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This counts as news only to me, but I fixed my bedside lamp. The switch had worn out.
It's no antique, though it's no spring chicken, either. I "inherited" it when my college roommate graduated and moved to the west coast. (Hi, Jason!) That was only... fifteen years ago. I don't know how old it was then. (Can you shed any light on that subject, Jason?) If I've yanked that chain twice a day ever since, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of approximately 11,000 pulls. Maybe I should have been counting.
Anyway, thanks to a replacement switch found on eBay, I can now read in bed again. Sweet dreams, everyone.
In honor of Valentine's Day, today's blog post is about abortion.
There's been talk here in Georgia that the state legislature has been working on a new resolution to finally pass the long languishing Equal Rights Amendment. The local paper reported that one of the resolution's sponsors recently withdrew his support after talking with "people I know and people I trust" (who are, presumably two separate groups of people).
Before we go any further, to refresh your memory, this is the whole text of that very controversial proposed amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
That's simple enough. Why would someone want to go on record as being against that? To answer that question, I did a little Googling. You may be surprised to know that the Internet is full of opinions on the topic.
Some people say that the ERA isn't necessary because it duplicates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which promises "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." If that were true, women wouldn't have needed the 19th Amendment to cast votes.
Some people say that the ERA would prevent women from receiving favorable bias in paternity cases. They say it could also force women into the draft. Are either of these such a problem? I would hope that women would have to prove their fitness to be a parent in court. If a war is so damn important that we have to force our citizens into the armed forces, it seems to me that women should serve their country just as men do. (If the thought of your daughter going to war makes you think twice about the need for warfare, all the better.) And God forbid that anyone should have to use a uni-sex bathroom.
Some people say that the ERA is bad because it is just another example of the federal government stealing rights from the states. That's true. Granted, the "right" it would be stealing is the states' ability to treat women like second class citizens, but it's the principle of the thing!
However, the "people" who talked our representative out of supporting the ERA didn't use any of those arguments. No, the persuasive argument against guaranteeing women and men equal rights was — you guessed it — abortion. They said that if we give men and women true equality, they can no longer tell women what to do with their bodies. Horror of horrors!
Frankly, that strikes me as a bullshit reason to deny or abridge equal rights for women. I'm no girl or priest, and I'm generally pretty good at "keeping it in my pants," so I try to have no opinion on the subject, but the logic seems simple. If abortion is murder as the bumper stickers tell me, it should be illegal whether a man or woman is carrying a child. If it's not, then what difference does it make what gender does it? Neither case should have any bearing on whether women should have the same rights as men.
But what do I know? I try not to have an opinion, remember.
If you ask me, the best argument against the ERA is the existence of Valentine's Day itself. If women and men are so damn equal, someone should be buying *me* chocolates today, dammit.
I went with Dad today to look at a potential new house. New to him, I mean. The house itself was showing its age.
I told him to take it.
Believe it or not, I sold 190 books on Amazon.com in 2018!
To clarify, that "sold" number includes books that Amazon gave away for free to good homes (with my permission). I won't tell you exactly how many of them were free. I will only say that my total take-home revenue for the year was $9.92, which means that for a third year in a row, I can call myself a (marginally) professional writer.
And yes, I am currently working on another novel. The next one will not be in the same series but it still will be about wizards. Wizards who solve locked-room murders. Because even fantasy murders need solving.
I'll tell you more when we get closer to release, sometime later this year.
Unlike last year, this year I tried to make gingerbread houses all by myself from recipes I found on the Internet. Mm-hmm. Operative word: "tried."
I've just about mastered the cookie recipe. The gingerbread itself is soft and delicious. The icing, on the other hand, was a bit of a problem (as you can see).
The icing was so thick and stiff that the pastry bag might as well have been filled with quick dry cement. In hindsight, I probably added too much sugar to the amount of egg whites I had. I'll try to remember that for next year.
At least my mouth doesn't care how they look.
I've been sick for most of the past two weeks, ever since former friend Ken infected me with his blech at the the Georgia Tech/UGA game. (No, seriously, Ken. You will get your comeuppance for this.)
When I was sick back in March 2017, I had a delightful piece of art from friend Cam to post while I recovered. Luckily for me (and you), she's been back to work.
Keep up the good work, Cam. I eagerly look forward to seeing what you'll have for me to post when I'm sick in 2019!
Christmas is over. I have already bought myself the only present I needed.
Yes, this is a functioning bluetooth-enabled speakerphone.
And no, you'll never talk to me over a normal phone again.
My aunt's contribution to our Thanksgiving feast included stuffing, chocolate ice cream, and three dozen sugar cookies bought from the Kroger bakery.
The others ate the stuffing and ice cream. I ate the cookies. All of the cookies.
To be honest, I ate too many cookies. I don't know what Kroger put in them, but each was more delicious than the last. I. Just. Couldn't. Stop. Now I'm going through cookie withdrawal.
I thought I was through the worst of it when Mom went grocery shopping today... and returned with another three dozen cookies.
"I came around the aisle," she said, "and there they were, the only cookies on the table. The last batch. They wouldn't have been there if I wasn't supposed to buy them and bring them home for you."
So that's my Mom, who thinks that fate is trying to bring me and cookies together. Fate is not the boss of me! I'm an independent, rational, strong-willed individual. I can resist the allure of a basket of sweet, sweet sugar cookies.
DAMN YOU, COOKIES!
Today was the day that we moved Dad's stuff up from Florida. Of course, I woke up with a stiff upper back. Moving the boxes out of the trailer, I hurt my lower back compensating for my upper back stiffness. And then I split my pants.
Sometimes, life is funny. And sometimes, life's a riot. The kind with tear gas.
I woke up to a text from Friend Ken who needed advice regarding his broken range top. "Boy, am I glad I don't have his problems," I thought to myself.
And then my kitchen sink broke.
Somehow, the nut holding the pipe on the strainer basket in the left basin had become completely stripped. As a result, the pipe slid sideways, and the dishwater, instead of draining away to the septic tank, drained into the cabinet.
Mom and I debated calling a plumber, but we ultimately agreed that replacing a sink basket is no big deal. I should be able to handle that repair easily. Unless the locknut nut is rusted in place. Which, of course, this was. Enter the hacksaw! In a tiny cramped space! On my back!
Two hours, one trip to Home Depot, and $17 later, the sink was back together and successfully holding its water. That's when I noticed that the pipe in the right basin had a cracked nut that was also leaking. Grr. Fortunately, I had the replacement parts leftover from a previous repair to the basement sink. So another hour later (in a tiny cramped space, on my back), both sides of the sink were good as new! Almost.
On reinspection, the left basin was leaking again. Thinking it must be because I had used too small a bead of plumbers putty, I unscrewed everything again. That's when I noticed that while reassembling the parts last time, I had accidentally placed the high-tech piece of cardboard (meant to reduce friction between locknut and gasket) above the rubber gasket instead of below it. It turns out that cardboard is terrible at holding water. Who knew?
Maybe I *should* have called a plumber.
Anyway, everything is working as it is supposed to again. So take that, Ken! The ball is back in your court, buddy.
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