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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here's a treat.

I have been blogging about politics all week, please go back and read:

Monday - http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/10/politicsall-week.html
Tuesday - http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/10/politics-sorting-lies.html
Wednesday - http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/10/politics-trick-or-treat.html

And here is your Halloween Treat.  Yep, I'm sick of it too.


Politics - Trick or Treat?

Unfortunately, there are a lot more tricks than there are treats when it comes to politics.

I have two more websites to help you with making your voting decisions.

First up, is a google tool that can bring you information about the candidates.
https://www.google.com/elections/ed/us/vote

You enter your street address and it will let you know where you need to vote on the left side. On the right side it will have a list of the people you have to choose from when voting. Click on the tabs under the Ballot Summary and you will see all the different elections for your area.

This tool does not include the ballot questions (or at least I did not play with it long enough to find them). If you hover over the icons next to the candidates names, it will bring you to their websites, google+ pages, facebook pages, etc. If you click on their actual names, it will bring you to a google search result for their name. This is a great resource to quickly find information on the candidates.
(And also a great teaching tool for the kids too!)

And another great site...snopes! Yes, this is the same website that people use to bust those urban legends and myths. My aunt used it yesterday and not only did I get a "true or false", I also got an explanation of what it was talking about.
Here is the link where you want to get started: http://www.snopes.com/politics/

And that is the end of the educational and unbiased blog posting...

I will now commence with some opinions....ready?

To start, I'm only going to discuss the Presidential candidates. That is because I have readers from all over the country (and even in other countries I think, say hello!) and my local politics won't affect you or even interest you.

So to start, I took my own advice. I started with the candidates websites.

A few hours later, I emerged annoyed and cross-eyed.

Here are my observations:
The websites are very annoying. First off, they all want donations. Yep, they are going to tax us and fee us to death and then they want donations. Yeesh! We don't have any money!
(I firmly believe that death and taxes are inevitable. I don't believe any candidate who says no new taxes. They all lie.)
Okay, next thing. There is a lot happening on these websites. Lots of pictures, videos and text to read. It's actually hard for me to find just in plain black and white (without discussing their opposing candidates views) what they stand for. I actually dislike both Obama and Romney's websites.
The website I like the most is not someone I am going to vote for.

Here are the websites for the candidates. I am BEGGING and PLEADING with you to please go to their websites and read their "Issues" page. Please know exactly what and who you are voting for. I just spoke with someone today who said "I have never seen that about him" when discussing a particular issue. I promptly gave them a link directly to that candidates website where it was right there in black and white. Please go read your favorite candidates website. And please consider reading the other websites as well.

I am listing them here in the order they appeared on the Google Election Tool:
http://www.barackobama.com/
http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/
http://www.mittromney.com/
http://www.goodeforpresident2012.com/

And if you haven't had enough reading yet for one day...check this out. VERY interesting:
https://xkcd.com/1127/

One last Pretty Please with Sugar and a CHERRY ON TOP....go read the candidates websites. Educate yourself about your favorite candidate.  The real opinions start from me tomorrow. Today's post is long enough!  Happy Halloween everyone!

and PS Lana - we are fine where I am, we were lucky most of my town still without power.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Politics - Sorting the Lies.

I had a good point brought up to me yesterday.

Someone pointed out that in the past I have said something to the effect of I wasn't going to get involved or talk politics. I actually tried to find my own comments about it but I gave up, not enough time in the day.

I do try to avoid politics. I don't like arguing with people. It stresses me out.

But I feel the need to be involved this year because I think that people might be making uneducated decisions. But I also think it's because I'm a mom now and I care now more than I ever did before about the kind of world my daughter will grow up in.

I feel like I just can't sit here and say or do nothing while watching everyone around me talking about it and "liking" a candidate on facebook.

So that's why I decided to "get involved." I will eventually tell you who I am voting for and why, but in the meantime, we MUST learn about these candidates. We can't just blindly vote for someone based upon one or two things we heard in the news or from our friends.

But where to start? Well first, I start by educating myself, learning what the people I may be voting for really truly stand for. And how do I do that? Well, I start with their own campaign websites.
I ignore any and all comments they make about their opponents.

Why?  Because candidates will bend the truth, twist a story or tell a straight out lie to make their own campaign look good. I try to look at the core value statements. What do they REALLY believe in.

I also ignore their "promises" or "what they will do" once in office. They can say whatever they want to get the votes. What will they actually do? What have their past decisions and actions been? Can I trust what they say now? How does it compare to the past?

Where else do I go?  Websites like:

The Tax Policy Center, they are a bunch of experts who take a non-biased look at the tax plans of our nominees. Though in my personal opinion, I don't care what they promise you, no matter who gets elected, our taxes and fees will be raised in some way. Everybody wants more money, especially the government:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/election_2012_tax_plans.cfm

and NPR (National Public Radio):
http://www.npr.org/sections/elections/

And one of my favorites...Politifact:
http://www.politifact.com/

What I like the most about Politifact is getting the explanation behind the true or false statements. Not only do I learn who is bending the truth (or lie) I also get some education as to what the heck they are talking about!

So do some reading....learn about who you are voting for. I have my printed out copy of the ballot I will be using next week...I have lots of reading to do!  More tomorrow...

Anyone else have places to go to get unbiased REAL information about our candidates?
Please share in the comments!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Politics...all week!

Hey everyone - I will be discussing politics all week.

Now before you close your internet browser and run away, please understand that I am not going to try and sway anyone's vote...until the end of this week and maybe next week. :)

In the meantime, I just want to discuss politics in general and try to help educate some people. Please feel free to share my posts.

To start...are you registered? Do you know how to find out if it's too late to register?

Every town and state has government websites where you should be able to find this information. Are you having trouble navigating the websites? Try your local newspaper website. They should have links to all the information you will need.

For example, this morning I found in my local paper a sample of the ballot that I will be looking at next week. When I looked at it, I realized that I only know about the Presidential candidates and a little bit about the Governor candidates. I don't know *anything* about the other people running for office.

There are also 3 questions that I am being asked, and I don't know anything about those either!
What to do?

Well, first off, I'm glad I found this BEFORE I was in the voting booth. Imagine getting in the booth and not knowing what all of this is about. What if you voted for someone or for something that if you had known ahead of time you NEVER would have voted for them/it?

Do your research!

Start with the candidates websites. On their websites it should clearly state their values and what they stand for. Read their websites to learn all about who you are voting for. Forget newspaper articles, opinion pieces and what your friends are saying.

Make your OWN decision. One of the greatest privileges of living in this country is our right to vote. And no one needs to know who you vote for and you don't have to tell anyone. It's a private decision (unless you want to make it public).

Now for any questions on your ballot.  Your town clerk's office or your local newspaper should have documentation on these questions, what they mean and what a yes or no answer would mean.

So tonight, do your research, learn about the candidates and what they believe in. Share it with your children so they can learn that a big part of this process isn't just "who you like better", it's about EDUCATION and learning about how our government works and what voting means.

More tomorrow....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jem and the Holograms!

I know what I want for Christmas!!!

http://www.integritytoys.com/jemandtheholograms/collection-classic-jem.php

Actually, I wish these were not so expensive. But it's still really cool to see new (and much improved!) remakes of the dolls that I loved playing with as a child. It's just the price tag is so disappointing. It would be cool if they redid this entire series...after all, a woman leading a rock band while running a record label and helping out an orphanage would make a really strong role model in today's world for our children (and us) to learn from!

Seriously, we played with these dolls ALL the time. Probably the same amount we played with our Barbies. I think I had the Jem doll and my sister had one of the Misfit characters, Roxy maybe?

Did I mention I can still sing the whole song?
Want to hear it for yourself?

Watch it here:

My sister got me the entire first season on DVD a few years ago. I practically shrieked when I opened it and then promptly sang the song above. Nope, had no influence on me whatsoever.
You know, if I had more time...I totally would tried to be Synergy for Halloween this year. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday updates

Did you check out my previous posts this week?
No?
Take a minute and check it out.

http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/10/mallorie-is-braver-than-you-allan.html

http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/10/young-adult-fiction.html

There are some really cool contests and a great charity that you can donate to...all by reading and being interested in books. :)

So this entire week I have been meaning to write about my weekend. But it's going to wait until next week. I have a heavy topic for next week...so I'll try to lighten it up later in the week with a nice post about my mini-vacation.

For now...done reading here? Go check out my previous posts...and definitely check out Monday's post at the least! :)  Go now! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Born Wicked: New cover and contest

Remember my review for Born Wicked? No?
Read about it here:
 http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-reviews.html

It's about half way down if you need to look for it.  Read it? Okay good, now come back. :)

Below you will find a link for the latest update from the author. Her book has a new cover for the paperback release and I think it works better. The first cover made the lead character look like some sort of street walking seductress.  This cover works much better.

AND there is a contest. So go enter. :)  Or not...which is fine with me, it means I have more chances to win for myself. :)

http://www.jessicaspotswood.com/blog/2012/10/18/born-wicked-paperback-cover-reveal-contest/#idc-container

Young Adult Fiction

Does anyone else love young adult fiction like I do?

I found this really cool thing....but it takes a bit of work. And a LOT of time (which I don't have).

BUT...it will introduce you to a bunch of authors you may not have heard of AND you get a chance to win all sorts of cool prizes.  Be prepared to "like" people on facebook and follow people on twitter for extra chances to win prizes.

I am going to try and enter as many as I can. Because I love good young adult fiction and because I like winning prizes.  All of this will have to be done in the middle of the night.

Want to get started?  Be prepared to waste a few hours.....I probably should have posted this yesterday. Then you all could have worked on it while the debate was on. This is better use of your time. Really, by now you should know who you are voting for.

Here ya go!
http://apocalypsies.blogspot.com/2012/10/welcome-to-starting-line-of-yamazing.html

More on my trip to NYC later this week. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mallorie is braver than you. (Allan Leverone)

Today I was going to write about my weekend trip to NYC.

Then I read Allan Leverone's blog post.

I decided this was more important.

Please take a minute to read his post and I would highly recommend that you purchase his book. Not only will you get a great book, but you will also help out a young woman who needs us.


Please visit and read and consider buying:
http://allanleverone.blogspot.com/2012/10/mallorie-is-braver-than-you.html

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oscar DNA Update

I have some more information about Oscar's DNA tests.

Well, I have more information, hopefully we can get more later on the DNA tests.

I heard back from customer service at Mars Laboratories (they are very fast at responding!) and they will be having an actual human being scientist analyze Oscar's results. Apparently they have a computer do all the work, so they are going to take a deeper look.

Unfortunately, this can take up to 21 days. And they also asked for a picture of Oscar, which gives me the feeling they are just going to look at him and say "Oh, Border Collie." Which, that would be nice, but only if it's true.

See, I think it's doubtful that Oscar's Dad was a Border Collie, he's just too small.

Also, I have more information this week than I had last week.

I got in touch with the place where I got Oscar. The very nice lady who runs the Puppy Pen in Palmer, MA still had all of the records from when I adopted Oscar. He was puppy number 3000. She still had my name, address and everything.

She also had info on Oscar's parents! His mom was a purebreed American Eskimo who weighed 21 pounds. His dad was an American Eskimo mix who weighed 25 pounds. He was from Ware, MA.

Oscar only weighs about 18 pounds (he's trim and slim, it's just so hard to tell with all that fur, so skinny when he's wet!). So I believe that whatever dog gave him the black and white pattern must have been smaller. I think. I'm not really sure how it all works.

So I will update here when I hear back from the lab. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

I demand a recount!

Have you seen those companies that can identify your dog's mixed breed background through DNA testing? Anyone who has ever seen Oscar inevitably asks "What kind of dog is he?".


Oscar is a mixed breed, and we know his mom was a "purebred" Miniature American Eskimo. When I first discovered him, he was with a litter of puppies who all looked to be 100% American Eskimo...but then there was that one dog who didn't look quite right...

That would be my dog. :)  So of course I had to have him, he was unique and beautiful and we had no idea what he was going to grow up to be. We have had many people guess. Some have said he looks like a Border Collie. Others have said Australian Shepherd. Still others have said Papillion.


When the doggy dna tests first came on the market, they didn't have too many breeds to test with so your results were not what you would call accurate. But it's been about 5 years and the accuracy has improved.

At our last vet appointment, we were given the opportunity to do a blood dna test on Oscar to find out what his daddy might have been. He very obviously has the American Eskimo body shape and style, but not the markings. He has black and white spots and his fur isn't quite poofy enough. He doesn't have that large "lion's mane" that Eskie's tend to have.

We used the test that was offered through our vet, the Wisdom Panel Professional from Mars, Incorporated Labs. Wisdom Panel offers a few options for canine dna testing.

So when I got my results in the mail last night, I was very excited!

And I opened it up...and according to the lab report....

Oscar is a purebreed American Eskimo dog.

WHAT?! No way! Are you sure he isn't part skunk?
I'm going to get in touch with the lab to see what we can find out.


Because if Oscar is a pure breed American Eskimo, I have the rarest American Eskimo recessive mutation on the planet. I need to speak to a geneticist I think....

Expect more on this subject soon! :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Lost it...

I had something good to write about, but then I forgot whatever it was.

My memory is just not what it used to be.

Did you enjoy my Bambi post? My parents regularly read my blog and on that particular day my dad asked my mom to read my blog out loud while he cooked breakfast. And she did, with character voices and all. :)  And she had no idea what she was reading because she hasn't seen Bambi.

You can imagine that must have been pretty funny.

Why hasn't my mom seen Bambi?  Once upon a time she decided she wanted to watch all the Disney movies with her grandchildren. It's a good thing I had Zoe...she might not have watched any!

She actually has seen a few, we have made her watch some of them. :)

And speaking of Disney movies, I used some of our free Amazon points to get a few movies. I picked up Bolt and Tangled.

When we were at Sam's Club the other evening, Zoe was pushing around the shopping cart and she stopped and stared at a really large bright shiny new TV. The movie playing was Bolt and it happened to be a scene where the white dog was practicing facial expressions and trying to look cute.

She stared at the screen and said "Doggy! Doggy!".  So I decided we should get Bolt.
Anthony decided she wanted the TV. :)

We didn't get the TV. :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Flower!

Who remembers this scene from the Disney movie Bambi?
(I apologize if it's bad quality or not in English, I didn't get a chance to watch it yet.)


More dialogue from the bigger scene:
Thumper: [Bambi and Thumper see birds flying by. Bambi looks at them intriguingly.] Those are birds.
Bambi: Bur... Bur!
Thumper: Look! He's trying to talk.
Bambi: Bur!
Other rabbits: He's trying to say "bird."
Thumper: Say "bird."
[wiggles his nose]
Bambi: Bur.
[wiggles nose]
Thumper: Bird.
Bambi: Bur!
Thumper: Uh-uh. Bir-duh!
Other rabbits: Come on, say "bird." Say "bird!"
Bambi: Bird!
[rabbits scatter and run to their mother]
Other rabbits: He talked, he talked! He talked, Mama! The Young Prince said "bird."
Bambi: Bird, bird, bird, bird, bird bird!
[Bambi sees a yellow butterfly, which he begins to chase until it lands on his tail.]
Bambi: Bird!
Thumper: No, that's not a bird. That's a butterfly.
Bambi: Butterfly? Butter-
[Bambi sees the butterfly has now gone; he then runs over to a big yellow flower among some other wildflowers.]
Bambi: Butterfly!
Thumper: No, that's a flower.
Bambi: Flower?
Thumper: Uh-huh, it's purty.
[Thumper smells the flowers.]
Bambi: Purty.
[Bambi starts smelling the flowers, and comes nose-to-nose with a little skunk.]
Bambi: Flower!
Flower: Me?
Thumper: [laughing hysterically] That's not a flower! He's a little-
Flower: Oh, that's all right. He can call me a flower if he wants to; I don't mind.
Bambi: Purty. Purty flower!
Thumper: [starts to giggle] Oh, gosh.

Got enough cuteness yet? No? Keep reading. :)

Zoe has started to learn sign language and she's learning real words as well. Recently she learned signs for things outside. She knows the sign for leaf, and she will do that sign if you ask her. Yesterday, she picked up one of the fallen leaves on the ground. It was a bright beautiful red. (who doesn't love this time of year in New England?)
She promptly looked at me and did the sign for it and said "fow - er!". :)

I started to correct her, but then it was so cute I just let her think that the red, orange and yellow leaves were flowers. :)  Cute kid. :)

Now I need to go find my version of Bambi, might be on VHS....

This cute story was brought to you with some Amazon Affiliate Links.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Watching Television

Does anyone remember my rant from last year about how Fox likes to delay the online viewing of their tv shows EIGHT days?

No?

Here it is, you can read all about it here:
http://danidoit.blogspot.com/2011/10/happy.html

Well guess what? They are STILL delaying the tv episodes by 8 days. And guess what? I missed out on last week's episode of Glee. I didn't even realize I had done it until this morning.

Sigh.

But...there is a silver lining, I just didn't realize it until just a few moments ago.

Slight topic change, but I'll bring it back around:

One of the reasons I don't always exercise every night is because I'm feeling tired and/or lazy.
Another reason is because there is a tv show that I want to watch, and my treadmill is not in front of my tv. (Note to self...next house should definitely have a tv in front of the treadmill.)

So I came up with my solution all by myself! Instead of watching all of my shows in "real" time, I am going to start watching them all delayed! That way I can watch them online with my iPad while walking on the treadmill!

The one downside is that I won't be able to run while I watch, I'm too afraid the iPad would go flying. But I can at least get in 30-60 minutes of walking a night with watching my delayed shows.

So tonight I am going to start with the last few episodes from last year's The Vampire Diaries. I never saw the last 3-4 episodes and a new season starts in just a few weeks!  Not that it matters....since I won't be watching them in real time. :)

Now if I could only do this with the X Factor...I started watching by accident and I'm kinda hooked now. Hmmm. :)