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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Have I told everyone lately how much I love my VW Cabrio? Well I do.

U.S. Company Forces Smokers to Quit
Owner Says Overweight Workers Next to Get Ultimatum
By Andrew Stern, Reuters

CHICAGO (Jan. 26) - The owner of a Michigan company who forced his employees to either quit smoking or quit their jobs said on Wednesday he also wants to tell fat workers to lose weight or else.

A ban on tobacco use -- whether at home or at the workplace -- led four employees to quit their jobs last week at Okemos, Michigan-based Weyco Inc., which handles insurance claims.

The workers refused to take a mandatory urine test demanded of Weyco's 200 employees by founder and sole owner Howard Weyers, a demand that he said was perfectly legal.
"If you don't want to take the test, you can leave," Weyers told Reuters. "I'm not controlling their lives; they have a choice whether they want to work here."

Next on the firing line: overweight workers.

"We have to work on eating habits and getting people to exercise. But if you're obese, you're (legally) protected," Weyers said.

He has brought in an eating disorder therapist to speak to workers, provided eating coaches, created a point system for employees to earn health-related $100 bonuses and plans to offer $45 vouchers for health club memberships.

The 71-year-old Weyers, who said he has never smoked and pronounced himself in good shape thanks to daily runs, said employees' health as well as saving money on the company's own insurance claims led him to first bar smokers from being hired in 2003.

Last year, he banned smoking during office hours, then demanded smokers pay a monthly $50 "assessment," and finally instituted mandatory testing. (End of news story and beginning of my story.)

Okay so I smoke - so sue me. Fumo ergo sum. I choose to smoke I want to smoke I need to smoke and it is nobody's business but mine.

If people like the very-healthy old man Weyers have the right to fire people if they smoke, then I am extremely glad he's now going after the fatties. And when everyone is bone thin, he'll probably go after people who drink alcohol...then maybe he can threaten to fire people who wear perfumes. Maybe next will be hair styles and make-up - I wonder what Weyers likes, lips tinted pigeon-blood red or perhaps just a slight glimmer of lip gloss. Clothing...maybe old man Weyers thinks women should only wear dresses. Hmmm There is no end to who he can threaten to fire!

Now I obviously don't know Weyers, but I can guarantee you that he does something that I don't like or agree with and another thing I promise you -- the prediction of all my predictions is this: He will die no matter how healthy he is.

Weyers seems to be of the mind that if he can only get it right (for himself and for anyone who works for him) he will live forever. Uh un.

Live on bean sprouts and green tea, exercise daily, meditate and get a massage Mr. Wyers, but you are going to die just like me. Maybe I'll live longer, cigarette, potato chips and all. Wouldn't that be a bummer.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Weather Terrorists

Hype Hype Hype! We were told it was a blizzard - with snow up to 25 inches along the coast where I live. Bah. It was no blizzard where I live. A moderate snow fall of about 8 inches --tops. We've had significantly more snow on other occasions but with much less hoopla.

It is rather depressing to be all prepared for the storm of storms and end up with snow that can be rolled over by a regular car, never mind an SUV. You don't even need to shovel.

We were ready to batten down the hatches...had eggs milk bread wine and beer - lots of firewood chopped and ready and the weather people predicting downed power lines and freezing pipes. It was so mild my cat went out last night and decided it might be fun to stay out till 10 AM this morning.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Jenna Bush's lipgloss

I told you they had no class. How repulsive to watch the giggling fool sucking on her lip gloss wand. The old man doesn't have the sense to wipe the spittle off his mouth in the debate, and his daughter doesn't have the sense to glisten her lips in private.

I also noticed, besides the yawning, the constant smug whispering and laughing that is very reminiscent of high school and the popular girls who became popular mostly because they were able to be mean to others and it didn't scar their souls. Barbara seems to be 23 but Jenna could pass for a large-faced preteener.

Of course, Mama looked like she'd been sprayed with polyurethane.

Boy how I wish I could read lips. I think Mama said STOP to Jenna while she slathered on her pink sticky stuff and I think Daddy said something of the same sort. Hard to tell, even if you could lip read, what Mama said because it came out of two lips that looked like they were made of stone.

I predict Jenna will do something idiotic and embarrassing during the next four years. Okay, I don't have to be Claire Voyant to come up with that prediction.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

I don't care a whit about the inauguration, in fact I can't even spell it and will offer up these words to the ABC checker before I publish. (Spell checker says I did spell it right.)

He is an embarrassment as is his daughters. Did you catch the outfits they wore to the last debate? What a contrast between the elegant, classy Kerry children and the Bush club kids. The gowns that they are wearing to the balls, according to those who have seen them, are more appropriate for the People's Choice Awards than the inaugural balls...and let's keep in mind here that Bush is NOT the People's Choice.

First election was stolen. Second election was a squeaker and not a mandate, even with the Machiavellian mastermind of disinformation and misinformation and down right lies and slurs, Karl Rove at the helm.

Just go to SorryEverybody.com and see how many of us apologize to the world for our president. Oh yes, yet another soldier from CT gets killed..no one seems to care.

I know why Condoleezza rice has those zees in her name - they represent the sleeping on the job she's been doing and I don't mean a euphemism for sex.

We should all try to remember that people who love our country do not necessarily love our current government.

We had it so good with Bill Clinton but allowed Starr to hamstring his second term leaving him little time to lead -- and for this nonsense we spent millions of dollars. Oh man....


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It was 3 degrees at 3 AM.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Happy Birthday John Anderson! You know who you are.

Good Morning World!

It is 7 degrees outside. So cold the dogs are sticking to the sidewalk. The exquisite red-headed woodpecker is happily eating his suet cake and the little birds are ravenous this morning, cracking Sunflower seeds with a passion and kicking off the shells so no litter remains on the feeder.

I was up in the night, worrying about my friend's dog Charley. Charley has acquired a slight mental problem which is making him choose to stay outside rather than come in to his warm, happy, dog-loving home. I hope Charley has worked through his problems and slept the night on his mistress's bed. It is way too cold for man or beast outside, never mind me or a pampered Golden Retriever.

I have decided to rewrite my short story, Feeding the Priest. Haven't even read it in ten years but now that I have, I see a glimmer of "special" in this piece. It needs a new ending and some polishing...hope I can get it where I want it and send it out.

At one time, being published was no big whoop for me. But now it would mean something so much more. I almost have forgotten the joys of seeing my words in print. So wish me luck. This is a beginning. Nothing ever will get published if it sits locked in floppy disks or hidden away in boxes in the attic.

I sent Oprah a note asking her to read "Hamlet's Dresser" and if she does, she will be calling me on the phone saying: Girlfriend, I have to thank you for pointing out what a wonderful book this is and I will humbly say: you are more than welcome.

Although it is freezing in the north, it is comforting to know that it is damn cold in Florida too. My northern friends who moved south delight in telling me the temperature in their town. So it might be cold here, but it isn't exactly balmy where they are either.





Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More predictions:

For women: Fuzzy light-weight sneakers that come with their own fuzz brush

For men: Suspenders will be returning but will match the color of the shirt with no patterns: ex: white shirt white suspenders

DVD/CD swap parties: I see women doing this more than men

Slow dancing: ergo a shift in the music industry's choices for new music

Decorating with books: Pulling out the red and green dust jacketed books and displaying them in imaginative ways for Christmas; Kelly Green dust jackets for St Pat's etc.


Okay enough with the predictions.

I forgot to pump up the heat so it is mighty frosty up here by the computer. Fingers don't type as well in the cold...can you use the word type or must I say: Fingers don't key as well in the cold? And, if you type on a typewriter do you key on a keyboard?

I am not crazy about wireless mouses and keyboards. Great to spell mouses and have it not be incorrect...I think. I am constantly nervous that at any moment PSSSSTTT it will shut down. I did get used to the flat screen and I've adapted. At first I felt like it was tilted in a way that it would fall on me. My favorite computer of all time (and it didn't break -- it just couldn't handle modern day internet) was my old Mac SE.

The little screen was so comforting..like a pet, and it was never ever not working. Currently I have a sound problem with this Dell (2 years old) and last month I spent $250 to get a video card so I'm pretty sure the video card installation had something to do with the low to no sound problems.

There was a miracle of Christmas though. Christmas morning I scurried up here to check mail and lo and behold, there was sound! I looked over to the battery-operated digital clock which hadn't worked in a few months, and voila, it was working too.

Sound died in about a week but I have hope that it will return again some day. The clock keeps on ticking or digitaling?

I believe that mechanical things have souls, ears and hearts. Why else would my old car start for me but not for my husband?

I mentioned the books before. It is really getting to me that so many of them are still in boxes. How can they breathe? I miss them even though I have complained about how many we have and how we hardly ever go back and look at them again. Now that they are in the box I know that isn't true. Sure, old text books aren't being looked at but many others are sought after and I cannot tackle the pile of boxes up here and unpack them all to find the ones I'm looking for. Simple books I depend upon like my Peterson Bird Book.

Must pump up the heat because my fingers are getting stiffer by the moment. Ta ta



Thursday, January 06, 2005

Books. I hate them and love them at the same time. I have way too many of them. So many that I have to give up furniture and tchotchkes (don't you just love that word?) to make room for the books. Books and big dogs rule my life. I am constantly walking over a big dog or knocking over a big pile of books.

I wouldn't mind the books so much if I could ever find one I wanted when I wanted it. Some of my most often sought after books are now in boxes because of house renovations last year...do I dare unpack them when they are all nice and neat in new Staples packing boxes? Or do I continue to wish I could find my Italian dictionary, my mother's journals, my pastel painting books, my Modern English Dictionary?