Saturday, February 28, 2009

What Linda needs

I discovered a fun meme at MySpace and thought I'd try it here. Google your name and the word "needs" in quotes ("Linda needs") and see what you get. List the first 7 entries in the comment section below. The quote marks are important...

Honestly, I didn't know what a mess I was until I did this. ;)

1. Linda Needs Mental Help (sh, don't tell anyone)
2. Linda needs a new best friend
3. Linda needs as much free space at the front of the platform as possible (?)
4. Linda needs a fresh perspective (actually this refers to the Loma Linda city council, but it fits me pretty well, too)
5. Linda needs help
6. Linda Needs An Extraordinary Meeting (hoping to get that next week at EPICon)
7. Linda Needs Encouragement and Support (this is so true)

I also tried the meme with my pseudonym Lyndi and got more varied and interesting results.

Lyndi needs
1. to be reported to 1-800-BISHOP for swearing on the court (yeah, that Lyndi is a potty mouth, lol)
2. Lyndi needs one (a warm hat) to keep those long ears warm. (apparently Lyndi is also a dog's name)
3. Lyndi needs to turn 14 or gain 344 more Vampire points (whatever)
4. Lyndi needs to wear her ankle braces AT ALL TIMES! (wrist brace, actually)
5. What Lyndi needs now. Looking for a supportive networking group that specializes in online marketing (now, that I could use!)
6. Lyndi needs to go to Costco to pick up a bunch of photos
7. Lyndi needs to get it out of garage! (???)

These are the first 7 but number 9 is the best: lyndi needs god damn time. (I said she was a potty mouth.) But who doesn't need more time. Twenty-four hours in the day just don't seem like enough anymore.

What do you need?

Linda / Lyndi

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Town Monday: Anaheim Gets Geothermal Power

The city of Anaheim, where I live, has its own utility company which is great for the residents because the rates are much lower than those supplied by commercial utilities in California. South Orange County gets its power from San Diego Gas and Electric, one of the utilities deregulated in the 1990's and the rates are much higher than what we pay here in Anaheim. As a result, Anaheim residents were somewhat shielded from the soaring prices of the Enron-powered California energy crisis of 2001.

In December, Anaheim started purchasing renewable geothermal energy from Raser Technologies, an "environmentally-focused" company in Provo, Utah. According to the Orange County Register, Anaheim has contracted with Raser to deliver eleven megawatts of power, enough to supply thousands of homes. Of course, like all renewables, geothermal power can't produce as much electricity as a coal-fired or nuclear plant, but it doesn't pollute the skies or produce toxic waste either. But at least it's American made.

It's good to know that my city is looking toward the future and trying to find more renewable sources of energy for its residents. Click here for more information on geothermal energy.

Note: I had hoped to be able to report that the California Legislature has passed a budget, but as of this writing the deal still has not passed the state senate, even though lawmakers worked late into the night on Saturday.

My Town Monday is the brilliant brain child of writer/blogger Travis Erwin. Thanks, Travis! Go to his blog to read his latest post and find links to the other participants.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day brings out the romantic and the cynical. Yesterday there was much debate on whether the holiday was manufactured by Hallmark. The answer is no, but the true origins of Valentine's Day are a little harder to pin down.

February 14 is the feast day of St. Valentine, patron saint of love, engaged couples and happy marriages. Valentine was the name of several early Christian martyrs and the feast day was establshed in 496AD though it is unclear which martyr was being honored. Later scholars theorized that the intent was to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia, a fertility festival.

The first written reference to Valentine's Day may be Geoffrey Chaucer's Parlement of Foules (1382), penned to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. They were both 13-14 years old at the time. The Medieval cult of courtly love picked up the tradition of exchanging verses or words of love in mid-February. Symbols of the day are hearts, flowers and cupids.

It wasn't until Victorian times that handwritten notes were replaced by commercial cards. In the 20th century, Valentine's Day has become big business, and woe betide the man who forgets his sweetheart on February 14th, much to the delight of the floral, candy and greeting card industries.

This year my Valentine's Day gift was a piece of carrot cake with a red icing heart on top. Not the most romantic gift, perhaps, but quite delicious.

How are you celebrating today?


Monday, February 9, 2009

My Town Monday: California's Budget Woes

I was going to do a perfectly innocuous post about Downtown Disney, but then I got to thinking about California's current budget crisis and decided to blog about that instead. As I'm sure everyone has heard by now, California is in the red, big time. We've been dealing with recurring budget shortfalls for some time now, but this year the problem is worse than ever. Last February, the budget was short sixteen billion dollars, but as of Jan. 27, 2009, it was estimated at more than $40 billion from now through the 2009-2010 fiscal year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

State officials are figuring out where to cut while praying for help from the federal government in the stimulus bill now before the Senate. Of course, we're not the only state in trouble, though our debt may be the largest in the country. So why is California in such bad shape?

One of the problems is the fact that it takes a 2/3 vote of the state legislature to pass a budget. This means that a relative handful of representatives can hold the entire process hostage to their own agenda, whatever that may be. Another problem is the fact that Californians have seldom met a bond issue they didn't like and now the state's credit rating is in the toilet. Apparently, some of us don't realize that a bond issue isn't free money. It's debt that ultimately has to be repaid along with interest, and using bond issued to finance state projects always costs more in the long run than if we paid for them through tax increases.

Of course, another problem is the fact that over the last thirty years conservatives have managed to convince the American people that tax is a four-letter word. And the liberals haven't done a very good job of explaining that taxes are the price we pay to live in a functional and semi-civilized society. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) I'm not sure Californians have figured out yet that votes have consequences, as when we recalled Governor Gray Davis and replaced him by our current Governator who talks a good game but so far hasn't governed very effectively. (Talk about someone who likes to borrow and spend!) We're all to blame here, though. There are some votes I'd change if I could go back in time, but I can't.

The most controversial thing the Governator has done recently is to require state employees to take off two extra days a month, without pay, to help cut the budget deficit. It adds up to a de facto 9-10% pay cut. Personally, I don't think this is such a bad idea, but the unions are fighting it. I'm a union supporter, but I can't agree with them. I know the job of the union is to protect its workers, but when the employer is on the verge of bankruptcy, something has to give. In a time when workers in the private sector are losing their jobs by the hundreds of thousands, not to mention their health care and their homes, I can't help thinking public employees should stop complaining, enjoy their days off and count their blessings. At least they still have jobs, benefits and pensions to look forward to. That's more than a lot of Americans can say these days.

I just hope someone in Sacramento finds a solution to this mess and soon.


My Town Monday comes to us via Travis Erwin, Thanks, Travis! Click on his site to read his latest post and find links to the other participants.

My Town Monday is the brilliant brain child of writer/blogger Travis Erwin. Thanks, Travis! Go to his blog to read his latest post and find links to the other participants.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Freelance National Anthem

At the end of the last month I had to send in my self-employment sales taxes for the year. Ah, the joys of being a freelance writer.

Doing so reminded me of the Freelance National Anthem I found late last year, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it. It's all true, except maybe for the writing in the buff part. ;) Enjoy!