Random (but not really)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dictator Valentines

Someone posted this on Facebook yesterday, and I couldn’t stop giggling.

Dictator Valentines

Let us be comrades
Because you are great!

(snicker)

See also: Dictator Valentines

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Holidays  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WWA: Are You KIDDING with this Weather Edition?

It’s January. I saw daffodils attempting to come up today, in our 68 F temperatures. And in 24 hours temperatures are supposed to drop back into the 20s.

So, today’s word is for Mother Nature, who is apparently very: moody

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Just a Fucking Ray of Sunshine

I’ve really been struggling recently.

I was sick for several weeks–I thought that was it.

But it wasn’t.

Instead, I’ve been in a downward spiral, feeling miserable, which keeps me from getting anything done, which makes me miserable…

You know, the vicious cycle.

The one I know I’m in, but I can’t seem to escape.

That’s the thing, of course. I know depression is a fucking liar. Yet, when I’m in the throes of it, knowing doesn’t mean a damned thing.

I feel like I’m the most horrible person in the world.

I wish I could just give up, except that I know that doing so would hurt people, and that would make me an even WORSE person than I already think I am, so I keep trudging along.

Get out of bed. Go to work. Feel overwhelmed and worthless. Pretend everything is okay, because worthless or not, we need my paycheck. Come home. Try to distract myself. Go to bed. And the whole thing starts over.

I was IMing someone today who has the same struggles I do. I said that I didn’t want to blog about how hard I was struggling, because I didn’t want to cause people to worry. Because, you know, that makes me even more selfish.

So many people in my life right now are struggling: Two friends have mothers who may have late stage lung cancer. Other friends have family members going through various serious medical issues. My extended family is still reeling from two unexpected deaths in less than six months.

What right do I have to complain? To whine? To talk about my own problems which exist only in my brain?

But my friend reminded me that it helps other people to know they aren’t alone in their struggles. That if I don’t talk about it, then those other people who are struggling might think they are alone.

And they aren’t.

So here it is–my continued struggle.

But it’s something more than that. It’s a reminder to myself that depression is a fucking liar. And that I will keep going. I’ll get up in the morning and go to work. And things will get better.

Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not the next day. But they will get better.

Because depression is a fucking liar, and I won’t let it get the best of me.

And thank you again to my friend who reminded me of these things.

Written by Michelle at 9:11 pm      Comments (7)  Permalink
Categories: Depression  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Covers: Reusing Images

The problem with reusing images for book covers, is that if an image is particularly striking, it’s obvious the image has been reused.

For weeks I was staring at the guy on the cover of Lilith Saintcrow’s The Damnation Affair, KNOWING I’d seen that guy on the cover of another book.

The Damnation Affair

How did I know that? Because the guy creeps me out.

He looks like a redneck stalker.

Not hot. Not sexy.

Creepy.

I finally ran back into the image as I was cleaning up my book blog and book site.

The cover for Moira Rogers’ book Wilder’s Mate: Bloodhounds.

wilders-mate-bloodhounds

Mind you, I find the guy disturbing in both settings, but I find the first image MORE disturbing, because he and the girl are not in the same setting AT ALL. At least in the second image, the guy is being made to look threatening and dangerous–though Im’ never a fan of Photoshopped red eyes.

But in the top image, he looks not like he’s going to save the girl, but that he is threatening her.

Additionally, the female model looks about twelve, which makes it all the more squicky, because it reinforces the stalker/pedophile vibe.

So now we both know.

Written by Michelle at 7:01 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Travels: Philadelphia

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Philadelphia.

Historical reenactor climbing the steps in Congress Hall

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Miniature Cast Pewter Toy Train at the Liberty Bell Center

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Elfreth’s Alley

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Second Bank of the US

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Historical reenactors walking to Congress Hall

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Dragon above parking lot in Chinatown

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Window of the Second Bank of the US building

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Elfreth’s Alley

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That are other pictures if you click through to FLickr, including pictures of cobblestones and bricks, because they fascinate me.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Pennsylvania,Photos,Travel  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Travels: Philadelphia: Printing Press

Besides being sick for weeks keeping my away from here, we also went to Philadelphia last weekend.

Why Philadelphia in January? Because our friend Tania was on the east coast! (YAY)

But since I’d never been to Philadelphia, we made it an extra long weekend, and took in the sights.

There were a couple disappointments: Christ Church Cemetery is closed January and February, so I could peek in through one set of bars, but a brick wall blocked me from seeing the vast majority of the cemetery. And I would have enjoyed seeing the inside of one of the restored old homes, but for the most part, we had a lovely trip, and got to see almost everything we wanted.

Probably my favorite thing all weekend (besides seeing Tania and Nathan) was the Printing Office in Franklin Court.

The park ranger running the printing press was fabulous. There were a handful or so of kids when we walked in, and he was demonstrating the press, and showing them all the bits and telling them how things worked–it was really lovely.

The press he was using was set up for a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

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The second press was set up to print various pamphlets that would have circulated in Franklin’s time running the printing office.

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One of the things we learned was that the terms “Upper Case” and “Lower Case” came from typesetting. Capital letters were kept in the top boxes, hence “upper case.”

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I asked my own questions, and purchased a copy of the Declaration that had been printed there.

We also went to the post office, where I mailed my postcards. I didn’t take any pictures, but the woman there was very nice, and told us about about some of the things Benjamin Franklin did as post master, including “franking” or marking mail with the signature B. Free Franklin.

Friends and family should look closely at the post mark on the postcards they receive, as it’s one of a kind.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: History,Pennsylvania,Photos  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WWA: AWOL Edition

Oh. It’s Wednesday. I have really been amiss.

I’ll try to get back in the swing of things. Although it’s the end of the day, here’s a word for playing: twitchy

Written by Michelle at 9:07 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Twitchy

Sorry I’ve been AWOL. Between the holidays AND coming down with one or more colds (at the same time) AND (temporarily) bricking my brand new laptop, I’ve had nothing.

Not that this post is much, but I know some of you will understand the problem here.

Because my brother is no longer working out of our spare bedroom, we canceled our long distance (again).

When I logged into my bank account today, I found this:

AT&T Bill Due

I CANNOT DELETE IT.

But the orange (!) alert ALSO won’t go away.

I am seriously considering trying to submit a payment of $0 on the due date.

(twitch) (twitch)

Written by Michelle at 6:03 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December 31, 1862

I missed this on Monday, but want still to make note of its passing: 31 December was the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s signing the bill to allow for the statehood of WV.

It is interesting to note that the constitutionality of the creation of WV has been considered dubious. The section of note is as follows:

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution

The legal maneuvering to get around this was the creation of the New Restored Government of Virginia.

COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, EXECUTIVE DEP’T, WHEELING, June 21, 1861.

To His Excellency the President of the United States:

SIR: Reliable information has been received at this department from various parts of the State that large numbers of evil-minded persons have banded together in military organizations with intent to overthrow the Government of the State; and for that purpose have called to their aid like-minded persons from other States, who, in pursuance of such call, have invaded this Commonwealth. They are now making war on the loyal people of the State. They are pressing citizens against their consent into their military organization, and seizing and appropriating their property to aid in the rebellion.

I have not at my command sufficient military force to suppress this rebellion and violence. The Legislature cannot be convened in time to act in the premises; it therefore becomes my duty as Governor of this Commonwealth to call on the Government of the United States for aid to repress such rebellion and violence.

I therefore earnestly request that you will furnish a military force to aid in suppressing the rebellion, and to protect the good people of this Commonwealth from domestic violence.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant.

(Signed,) F.H. PEIRPOINT, Governor.

This restored government then petitioned Congress to make the western counties of Virginia a separate state.

We even had our own Declaration of Independence:

Declaration of the People of Virginia
Represented in Convention at Wheeling
June 13, 1861

The true purpose of all government is to promote the welfare and provide for the protection and security of the governed, and when any form or organization of government proves inadequate for, or subversive of this purpose, it is the right, it is the duty of the latter to alter or abolish it. The Bill of Rights of Virginia, framed in 1776, reaffirmed in 1860, and again in 1851, expressly reserves this right to the majority of her people, and the existing constitution does not confer upon the General Assembly the power to call a Convention to alter its provisions, or to change the relations of the Commonwealth, without the previously expressed consent of such majority. The act of the General Assembly, calling the Convention which assembled at Richmond in February last, was therefore a usurpation; and the Convention thus called has not only abused the powers nominally entrusted to it, but, with the connivance and active aid of the executive, has usurped and exercised other powers, to the manifest injury of the people, which, if permitted, will inevitably subject them to a military despotism.

The Convention, by its pretended ordinances, has required the people of Virginia to separate from and wage war against the government of the United States, and against the citizens of neighboring State, with whom they have heretofore maintained friendly, social and business relations:

It has attempted to subvert the Union founded by Washington and his co-patriots in the purer days of the republic, which has conferred unexampled prosperity upon every class of citizens, and upon every section of the country:

It has attempted to transfer the allegiance of the people to an illegal confederacy of rebellious States, and required their submission to its pretended edicts and decrees:

It has attempted to place the whole military force and military operations of the Commonwealth under the control and direction of such confederacy, for offensive as well as defensive purposes.

It has, in conjunction with the State executive, instituted wherever their usurped power extends, a reign of terror intended to suppress the free expression of the will of the people, making elections a mockery and a fraud:

The same combination, even before the passage of the pretended ordinance of secession, instituted war by the seizure and appropriation of the property of the Federal Government, and by organizing and mobilizing armies, with the avowed purpose of capturing or destroying the Capitol of the Union:

They have attempted to bring the allegiance of the people of the United States into direct conflict with their subordinate allegiance to the State, thereby making obedience to their pretended Ordinance, treason against the former.

We, therefore the delegates here assembled in Convention to devise such measures and take such action as the safety and welfare of the loyal citizens of Virginia may demand, having mutually considered the premises, and viewing with great concern, the deplorable condition to which this once happy Commonwealth must be reduced, unless some regular adequate remedy is speedily adopted, and appealing to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do hereby, in the name and on the behalf of the good people of Virginia, solemnly declare, that the preservation of their dearest rights and liberties and their security in person and property, imperatively demand the reorganization of the government of the Commonwealth, and that all acts of said Convention and Executive, tending to separate this Commonwealth from the United States, or to levy and carry on war against them, are without authority and void; and the offices of all who adhere to the said Convention and Executive, whether legislative, executive or judicial, are vacated.

Before signing the bill at the end of 1862, President Lincoln asked his cabinet the following:

Gentlemen of the Cabinet

A bill for an act entitled ‘An Act for the admission of the State of West-Virginia into the Union, and for other purposes,’ has passed the House of Representatives, and the Senate, and has been duly presented to me for my action.

I respectfully ask of each [of] you, an opinion in writing, on the following questions, towit:

1st. Is the said Act constitutional?

2d. Is the said Act expedient?

Your Obt. Servt.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

President Lincoln considered their responses and signed the bill on the 31st, with a memorandum containing some of the reasons he thought their legal maneuvering was successful.

The division of a State is dreaded as a precedent. But a measure made expedient by a war, is no precedent for times of peace. It is said that the admission of West-Virginia, is secession, and tolerated only because it is our secession. Well, if we call it by that name, there is still difference enough between secession against the constitution, and secession in favor of the constitution.

I believe the admission of West-Virginia into the Union is expedient.

This wasn’t the start of the process, nor the end, yet it was still a significant part in the creation of the State of West Virginia from territories that had previously been Virginia.

Restored Government of Virginia
Lincoln’s West Virginia Dilemma
Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood

Written by Michelle at 11:51 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: History,Politics  

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