Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My excellent Halloween Costume

I always wanted to blog, but I thought you needed a reason!

I am invited to a Halloween party on October 24, so I need a costume. I have an idea for it, but assembling it is kind of a ‘process’ and something that I think will blog well. I am to go as an oxymoron. The idea is to collect and execute all the wearable oxymorons I can come up with.

I actually had this idea about six months ago. At the time, I went onto, or some such site, and offered up my idea for comment and suggestions to the oxymoronic community. They totally let me down without a single comment, helpful or otherwise. Maybe Halloween was to far away at the time to get their attention, but they had their chance, and I will not be favoring those geeks with updates on my progress, or any further opportunity to comment. I will favor you , instead.

This did not stop me from trolling oxymoron sites for ideas. After satisfying myself that an oxymoron costume was doable, meaning at least one or two items for each of the basic categories, I will now enlist your help in making it the best it can be.

As I see it, the parts of the costume are: (1) footwear (2) headwear (3) clothes (4) accessories and (5) props. Props are not wearable in themselves, but if for example, if I thought carrying one of those invisible dog leashes would enhance an oxymoron costume, (and I don’t) it would be in the props category. In order to not run out of all my material at once my next entry will just focus on the footwear.

A couple of more items 1. this party is a full week before Halloween, so I need to keep this on a slightly accelerated schedule. 2. I have not set a budget for this costume (maybe I can talk about that later) but I am not opposed to spending a modest amount of money for this, particularly if it is for items I think I will have a use for later.

Sometimes my perceptions about what will be useful in the future are a little off. For example, last year, I was Donald Trump. I had to buy a wig of course, and I got a power suit at the thrift store at a reasonable price. However, I had to wear several layers of clothes to bulk up and I thought I would get hot. So I bought one of those cooling vests that those people who dress up in school mascot costumes wear for about $60. At the time I thought I would find no end of uses for it. Oh, well…

Finally, one interesting thing I did get from those sites was the fact that the word oxymoron itself is an oxymoron: from oxýmōros sharp-dull, equiv. to oxý(s) sharp + mōrós dull.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

National Book Festival 2009

Yesterday was the National Book Festival on the Mall. It was busy, and started raining pretty hard mid-afternoon. However, this did not deter people (me) from waiting in line to have authors (Lois Lowry) sign their books (Number the Stars). I also got Jeannette Walls to sign my copy of The Glass Castle, which we just read in my college writing class. Jodi Picoult and John Grisham I think won the prize for longest lines...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tips for making your thrift store purchases look great

WD40 removes tape sticky-ness

Grease pencil price marks can be removed with:
  • soap and water
  • a dry rag
  • WD40
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (works on paper, plastic, wood, stainless steel, ceramics, vinyl baby doll feet)
Many clothing stains can be removed by washing and letting it dry in the sun. For stubborn stains, try adding a little lemon juice and leaving it in the sun. Those UV rays work great.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Govern

With malice to none and charity to all, here are some opinions on how to govern.

First, delegate responsibility, both to spread the burden of decision and also to spread the burden of taking the heat from the governed. A corollary of this is that the delegated person must be given overall policies, and have the authority to make subsidiary decisions with little second guessing by the executive.

Second, humanity, for whatever reason, detests sudden change. The implication of this is that when great change is required, it should be undertaken incrementally.

Third, a cheerful positive outlook encourages all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cougars in Maryland

There have been over 500 cougar sightings in Maryland in the past few decades. One of the most recent was in "Lagrest swamp on Charles/St. Marys County Line off of Rte 235 as recently as October 10, 2008 was by a Maryland State Trooper." The quote is from John Lutz of the Puma Research Network. There are also credible testimonies of cougars around Sugarloaf mountain and elsewhere.

Cubs have been sighted in the northern east Cheasapeake Bay area, thereby establishing that there is a breeding population, not just wandering males. The white-tailed deer is the cougar's favorite prey. Only rarely will they eat a young child.

It is believed that cougars might have survived from a remnant Delaware/New Jersey population and were never truly extirpated. It is also known that people are breeding and releasing them.

Greetings from DC

Today one of my roommates and I went to the Target in Columbia Heights to look for various things. We decided the mugs they had were expensive and boring, and the pots (saucepans) altogether too expensive. Although there was a very cute one egg frying pan.
Our activities fair finally happened this past Wednesday, so I went and signed up for the yearbook club. The first meeting was also Wednesday. They have nice Canon DSLRs that yearbook photographers get to borrow for shooting assignments.
I also found a job and got my work permit. Getting the work permit was way more difficult than it needed to involved lots of running around and one long wait in an empty office (but that's what Jane Austen books are for, right?)
Maybe Andelle will tell us how its going for her in Massachusetts soon?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here is my health care plan

Here is my health care plan that I have already long ago communicated to health care leaders. From general revenue, pay for emergency trauma care, obstetrics, and certain vaccinations. The first two coverages are for time urgent issues, while vaccinations are intended for prevention of general disaster. It is no accident that coverage for the first two issues resembles the compulsory care that hospitals are required to provide to all patients whether or not they can pay.

The result of this is that health insurance premiums for other care would decline since the hospitals would no longer need to "tax" other care. The burden would be more fairly distributed by the ordinary income tax system. Thus fairness would increase at the expense of general taxes increasing.

Current Congressional proposals are dishonest because they don't want to call anything a tax. In other words a big layer of insurance administrative overhead would be added simply to afford politicians a cop-out from their no tax pledge.

Many people would be delighted to receive the coverage proposed here. They would feel free to receive trauma care when unconcious or unemployed without hassle from the hospitals billing departments over whether or not they can pay. As for other coverage such as cancer or cirrhosis of liver, let people rely upon their own resources, including insurance. All this achieves maximum liberty, while providing care for the unconscious.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Taxing the air we breathe

Well, they finally did it. Except it is disguised as a tax on being alive. This seems to be the gist of the government's latest health care plan. We are going to be required to buy health insurance whether or not the individual wants it. Some people would rather self insure.

Of course this is all a subterfuge to get healthy people to pay money to subsidize those at risk. They will call it anything but a tax, a three letter word worse than any four letter word. Why don't we just call a rose a rose, not another name.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Congratulations April

April passed the very difficult NCLEX exam she needs to become a licensed Registered Nurse. Next is finding a job.