermore, do you think it’s called for? I, um… don’t know. I really have no basis to make a decision on this. I could ask my cousin Ed, who recently returned from Afghanistan, but he was in the Army, not the Reserves. And he’s not going back, because his girlfriend told him it was her or the Army, and he picked her (that wasn’t an unfair ultimatum she gave him, just the reality – it’s very stressful to have a long distance relationship in that situation, and she was just being honest). Oh, and they’re engaged now.

Four For Friday

  1. Multitasking: Eighty percent of us claim to be multitaskers, and nearly two-thirds of all multitaskers consider themselves good at it. How about you…are you a multitasker? If so, do you multitask by choice or design? At work, I try not to multitask, usually because it upsets my rhythm and then it takes me twice as long to do things. But at home, I multitask all the time. I like to watch TV while doing… anything. Knitting, reading, homework, cleaning, laundry, and occasionally can manage to do more than that. But, I have learned that I cannot watch TV while on the phone. Nor can I eat out at a restaurant where there are TVs in my field of view. It’s a weakness I have.
  2. Federal Closings: Yesterday, President George W. Bush declared that Tuesday, January 2, 2007, will be a National Day of Mourning here in the U.S. after the death earlier this week of former U.S. President Gerald Ford. In doing so, President Bush ordered all government agencies and departments to close on Tuesday, except for offices essential to national security. In your opinion, do you think federal employees should have the day off from work because of the death of President Ford? Sure, why not. What’s the harm? Not much work was going to get done that day anyways, it’s the day after New Year’s. What’s better: federal employees at work with a hangover, or federal employees respectfully observing the death of a former President at home? Either way, they’re getting paid and not much work is getting done. (And yes, I say this as a state employee, so I’m not rippin’ on the government here, just being honest about the status of the workday on the day after New Year’s.)
  3. Who’s on First: For the second time in the last 10 days, a powerful storm has dumped major amounts of snow on Denver, Colorado, and Denver International Airport (DIA). Nearly 5,000 airline passengers were stranded at DIA during a 45-hour closure last week, and when the airport reopened, many of those stranded passengers found themselves waiting even longer to board planes because new passengers arriving at the airport were given preference for flights. Do you think grounded passengers should be first in line for the first available flights, or is it OK for new passengers booked on new flights to have preference over grounded passengers? I have … no opinion on this. It’s never happened to me. I think it would depend if I was the grounded passenger or the new passenger… either way, I’d want preference.
  4. Calendar: Do you have a 2007 calendar? If so, is it the kind with pictures on one side and the previous month on the backside, or is it a desk calendar, sans pictures? If a picture calendar, what is its theme? If you do not have a 2007 calendar, do you plan to buy one or are you not the calendar type? I did just get a 2007 calendar to carry with me this year, mostly because I hope to be taking more than one class, which may require more organizing of my life. (Someone is screaming right now thinking of that idea, or at least shuddering in fear of “more organization” in my life.) I got this one [link removed], and I’m not sure if I like it yet. Maybe it’ll grow on me, or maybe I’ll have to buy a different filler partway through the year.

Four For Friday (it’s a meme kinda day)

  1. Wealth: In 1982, the year Forbes started publishing its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americas, the magazine could find only a dozen or so billionaires. This year, The Forbes 400 list includes billionaires only. What is your definition of wealthy? Not thinking twice before making a big purchase. And by “big purchase” I mean anything over a hundred bucks. If you don’t bat an eye, as far as I’m concerned, you’re rich. But only in the pocketbook. Personal wealth is a far different thing, and is related to having people in your life who love and respect you, being personally fulfilled and satisfied with your life, etc.
  2. Advertising and Religion: Bahrainian athlete Ruqaya Al Ghasara runs her track & field races wearing a hijab (a full Muslim headscarf). Nike, which sponsors Al Ghasara and is notorious for splashing its logo on everything in sight, somehow managed to get the Nike swoosh emblazoned onto the sides of Al Ghasara hijab. In your opinion, should Nike have stopped short of swooshifying a religious garment, or is Al Ghasara hijab fair game for branding? Um… yeah, I’m not so much for the logo on a religious garment. Seems sacreligious somehow. And really, is that necessary? Maybe if she was buck nekkid and that was the only thing they could swoosh, but then they’d probably just tattoo her behind or something. I guess I’m surprised that if it is important enough for her to wear her hijab that she would let them do that.
  3. Asking for Advice: According to a recent survey, most employees are unwilling to turn to their boss for advice on problems at work. In fact, a supervisor was cited by only 11 percent of employees surveyed as a source for workplace advice. More employees rely on a peer, another senior person, or a friend outside the company when searching for advice on work-related issues. How about you? When you are experiencing problems at work, who do you turn to for help or advice? . Because she’s awesome and almost always has my back, and is more than willing to get in people’s faces. And, usually the problems that I bring to her she’s recognize as problems before, or I can quickly explain why I’m complaining and she gets it. There’s no one else, though, so when she retires, I’m screwed.
  4. Sleep: While everyone pretty much knows that sleep is vital to our health and well being, millions of us are not getting enough of it, or are suffering from sleep-related problems. For example, surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reveal that 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month. What time did you go to bed last night, and do you think you got enough sleep? I went to bed just before 1. I never think I get enough sleep. If I had my way, I’d get 10 hours of sleep every night (I’ve had a work/life schedule that made that possible, and I discovered that 10 hours was my ideal amount, unlike most adults with 7 or 6).

Four For Friday

  1. Faith: Nearly half of all Americans are not sure God exists, according to a poll that also found divisions among the public on whether God is male or female or whether God has a human form and has control over individual or worldly events. The survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 42 percent of U.S. adults are not “absolutely certain” there is a God compared to 34 percent who felt that way when asked the same question three years ago. What do you think? Does God exist, and if so, do you think God has control over events?
  2. Work: Do you socialize with co-workers outside of the office? Goodness, no. I like to believe my co-workers don’t exist outside of work.
  3. Holiday Travel: Are you traveling for the upcoming holidays or are you expecting family and friends to come to your home for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas? Lordy, there was drama around scheduling Thanksgiving this year. With not being able to travel, there was all of a sudden another set of family that we had to plan for, so trying to fit three family celebrations in nearly drove me loopy. We are trying to be proactive about Christmas. For the first time in a long time, I’m not planning on going back to Illinois for Christmas. Actually, I’ve never not gone. One year that I lived in Michigan I took the train on Christmas Day, and that was the second time I’d ever missed Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ (there was once when we were little kids and it was negative 20 out or something, and refused to let that go down). If I think about it too much, I’ll get sad that I won’t be there this year. But it’s just not practical. Hopefully next year.
  4. You Choose: Which would you rather have…a personal assistant or a personal trainer? Personal trainer. First of all, a personal assistant would have to be trained to organize, plan, etc, just the way I like it, so it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. Secondly, a personal trainer might be the only way that I ever eat healthy and exercise. I’m just really very poorly disciplined when it comes to those areas.

Four For Friday

  1. Grocery Shopping: When you go to the grocery store, do you create a shopping list beforehand or do you buy according to a routine or whatever suits your tastes? Yes. I try to have a list and get what’s on it, but I always end up buying other stuff too. Especially if I’m alone at Cub and hungry. Frozen pizza aisle, here I come! It’s so much harder to impulse-purchase at the co-op, mainly because impulses there are 1) expensive, and 2) not entirely promising in the flavor/taste department.
  2. Awards: If you did the work, which award would you like to receive: The Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Literature, or Peace? Literature, I think. I don’t really foresee this coming, seeing as how the majority of my blog content is worthless drivel. But you never know. One of these days I could write a second chapter to something.
  3. Politics: Do you plan on voting in this November’s elections? If so, and if a congressional seat is up for grabs in your area, do you view your ballot as a vote “against” the President, rather than a vote “for” him, or will your vote not take into account the President’s performance? I am embarrassingly under-educated, so I don’t think I will be. I don’t think that any votes I would make would have anything to do with the President, since his name isn’t on the ballot. I’m not a party-line voter. I voted for both Clinton and Bush (though I don’t like saying I voted for Clinton, because I think he’s swine, but that’s on a personal level – he wasn’t that bad of a president). I’m going to vote for who I’m going to vote for, regardless of party affiliation.
  4. Royalty: If you could be King or Queen of any country, which country would you choose and why? (Sorry but Disneyland is not a country.) I protest – Disneyland is too a country. How about Disneyworld? No? OK, then I pick some sunny, tropical island with a fair amount of trees on the beach, far away from any fault lines (you know, ’cause tsunamis are bad) and communist dictatorships, and… big enough to have a Target store, but not so large that vehicles of any type are necessary. Was that specific enough?

Four For Friday

  1. Holiday: If you could celebrate any holiday twice in one year, which one would it be, and what time of the year would you celebrate it for a second time? I have two answers to this one. 1) Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday. I’d love another. Perhaps at the end of January or in February, maybe even early March – it has to be winter still, but it’d be nice if there were enough time for bank accounts to recover from the first Christmas. 2) I really like the holidays that I get off work but lots of other people don’t, like Veteran’s Day or President’s Day. We can have more of those.
  2. Constitution : In your opinion, which of the following issues most needs to be addressed by a Constitutional Amendment: Balanced Budget, Flag Burning, Gay Marriage, Privacy Rights, Something Else, or the Constitution is Fine As Is and Does Not Need Any Further Amendments Right Now? My less-than-should-be-educated opinion is, Fine As Is. Ask me again in a few years after I’ve taken more history classes and brushed up on my knowledge.
  3. Computer Applications: Last week, Google announced that it would soon launch Google Spreadsheet, a web-based application that someday may compete with Microsoft Excel. How do you feel about web-based applications and programs verses having applications like Microsoft Office (which include Word and Excel) loaded directly onto your computer’s hard drive? In other words, all things being equal, do you think you’d ever switch from Microsoft Excel (or Word) to a program like Google Spreadsheet, or do you like the control and comfort associated with having your computer programs and applications right on your own hard drive? I like having stuff on my own hard drive. The exceptions are email and calendar, because I like having those always accessible.
  4. Trash: What was the last thing you threw into a trashcan? The wrapper for crackers & cheese.

Four For Friday

  1. Travel: When was the last time you boarded an airplane, and where did it take you? I flew home this year for Christmas, so… December 2005, to Chicago, or, rather, Chicago to Minneapolis.
  2. Security: Do you think National Guard troops should be deployed to bolster security along the U.S. / Mexican border? Um… OK, technically yes, but I really don’t feel strongly about this issue and could probably be persuaded either way if someone had a really good argument.
  3. Dreams: Do you remember your dreams? If so, describe the most recent dream you can remember. I cried last night. Sobbing, actually. Only in my dream, though (the pillow wasn’t wet when I woke up).
  4. You Say: Finish this sentence: “When I woke up this morning…” I was pinned down by two cats sumo-wrestling. They were quickly kicked off the end of the bed.