November 22, 2008

Goodbye Matchbox

I didn't expect it to be so fast.

Last month Matchbox was my normal (allbiet odd), aging pup following me around the house. But in a few weeks his health took a turn for the worse. He lost 10 pounds, he couldn't jump on the bed, he started refusing to eat - something so alien to his nature I was shocked when Frinklin told me he had to convince Matches to finish his breakfast.

On Tuesday night he went blind. I found him trapped in more than one corner, unable to find his way back to his dog bed. Frinklin and I listened constantly for the clicking of his toenails in the middle of the night, the signal that he had lost his way while trying to get a drink of water. My husband carried his dog up and down the stairs to go out.

I found the tumors on Thursday. He had been having trouble breathing and as I felt around his neck I knew why. Several lumps had formed on his throat and were blocking his windpipe. Frinklin called the vet.

I left work early in order to be at his appointment at 4. My mother-in-law saw him off. Matchbox rode in the backseat. With his vision gone he could no longer see the moving images that normally scared him onto the floor. I told the receptionist that he didn't need to be weighed.

We sat together on the floor on a Hello Kitty blanket. Stubborn to the end, Matchbox would only lie half-way on the blanket, but rested his head alternately in my and Frinklin's hands. An hour passed while the tears flowed. The moment came.

Jeffrey misses you. He's been quiet all day. Just like the house. Frinklin swears he heard you barking when he came home this afternoon. I keep looking for you around corners.

You were our first dog. The one we took on our early dates at the dog park when Frinklin and I had just met. I'll never forget the first time you jumped in my lap, trusting that I would protect you from the big, bad pug headed your way. Or that certain way you liked your ears scratched. Or how you would sneak onto the bed in the middle of the night. Or even how you would wake us up at 4 AM to be fed.

Thanks for being such a great dog.

Goodbye Matchbox.

Happy Matches.gif

Matchbox Weirdo.jpg

Posted by Ensie at 10:06 PM | Comments (164) | TrackBack

November 11, 2008

The Giant Plot Hole in Heroes

I've been watching Heroes for the three seasons it's been on now, and every week it's like the creators can't wait to destroy the story line further, continuity be damned! This week we took a walk back in time and saw the story leading up to the "death" of Papa Petrelli.

It turns out that Peter and Nathan both knew Linderman well before his revelation part way through the first season (which actually makes sense considering how close their parents were, but wouldn't it make more sense that they would also have known Hiro an Matt Parkman's parent's too?). And Nathan's investigation into Linderman's business activities prompt his father to order a hit on his own son.

Which brings about another question. Why didn't Andrea Petrelli see her husband trying to kill Nathan in the future? She certainly seems to see everything else. She had to ask Arthur, which allowed him to slip out of an answer and then eventually plant a suggestion in her mind and cause her to forget she every even suspected it.

Which leads me to my final point, and the GIANT PLOT HOLE IN HEROES:

Why does Arthur Petrelli need to bump Nathan off when he can just alter his mind? Why not just tell him that he's going to stop prosecuting Linderman? Easy peasy - no dead kid, no paraplegic daughter-in-law, no wife that hates you...and, oh crappy Heroes story line.

C'mon Heroes writers! Pull it together people! I expect better from you. This show has the potential to be awesome and you're making it suck. The further the walk down this path, and the more you add shitty back stories, the worse it's going to be.

Posted by Ensie at 07:37 PM | Comments (628) | TrackBack

November 10, 2008

Anti-Prop 8 Rally in Seattle this Saturday

I'm inviting all of Tacoma to the Join the Impact Anti-Prop 8 Rally taking place in Seattle this Saturday morning at 10:30 AM. The march starts in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill and will end in Westlake Center downtown around noon.

This is part of a national event that will be taking place to show the country how Americans feel about gay marriage and gay families.

Local information can be found here.

Frinklin and I will likely be going and will have room in our car. Want to carpool? Email me at

Posted by Ensie at 05:59 PM | Comments (74) | TrackBack

About to be Blocked by 5 Views?

There have been a few posts on Feed Tacoma about the blog 5 Views and his unpopular opinions on a number of topics. It doesn't surprise me. Republican by Default has an extremely conservative, right-wing viewpoint that just doesn't jive with a number of people who blog about town, including me. And he's entitled to that opinion, just like anyone on the blogosphere.

The thing that gets me is that Mr. 5 Views has comments enabled on his blog. That may not seem so out-of-the-ordinary to you, but for anyone who has gone the distance and left a comment on 5 Views, you may have noticed that most comments receive a decidedly chilly reception. Unless your comment is in total and complete agreement with Republican by Default, you are more than likely going to find yourself threatened with being blocked for one or more of the following reasons:

- Profanity
- Not following the topic of the post
- Abusive behavior

Never mind that Mr. 5 Views doesn't need to follow these rules (and why no comment FAQ to at least clue people in, BTW?). He will repeatedly be rude, refer to anyone he *thinks* might even lean in a liberal direction in a nasty way, and head off on tangents, which, when you attempt to discuss or defend will get you banned becuase you must, "Stick to the topic of the thread."

Most recently I found myself embroiled in a discussion about Barack Obama's executive experience, which eventually gave way to a conversation about abortion. Once it became clear that I wasn't just someone who was just going to spout of generalizations, but actually knew what I was talking about, I was threatened more than once with being banned, as it was not the topic of the original post. However, Mr. 5 Views himself was the one who brought abortion into the discussion:

Republican By Default Says:
October 13th, 2008 at 2:22 pm
When Obama votes four times to withhold medical care for babies born in botched abortions, are we supposed to forget that because he says, “that’s above my pay grade”?

At first, RBD refused to approve my moderated comment, but after I complained he finally approved my second comment on the topic. He continues to argue the point, then insists that I am the one off topic every time I try to defend my point.

RBD has a habit of ignoring the arguments he knows he can't win, or conveniently discounting them as somehow liberally slanted. Take this discussion regarding the history of abortion during colonial times. It is a well documented fact that abortions were legally offered and performed for women before "quickening" (when women felt the baby move within) in both England and the colonies. I offered two books that state this fact and offer information to back up this fact.

ensie Says:
November 8th, 2008 at 2:13 am

The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion. Not even once. If the Supreme Court only interpreted the Constitution literally as it is, they would be an archaic institution irrelevant to our modern day issues. Understanding how the Supreme Court works, as our laws are challenged, the Court hears the cases and comes to a decision. That decision interprets the law, which they have done. Understandable, you are upset that this decision does not agree with your doctrine. However, it does not invalidate the process.

Republican By Default Says:
November 8th, 2008 at 2:41 am

The constitution doesn’t mention abortion because if anyone had brought it up they would have been thrown out of the discussion as being too sick and demented to be part of something so important (or even be part of a civil society). I was referring to the supposed ‘right to privacy’ that was the basis for the Roe vs. Wade decision regarding abortion on demand. It’s not in the constitution. It was dreamed up by political activists who happened to sit on the supreme court.

It’s the constitution that invalidates the process used in that decision. What I think of it doesn’t matter.

ensie Says:
November 9th, 2008 at 6:06 pm

On one point you are flat out wrong. Just because the Constitution doesn’t mention abortion doesn’t mean it was because it outlawed the practice. In fact, at the time the Constitution was adopted, abortions before “quickening” were openly advertised and commonly performed (That information can be found in this book, written by a Constitutional Law scholar). The practice of abortion dates back centuries, to ancient times in fact. Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy also notes that abortions were legal under English Common Law until quickening, which extended to “the Colonies”.

Republican By Default Says:
November 9th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

So you think that the historical practice of a procedure makes it acceptable? Should we then resort back to leaches and bleeding to cure disease? Lobotomies to cure insanity? Electroshock? What about medieval torture? Burning people at the stake? How about cutting off the middle finger of all men on the losing side of a battle? Drawing and quartering?

There are a lot of sick practices, whether in the name of medicine and healing or in the name of politics and nations, that should not be continued. Abortion is done in the name of both. And I’m not about to believe you or a politically motivated book about historical practices in medicine, nor about their applicability to the current debate.

Now stick to the topic or I will block you. I’m tired of wasting my time with your prattle.

ensie Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I also have to say that when a counter argument is brought up that you can’t argue against, you just ignore it and move onto another point. It’s extremely frustrating. I kept it relating to Obama and the Constitution, you took the argument into history, and I corrected you on a historical fact. The books I mentioned are far from politically motivated. As I stated, they are written by those looking at historical fact (one of which written by a Constitutional Law Scholar), something you refuse to acknowledge. These are far from internet rumors or liberal talking points. You are welcome to look up the information yourself to confirm it.

Also, you should note that modern medicine is indeed using leeches again in medical practice and electroshock therapy is still in use. I believe the majority of witch burning and midevial torture was done by religious organizations looking to punish or convert, respectively (or not respectively, depending), yes?

If you head over to 5 Views and read the entire comment thread, you'll get to hear lots more threats and insults. Considering the fact that I have a rather quick temper, I'm pleased to say that not a single one came from me. I've remained polite and friendly throughout our entire exchange, and have really tried to understand the other point of view.

Republican by Default has made it more than clear that what he's really searching for on his blog is an echo chamber, not an intelligent debate about any topic he would like to discuss. His childish and petulent attitude toward anyone with a diffence of opinion, and inability to handle even the slightest joke lead me to believe he is someone without any ability for empathy. It's unfortunate, as RBD could work to bridge the gap between left and right, but it's obvious he will not, or cannot do so.

UPDATE 11:27 PM:

The end of our discussion:

Republican By Default Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

ensie, I did not ‘threaten’ to block you. They same rules applie to you that I said to maggie except that you are not on your last warning.

Your comments are often off-topic and so I feel obligated to respond to what you’ve said, which you then respond to taking things further off topic.

In response to your last comment I will say three things:
- You argue for a president and a party that has abortion-on-demand as one of it’s foremost planks, so some of my comments are directed at that rather than directly at what you’ve said;
- You have not been completely cordial or polite, you have been rude on several occasions;
- Nothing in your last comment has anything to do with Obama’s executive experience (or the tremendous lack thereof).

Unless you have something new to add to the appropriate subject, this thread is done.

ensie Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

This does not qualify as a threat?

Now stick to the topic or I will block you. I’m tired of wasting my time with your prattle.

Please let me know what qualifies in my earlier posts as rude so that I will not make the same mistakes in the future. I do not want to be blocked for being ungracious in the future. I have taken pains to be polite in our discussion, making sure I focused on the arguments, and going out of my way not to make personal attacks. However, I felt on several occasions you made jabs at me personally simply for stating my case.


Your attempts to defend him make you look as sick as he is.

But then you’re a liberal so rules don’t matter to you. Those for everyone else.

Maybe you could post a comment FAQ in order to let people know exactly what crosses the line?

Republican By Default Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Ok. Take a deep breath. Take a moment and relax.

Then try to explain to me:
a) how any of that last comment relates to the subject of this thread, and
b) how that comment was polite.
[rhetorical question, of course]

Do you need to have some meds adjusted?

This thread is done. So go get a life and quit wasting my time.

I thought I was being polite? The suggestion for a FAQ was real and I wanted to discuss his suggestion that I had been rude during our discussion. Republican by Default's extremely hurtful comment about "have(ing) my meds adjusted" points to the fact that he knows little about the blogging community he is a part of. I have been on anti-depressant medication for years, something he might know if he bothered to read my blog once in a while. So, thanks for that, asshole.

Again, the point of blogging, and especially the point of blogging with comments enabled is to hear the thoughts of others. Those viewpoints may differ from your own, and you should be ready to engage those in a thoughtful and respectful way (although I'll make exceptions from time to time). Being an aggressive dickwad isn't the best way to find or keep readers.

Posted by Ensie at 03:38 PM | Comments (67) | TrackBack

November 01, 2008

My Everyday Encounter With "Real America"

Blogging has continued to be on the low-priority list as of late. Which is weird, considering how strongly I feel about this election. My house is in a 24-hour election news cycle. What time is it? Is it time for Olbermann yet? Is Maddow on? Dammit - there's only the Crypt Keeper Larry King.

I find myself cringing at work, where people let it slip that they don't know who they plan to vote for "for anything" as though it's just another election like one of many we tend to have here in Washington. Sometimes I get especially annoyed, like when I'm trapped in the car on the way to the bank with a couple of folks I would rather talk about anything than politics. A conversation with some of these"Real Americans":

"You can't trust either of them. They're both crooks!" starts in one.

"I just wish the black one would talk about what he's gonna do 'stead of what he's not gonna do. I mean - he's always attacking McCain. And that guy's an American hero!" replies the other.

"You know why he does that...'cause he hangs out with all those terrorists and stuff. He knows if he talks about that he'll lose."

"Um," I finally interject, "Actually Obama has talked a lot about what he plans to do. If you watched any of the debates he spoke about his tax plan and lowering taxes for anyone making less than $200K a year and providing health care for people who can't afford it through their employers."

"Yeah, but lots of presidents have said they're gonna do that stuff and they never do." is the response.

"Yes, but if you don't vote him into office and give him the opportunity, it will certainly never happen. And McCain isn't offering those things at all. And I don't think any president has ever offered a health care plan like this." I persist.

"Uh-huh, Clinton did. And it failed. It didn't work. It's never gonna happen."

"That was Hillary Clinton that tried to pass Universal Health Care, which is a little different. She was the First Lady. Not the President." I rally on.

"Still, I don't like how the World loves Obama. They're scared of McCain. Hopefully they'll just leave us alone, and we'll leave them alone. That's the way it should be."

"Exactly!" Her compatriot agrees.

"Got it. Unfortunately, we are involved in a couple of wars oversees, and we are part of the World, our economy is tied to a number of countries, and a number of other countries economies are tied to ours, so just cutting ourselves off from everyone else isn't really an option. We have to participate for a lot of reasons."

At this point, we had reached our destination, and I exited the vehicle. I felt as thought I had done what I could to share my point of view, although I doubt it had changed any minds. I'm sure once I was gone the conversation consisted of the two of them rolling their eyes and laughing at my educated voter naivete.

Posted by Ensie at 08:35 PM | Comments (61) | TrackBack