remember when i had a blog that i used?
i should do that again…
since this idea was too long to fit in a tweet, i’m posting it as a blog. (novel idea, right?)
so we have all heard a lot about this great healthcare debate.. right? so what’s one more post to over-saturate the subject 🙂
but in all seriousness.. this is a huge issue in our country. the united states is the only developed country that has the issue of people going bankrupt because of medical expenses.. because we are the *only* developed country without universal health care. in 2001, half of all american bankruptcy filings were linked to medical issues (which brought the bankruptcy numbers up 2,300% more than it was just 20 years before). and this isn’t something that’s just effecting the unemployed.. or “those” people in urban areas…. or *enter some other term you use for people that you don’t think are in your close circle of friends here*…. there’s a rising number of suburban poverty and lack of care for our neighbors in the suburbs… even our friends and neighbors that are employed full time are loosing their health insurance. actually, 46 MILLION of our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers were without health insurance in 2007. 46 million. that’s 46,000,000 people. that’s the entire population of spain.
so yea.. we’ve probably heard all this before.. from politicians.. media.. etc. but i’m saying it again. something. must. be. done.
and i think some politicians have been doing a great job of making a strong case for this much needed health care reform. but we’re still getting absolute ridiculous rumors that are being made up and used to scare people. maybe we need to get more personal. sure, it’s easy to read over the numbers and reasons for reform if you think of the problem being for “those people”… and not “our ????????? ???? ????? ? ????? people”… our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers.
so here’s an idea: lets do some research. figure out the people who are so vocally refusing to listen to the health care reform issues… find out who in their life is really suffering because of the current health care system. friends.. family.. heck, even their hair dresser, dog groomer or babysitter. then bring that person with their family to the debate. then have the person opposing health care reform say to their friend’s face
why they don’t support helping them out with a universal health care option.
we need to make this personal
. because it is. ?????? ??????? ???? ????? we need to change things now. because OUR people’s lives depend on it.
*hops off her soap box*
so now that i’ve had my chumby for a while now, i’m finally getting the chance to write a review about it, so here goes nothing
first off, let me explain a little bit about the concept of the chumby. the official chumby website explains it as “your personal internet player. there’s always something good on.” but i didn’t really understand what that meant at first either. basically it looks like an oversized hackie sack, with wi-fi, speakers, usb ports, a touch screen and a motion sensor built in. you plug it in, activate it, and let it run flash-based widgets. it’s all set up to be open-source in software and hardware… so all in all, you can basically make it into what you want it to be.
so how does it work? well it’s pretty simple to set up. you activate it by visiting chumby.com, pairing it up to your account (similar to how you pair up a bluetooth headset to your phone… you only have to do it once and then they can talk to each other) and then setting up channels. a channel is basically a loop of widgets. you can put as many or as few of these widgets in a channel as you want, and you can create as many channels as you want as well. and then you can have this thing on your desk, your night stand, whatever. also built into the chumby is a clock (which automatically gets its time via internet), and alarm clock, and even a music player (just plug your ipod in, and let it play music through it’s speakers, while charging your ipod at the same time)
so.. what are my thoughts about my chumby? was it a good use of $175 off my paycheck? i believe so. i really enjoy the idea of this. i’ve found some really great widgets, heck i even really like it as an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning. (and actually, i’ve spent more on an alarm clock before, with less features… so for me $175 was a very reasonable price for this technology) i also like being a part of the “early adapters” group, when i can afford it. but some things i noticed so far that need improvement. 1) if you have a lot of songs on your ipod (which i do) it will ‘hang’ on that because the music player is too heavy for the little processor of the chumby. this fault has been noted on the message boards, and i’m sure they are working on a “lighter” music player to address this.. so i’m not worried. 2) also sometimes the chumby freezes up on a processor intensive widget. which is fine, since the thing isn’t meant to be a “processing powerhouse” by any means… but that does point out the limits of the widgets that you can use for the chumby. 3) if you are in a wireless network that requires that you log in via a browser (not one that has a password to join the network, but one that you physically have to open up a browser and log in) you’ll run into problems joining that to the network. because there is no real “browser”, it doesn’t allow you to log into a website. you can easily set it up on most wireless networks though, and then, even when there is a password on the network, you can have it remember your network profiles and log in automatically.
with that all said, i think it’s an amazing little device, and a great idea. the construction is great (it’s even fallen out of my loft a couple times, and just bounces back… what a little trooper ) and the widgets are way fun. i’ve found that i really enjoy the traffic widget, weather bug widget, and even a couple games. i also enjoy the flickr widgets (there are a couple of them, from what i’ve found) as well as the twitter widgets (there’s at least two of those as well) so even if you wanted to just use this to display random pictures from your flickr account it’s still worth the money! (heck, digital picture frames are gonna cost you $60-250 anyways.. and there you’re limited to what’s on the card in the frame.) i enjoy the fact that it is very “open” in it’s creation, so many people are jumping on board and helping create great widgets and improvements to the chumby. all the widgets and updates are free, so you really can’t go wrong by buying now. it’s also very easy to learn, and very low maintenance, since it can just go and entertain itself all day
so that’s my review on the chumby. thanks to the chumby people for creating a great product, i’m happy with my chumby, who’s name is “chumby wumpus”, btw. (you know.. like that old game hunt the wumpus, that i used to play on my old texas instrument gaming system… maaan that game scared me. but i digress)
don’t ever hint at me being a “weak” girl and in need of a “man” to carry a medium size box. i know my limits. i’m not afraid to ask for help when i need it. but don’t call someone over to help me out when i know that i can easily carry the object. especially when i could bench press you. thankyouverymuch.
i’m sitting here in evanston, il… with my jazz quartet .. overlooking the chicago skyline and lake michigan… and just a moment ago.. john was playing his grand piano that’s in his living room… and pati was just singing along… and it sounded like an awesome cd that was playing through really great speakers … but better!
man.. it’s so great to know such talented people!
don’t do that!
and according to weather.com its supposed to snow a little back home in milwaukee.
i’ll take the rain.
so i got in yesterday… and wearing my sweatshirt (which was definitely required attire when in wisconsin/illinois) suddenly became WAAAAY to warm to be wearing here in norfolk, va. that’s one thing that i always expect.. but rarely am prepared for while traveling. it’s pretty cool that i can be in the same country.. yet in a completely different weather ’situation.’ .. within a matter of hours.
but the trip was kind uneventful. a little bumpy.. but pretty normal. one of the girls on the back of the plane (where i was sitting as well) was flying for the first time. and our flight attendants were super friendly and joking around with us in the back. the more eventful part of my trip was in the chicago airport. see.. recently i discovered a product called vitamin water. so i thought.. since i’m getting up so early.. taking the bus down to chicago.. and then flying out of there around 9:20am… i should have some good stuff to drink to keep me from getting so jet-lagged. so i brought a bottle of vitamin water on the bus. i took about three drinks from this bottle.. and had it on my carry on… not realizing that you can’t bring any liquids past security. so they took it and THREW it away. (not even bothering to recycle the plastic bottle.. which made me mad!) ok. so i’m out of $1.50. no biggie. i walk through the airport to terminal C.. and actually carry all my stuff up the stairs. (thinking.. hey.. it’s two flights of stairs.. that’s good exercise) so i’m kinda tired when i get up at the top.. wishing i had my vitamin water. i stop at the first kiosk … and this friendly little indian woman helps me out…. and sells me a bottle of vitamin water (just like i had only 5 minutes before)… for $3.75. *sigh* .. well.. i suppose i have no other choice. i thank her.. and move on. then before i get on the plane.. i’m thinking.. “well.. i should probably get something to eat.” and i walked past mcDonalds… and felt sick just walking PAST the grease… i stop at another little kiosk near my gate… cuz i see a chicken caesar salad that looks pretty good. i get up to the checkout.. “that’ll be $9.25″ ack! nine freakin’ dollars for a salad? man.. this better be one GOOD salad. and let me tell you.. i’m going to finish every. last. bite.
so moral of the story.. i think we need more ‘dry/powder’ foods so we can take them through security and eat them in the airport to make the monopoly of airport dining realize that up-charging 300-500% IS NOT OK.
ok. that’s really all i have to say about that. the saying should be changed from “it’s highway robbery” to “it’s airport kiosk robbery” .. but i suppose that doesn’t roll off the tonge as nicely.
well whatever. i’m here. and it’s a nice lazy, stay-in-and-watch-movies, type day. and i like those.
happy friday everyone!
we were talking at dinner last night about being truly aware of our surroundings. and what it would feel like to live life in a true ‘aware’ state of being. just think of the example of eating… one piece of chocolate. like.. one herseys’ kiss. experiencing and noticing EVERY aspect of that event… the weight of the chocolate… the feel of the tinfoil… unwrapping the tinfoil and listening to the sound it makes… looking at the color of the chocolate… noticing the shape and texture… etc. and that’s just one piece of chocolate! what if we experienced life that way? what would that look like? people would probably think were were a nutcase.. but that’s besides the point. we also would be better and more calm drivers… we wouldn’t feel that we ‘wasted’ those precious times with our family and friends… we would notice if someone needs something… we would notice what we were stepping in… we would hear all the ‘music’ that surrounds us every moment of every day… we would be aware of how our actions are effecting those around us.. our earth.. fellow living creatures… nature.. etc.
so speaking of being ‘aware’… there’s a tremendous odor in our break room. it’s bad.
and a completely different topic… i spent my whole lunch hour looking through pictures on nejsum.net… the webpage of the nejsum family in danmark. it was so great to look through those pictures.. and see all the kids growing up… getting older… growing taller.. etc. seeing the family continue to grow… and just seeing the complete joy of family gatherings in the eyes of all in attendance. it reminds me of why i love pictures so much. i love taking them to capture moments (especially when people don’t notice the camera… and just live life like they were normally).. and then being able to look at that picture later.. contemplate the moment.. cherish the moment… sometimes learn from the moment. seeing the moment… taken out of ‘context’… and maybe having a clearer view of that moment…
… so maybe that wasn’t a different topic after all.
i’ve been getting headaches lately.
i think i’ve been thinking and worrying too much lately. and i haven’t really pinpointed what exactly i am worried about…
i start my job tomorrow. i can’t wait. i think once i pay off all my recent ‘big’ purchases that will eliminate some of my headaches. also… lately i have felt really lazy and unmotivated. having a job to go to will help me from feeling so lazy.
i should also get my car checked out. i was rear-ended last night while at a stoplight. i was on my way home… turning right at a stoplight.. i had just started going (since the light turned green)… while taking a sip of my soda that i just got at the wendy’s on the corner… and *bam.* it sounded louder and more severe than it really was. it looks like my bumper did what it was supposed to do… and looks just the SLIGHTEST amount pushed in. the most major damage was to my “God is not mad at you, no matter what” bumper sticker… where most of the ink was rubbed off. ahh well. guess i’ll have to get another bumper sticker. no biggie. the guy didn’t have insurance. but he did pull over and was very apologetic. (which.. for the neighborhood that i was in… this was a big surprise to me) if he was a jerk and/or didn’t pull over… i would be super peeved. but i’m not.
now… for a completely different subject… since that’s just how my brain works…
i was driving home from lunch today… driving past a grade school on capitol… seeing the kids out on the swing set playing… with their big fuzzy winter coats surrounding them… making it almost impossible for them to move their limbs…. and i started reflecting on our growth throughout our lives.
we all know that we grow physically. does anyone know exactly how many percent we grow from when our hearts first start beating? i’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the math… from… what… an inch or two… to… 4, 5, 6 some odd feet? that’s a whole lot of growth.
and also our ‘world’ grows with us. well.. the world doesn’t grow… but our realization of the world is what grows and changes. to think of the little girl on the swing in that huge pink coat… her world was probably just big enough to fit her school… her house/family… and maybe a couple parks… the grocery store… etc. i remember when life was that simple. and my world consisted of all that i knew in my neighborhood… the bike path… my friends’ houses…. the bakery where i would get free cookies…. and extending to couple different states where we traveled to for vacations. everything was all right and good with the world. at least in my little world… it was. and that’s all that i could see… and that’s all that i knew… and that was ok.
now, while i have physically stopped growing… my world keeps growing. everything is NOT just “alright” in this world. and now that i see that… how can i not be moved to act? i remember reading a bumper sticker that said “if you aren’t outraged, then you haven’t been paying attention.” so true. if we aren’t moved to do something about all the injustice and wrong in the world… that means that our world has not grown to include those things. (either we are unaware, or we turn our heads and ignore those “parts” of the world because of our own fear and discomfort) using excuses like “well.. the problem is too big anyways.” or “i’m so far away…..” doesn’t cut it. i’ve used them both. they are just signs of laziness. i refuse to continue this self destructive path. i want to do something to change the world.
i’ve been reading a lot about some of the politics surrounding this upcoming election. if you’ve been reading my blog, you may have seen a couple posts about voting no on this marriage amendment thing. i must say i’m really passionate about this issue.. and the more and more i talk to people… the more and more i worry about our state’s well-being if this amendment passes. it would be our state taking a giant step backwards in time. if we make it legal to discriminate against a group of people… what will be next? is the next amendment going to be going back in time even more… and making it legal to have slaves? i mean.. yea… people think “yea.. right. that will never happen.” but i’ve been hearing HORROR stories from other states that have passed similar amendments… stories of people using the amendment to strip ‘domestic abuse’ rights from girls who ‘shack up’ with their boyfriend who now is beating them. i’m sorry. but if you use the law to defend an abusive boyfriend… i’m leaving that state! my goodness! or how ’bout states that have used the amendment to take benefits away from children of same-sex families? what did that child do to deserve that? what is the child going to do? get a full time job at the age of 12? seriously people! these horror stories are just making me mad. it almost makes me want to not read / listen to/ watch any of the news. but that would be like me “turning my head” in order to make my “world” all “good and right.”
that’s not what Jesus did…. and i follow Him.
so i’ll live with the headaches. it means that i’m paying attention.