Monday, September 26, 2016

TSA & Carry-on Luggage: Baby Wipes Considered Liquids?

You are asking the wrong question.

Who wants to carry a whole packet of baby wipes in his or her carry-on?

Especially when in a grey-area case like this, rules vary from airline to airline, and one risks having  the entire package of baby wipes denied and thrown away by TSA agents at the security line.

I have perfected the art of packing the quart size bag of TSA approved liquids for carry-on luggage.
I'd substitute SPF lip balm and face/hand cream if I didn't have a checked bag.

In the upper left hand corner of the bag below, please note roll of baby wipes, 10 or so, rolled so that they can be easily peeled off one at a time. I can't see needing more than that, unless you're traveling with a child in diapers, in which case, God bless you. I don't know how I managed to fly with babies, but I did it...oh yeah, that was before 911 and the crazy regulations about carry-on liquids.

 (NB: Nobody who reads this blog knows where I live, YET, so its OK to say I'm traveling.)

Not Clueless, Just Hates Nagging

I asked a couple of gentlemen why they thought the secret weapon  [described here] for getting one's male mate to understand her worked so well.

"It's because it feels less like your being nagged at," one of them answered right away, "to have the focus be on my being annoyed rather than on your being annoyed."

Men really don't like nagging. Look at the ancient words in chapter 21 of the book of Proverbs. The writer is going on about this and that, and all of the sudden, in verse 9, he pops out with, "It is better to live in the corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." Then he gets back to non-wife issues, and again,  like, "did I mention men really hate nagging?" in the 19th verse he reiterates, " It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman."


Friday, September 23, 2016

Yes, he's clueless. Deal with it.

It's another Family Friday at my blog, and this entry is written for the woman who is frustrated by her mate's inability to understand why she's upset about this, that or the other thing. Clueless! Yes, he is: most of them are. Men's inability to understand women motivates  many "what she says/what she really means" web pages, and the sooner you accept this and stop expecting your man to be something he can't be, the better. 

Fortunately, there is a little trick a friend shared with me early in my marriage, and I don't know why it works, but it does work, almost every time. Instead of expecting him to know how to walk a mile in your moccasins, you take your moccasins off and put them on his feet, and he'll start walking wherever you want him to go.

Here's how it works.  Let's say he continually uses your sewing scissors to cut paper, or wipes his hands on  the towel you use to dry clean dishes with.  Instead of expecting him to agree with you that this is unacceptable behavior, gently explain,"Honey, it's just as if I used your [insert name of one of his tools]  to [activity which would piss him off if he saw you doing it with aforementioned tool.]

 "Ok, sure, I get it, now that you put it that way." I can't tell you how many domestic crises have been averted thus.

...later on,....

...wait a minute. I asked some guys about this.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thank God my house was not bombed today.

The War on Terror officially started in 2001, shortly after hijacked commercial airplanes crashed into New York City's Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Before September 11, 2001, many Americans hadn't been paying much attention to US military involvement in foreign Islamic conflicts, either directly or in a supportive role. The 911 attack, in which nearly 3000 US civilians died, was perceived by some as coming out of the blue.

Those advocating the desert equivalent of a scorched earth policy recommended that the US respond to the terrorists by "turning their country into glass."  Many of those advocates couldn't name which country we should turn into glass, as long as Muslims lived there, because Muslims "hated our freedom," or were jealous of it because they had to live under sharia law. It was an emotional reflex reaction.

Cooler heads prevailed, and by cooler heads, I mean the neoconservatives who had been patiently waiting for years for an opportunity to effect regime change in the Middle East as part of their larger goal of establishing global hegemony for the US.  The Statement of Principles of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) listed these and other goals. Many members of PNAC were part of George W. Bush's administration, and influenced his decision to declare the War on Terror.

The US didn't  "turn their country into glass," because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabians, and the only response the US has had to Saudi Arabia regarding 911 is the Senate's recently passing a bill which would allow families of victims of 911 to sue Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell its US assets if this bill passes, and President Obama is considering vetoing it, to avoid disruption in our relationship with Saudi Arabia. The other four 911 hijackers were from United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon, but the US didn't retaliate against them either.

So no, the US didn't turn Saudi Arabian countries into glass, but it turned into rubble many cities in countries where the Project for the New American Century had been planning to show its muscle well before 911, particularly Iraq. Instead of being defeated, though, Islamic terrorism grew. Over the fifteen years since 911, the US military has fought the war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Philippines, Yemen, Libya. A generation that has known nothing but life in refugee camps continues to provide recruits for terrorists.

An armed Muslim: is he a freedom fighter or a terrorist? With the CIA's covert operations we've hedged our bets, for example, in Sunni vs. Shiite conflicts, so in effect, we've armed and trained militants in one battle that we end up fighting in another.  There's other craziness and confusion, too. I haven't talked about oil and Israel and whether or not "protecting one's interests" is just a euphemism for taking stuff that belongs to somebody else.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thank God It's Sunday!

[This is the second Thank God it's Sunday entry I wrote on August 21, in Portland OR.]

All these streams trying to pour into the River Almighty! Which streams get dammed? I can't say for sure, but until each one gets to where he'll end up, if God works through people, then he has to make do with what he's got. 

Suppose someone has an alcohol addiction, and through this,  he's going to come to the point where he realizes his need for a Higher PowerAlcoholism falls across a wide, wide spectrum of political persuasions.  An alcoholic bigot might not be able to accept help from a Higher Power representative who sees his bigotry, rather than his alcoholism, as his primary problem. And maybe it's not. 

Likewise, an alcoholic who  takes social injustice seriously (maybe too seriously -- that's what drove him to drink) may not be able to tolerate supportive friendship from a Trump supporter, but he'll take it from someone whose political and spiritual ideology the fundamentalist might consider dodgy.

"Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."  

How pure does the water in your well need to be, before you feel worthy to give someone a drink from it? 

We were in Powell's bookstore in downtown Portland this afternoon.  For a fleeting few seconds, in the midst of all those words, words, words, I thought, "Why does the world need any more writing?"  What a silly thought! Thirst is new every morning, and so there are millions of pots of coffee brewing, mountains of oranges being juiced with every sunrise. So it is with the thirst for wisdom or the balm of humor or whatever the  tragedy du jour requires. Over and over, the words roll on and on, because they need to roll.

Last night, with the Columbia River rolling on nearby, I fell asleep, with the words from a Woodie Guthrie song on my mind. Roll on, Columbia. Roll on. Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...

And this morning I heard this at the church we visited. (When we travel, Mr. Athena picks them based on the size of their organs. In Portland, that means Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.) 
"A reading from the book of Isaiah: ... if you satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom will be like noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places... (Isaiah 58)"

And here's where I turn my ongoing meditation on The Lord's Prayer and the Shepherd's Psalm into a PREZI PRESENTATION, by making the section I'm focusing on POP out from the rest of the text.  

Our Father who art in heaven          The LORD
Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,        
Thy will be done            is my shepherd:
On earth 
as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day   
             I shall not want. He  maketh me
our daily bread to lie down in green pastures:
                     he leadeth me beside the                             still waters.

And forgive us our sins         He restoreth my soul:
as we forgive those                               he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 
who sin against us.                  for his name's sake.

And lead us not         Yea, though I walk through 
into temptation              the valley of the shadow of death,       
but deliver us from evil.   I will fear no evil: 
                                               for thou art with me; 
                                                  thy rod and thy staff 
                                               they comfort me.
  .                      Thou preparest a table before me
                                       in the presence of mine enemies: 
                                thou anointest my head with oil;
                                                my cup runneth over. {wow!} 
                        Surely goodness and mercy
                                  shall follow me

For thine is the Kingdom,                 all the days of my life: and I will dwell
and the Power,                          in the house                  
and the Glory                          of the Lord
Now and forever.                        for ever.