I am very thankful for these two little miracles.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Today is a sad day in Denver, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain News printed its last paper and closed its doors. The paper had survived since before the Civil War but could not survive the current state of our economy and the current business mindset. It follows to the grave many other losers in many towns and many industries who have been wiped out by the wide tornadic path left by consumerism that doesn't really care where something came from as long as it is cheaper so more can be acquired and a business philosophy that focuses on quantity over quality and that is solely dictated by the bottom line and what will put the most money in the pockets of those at the top.
Obituaries are scattered across the entire country for small town hardware stores and supply houses who have been blown away by the likes of Lowests and Home Import. Casualty counts are high for small grocers, meat markets, and produce marts that have been sucked out of existence by WoeMart and it's counterparts.
When will we wake up to realize that the strength of this country's economy was built as much on an employer's loyalty to their employee and that employee's loyalty to their company as it was on any free market economic theory. Free market and trickle down only work in a society that prizes fairness, integrity, and the whole (business, local area, country) over wealth, greed, and self. Over the last several decades the gap between the average salary of a company's CEO and his workers has widened ridiculously. As indicated by the recent insurance and bank bailouts, this doesn't even require that the CEO is doing a decent(let alone good)job.
Forgetting for a moment the trillion dollars of debt in Washington and the bantering about who should or shouldn't be bailed out and what should or shouldn't be legislated, what hails down across the country are job losses and home losses in our own towns and neighborhoods.
That the storm is now causing the closing of communications industry jobs(You remember, communications and service jobs were what they told us would take the place of all our manufacturing jobs)is frightening. It is frightening in the sense that newspapers are following in the wake of radio stations where local stations were engulfed by larger affiliates and where so much of it is technologically driven that when a local crisis occurs it could take hours to reach an actual person to interrupt a broadcast that is being sent from hundreds of miles away. Without local newspapers, whether their editorial bias is liberal or conservative, we remove one of the checks and balances on local government and local business.
I agree wholeheartedly with journalist Bill Johnson who said in his final article for The Rocky, "When a newspaper dies, there are no victors."
You can read his article here.
You can read about the closing and The Rocky's history here.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I heard today that the average American spends 151 hours a month watching television!
That means we spend almost as much time staring at what has been called the "Idiot Box" as we do at work each month.
How many better ways can you think of to spend that time.
As anyone who works with the public will tell you, if you make a customer mad, either because of something you've actually done wrong or because they don't like the answer you're having to give them, they will often times let you, your superiors, and anyone else who will listen know.
On the other hand, if you do a good job, even an exceptional one, they may thank or compliment you and might even refer someone to you at a later date. They will rarely, however, make a positive report to your superiors.
Keeping that in mind and knowing that as the economy gets worse there is more stress on everyone in their jobs, my challenge to you this week is to pay a compliment to someone who does a good job for you and tell their supervisor too. If you're up for a double challenge, hold your tongue this week if you get bad service or a rude salesperson and just assume they're having a really bad day.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I seem to be suffering from a mini writer's block this week. There are all kinds of things running through my mind but I can't seem to settle on any of them to post about. Therefore, today's 13 is a list of potential first lines for the romance novel I will most likely never write.
- They kissed. In her heart, however, she knew this kiss was goodbye.
- John knew it was the right decision. Or, he wondered, was that just his pride talking?
- As they stepped off the plane Ariana tasted the warm salt air and soaked in the heat of the sun on her face. She couldn't help hoping that this island getaway might save her drowning marriage.
- Jessie shrugged off the foreboding feeling that threatened to overwhelm her every time they visited Ricco's family.
- Dawn opened her eyes and tried to get some grasp on where she was and what had happened. Panic rushed over her like a downpour of rain.
- As she reached the steps leading to his office, Gabrielle recalled the book her mother had read to her as a child. With each step she chanted to herself, "I think I can, I think I can."
- What was she thinking? Gretchen shook her head as she looked at herself in the mirror and thought that maybe her ex-husband was right.
- Ashton smiled as he looked down the aisle at Mariah, his bride, and tried to remember the first time her smile made his heart stop.
- Where had she seen him before? Amanda tried to study his tanned, chiseled face inconspicuously as he climbed the stairs to his seat near hers.
- Marla tossed the romance novel she was reading onto the beach towel with a disgusted laugh as she went to cool off in the ocean waves.
- Sarah couldn't figure out the nervous anticipation she was feeling as she got dressed. She was just meeting Adam, an old friend, for lunch while he was in town.
- She hated flying. As the plane took off, she braced herself and closed her eyes so it startled her when the handsome man next to her patted the hand that was gripping the armrest they shared.
- Her job as a travel magazine photographer took her to some of the most beautiful and exciting places on the globe. Danielle Bennington, however, longed for someone who would share the discoveries and excitement with her.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Say it in a song...
Hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the skies and kitsch I see while out about town. Time with Isaac and the donut are treats to myself!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Below are 13 facts about the 1920s leading into The Great Depression from an extensive list you can find here. (bold emphasis and comments in italics are mine.)
1. During World War I, federal spending grows three times larger than tax collections. When the government cuts back spending to balance the budget in 1920, a severe recession results. However, the war economy invested heavily in the manufacturing sector, and the next decade will see an explosion of productivity... although only for certain sectors of the economy. (Think construction/housing industry)
2. An average of 600 banks fail each year.
3. Agricultural, energy and coal mining sectors are continually depressed. Textiles, shoes, shipbuilding and railroads continually decline.
4. The value of farmland falls 30 to 40 percent between 1920 and 1929.
5.Organized labor declines throughout the decade. The United Mine Workers Union will see its membership fall from 500,000 in 1920 to 75,000 in 1928. The American Federation of Labor would fall from 5.1 million in 1920 to 3.4 million in 1929.
6. "Technological unemployment" enters the nation's vocabulary; as many as 200,000 workers a year are replaced by automatic or semi-automatic machinery. (Think information age-we don't need to produce anything but information/services)
7. Over the decade, about 1,200 mergers will swallow up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations will control over half of all American industry.
8. By the end of the decade, the bottom 80 percent of all income-earners will be removed from the tax rolls completely. Taxes on the rich will fall throughout the decade.
9. By 1929, the richest 1 percent will own 40 percent of the nation's wealth. The bottom 93 percent will have experienced a 4 percent drop in real disposable per-capita income between 1923 and 1929.
10. The middle class comprises only 15 to 20 percent of all Americans.
11. Between May 1928 and September 1929, the average prices of stocks will rise 40 percent. Trading will mushroom from 2-3 million shares per day to over 5 million. The boom is largely artificial.
12. Backlog of business inventories grows three times larger than the year before. Public consumption markedly down. Automobile sales decline by a third in the nine months before the crash.
13. Individual worker productivity rises an astonishing 43 percent from 1919 to 1929. But the rewards are being funneled to the top: the number of people reporting half-million dollar incomes grows from 156 to 1,489 between 1920 and 1929, a phenomenal rise compared to other decades. But that is still less than 1 percent of all income-earners.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I have always wanted to be able to paint something that was wall worthy. However, painting is definitely not where my talents lie. In an art class in college I pulled A's and B's on my drawings but once the painting portion of the class started I struggled to make C's. All that to say that I love that I can take my photos and have the computer turn them into oil paintings like the one below.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Last week we were covered in snow. Today it is 65 degrees. By the end of the week snow is again expected. Near record highs and lows within weeks of each other, and there are still people who "don't believe in" global warming (otherwise known as climate change).
Here are some protesters who would disagree.
Does that mean if we decide we just don't believe in the fact that the American economy is spiraling down to disastrous levels that we'll still get a paycheck if our company closes or lays off? Does it mean that my portion of medical bills will still be affordable despite the fact that Delphi just decided that they would no longer pay any insurance for retired salary workers?
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Missy at It's Almost Naptime suggested that we "older" moms write a letter back to ourselves in our twenties. Click over to her blog to find more letters. Mine follows:
Dear Twenty-Something Debbie,
RELAX! Your children will grow up to be wonderful adults that will not only be your children but also your friends. You can’t even imagine how proud you will be of them and what responsible, thoughtful, successful people they will become. They will even pick spouses that you truly love! Not to mention the grandbabies!
But be “the Mom” right now! They need that. As they reach the teen years they will have lots of friends but only one Mom! As tough as it seems sometimes, be “the Mom”. It is okay if they are mad at you sometimes. Keep talking to them and letting then make their own choices whenever that is possible and logical. Offer explanations for the rules and save statements like “because I said so” for when you’re completely exhausted or they are too young to grasp the situation.
Know their friends and meet their friends’ families. By getting to really know their friends you will discover that you really like teenagers. Make your home a place where there are clear and consistent rules for them and their friends but that is open and welcoming so they want to be there. It can be a little hectic and exhausting at times but if they’re at your house, you know where they are and what they’re doing. You’ll grow to love the chaos and will actually miss it one day.
Earn their respect, don’t demand it. Practice what you preach as much as you are able. It is okay to push them to do their best. It is not okay to have unrealistic expectations.
You will make mistakes along the way – some small ones, some big ones. Allow yourself not to be perfect and allow them to see that you are fallible. It will help them.
They will make mistakes along the way – some small ones, some big ones. Be there for them but let them suffer their own consequences. As hard as that is to do, it is how they learn. When they make good choices or have successes, rejoice with them.
Don’t ever forget that this time will pass much more quickly than you can imagine so enjoy as many moments as you can. Spend time with them. Keep reading to them and playing with them. Take them on vacations so they will learn there is more to the world than their little corner. Have traditions and make memories. They will cherish them later and so will you.
The time you are taking for yourself to go back to school is okay! They will learn more than you can imagine from it. They will also learn important lessons from the difficult times, like how to be frugal and to take care of their things, so it’s okay that you can’t provide some of the things they want or that their friends have. They are also learning a lot from having to earn things rather than just having them handed to them and you will have the joy of occasionally being able to spoil them with something extravagant and having them truly appreciate it.
Be kinder to their father. They are learning from you how a relationship should and should not work. Do a better job in a few years of not letting your anger and resentment show to them. However, don’t beat yourself up over the divorce. You did what you had to do and they’ll know that later on. And again, they will turn out just fine. I promise. You’ll be okay too. There will be some unexpected twists and turns but eventually you will end up just where you were meant to be – and you’ll never guess who’ll be there with you!
Encourage them to have their own opinions even if they aren’t the same as yours. Be less sarcastic. Make more time to pray for them and with them. Take more time to listen to them. Hug them often. Enjoy them. Mostly just love them – truly and honestly. That’s all they really need. If all this is too much to remember just remember these three things:
Pray for them.