Saturday, June 30, 2012

Short Note

There was little pottery made at Whistle Creek this week. Instead I spent my time prepping for, and then having a colonoscopy. Oh the joy of aging! This was a routine follow up that I had been putting off for a couple of years and I'll skip the suspense and report that everything was fine. It was a little unpleasant to fast on Wednesday but I could still drink coffee so it wasn't the end of the world. There are also some very large doses of laxatives that keep you running to the bathroom for a couple of hours in the evening but again, it's do able. By Thursday morning, I was really getting hungry but I could make it another couple of hours. My brother picked me up and were at the testing center in a few minutes.

The test itself was one of the easiest tests I have ever taken. I didn't even need to study. Put on a gown, roll down the hall, get a dose of Diprivan ( that stuff that Michael Jackson liked so much) wake up in recovery, get the good news, get dressed, go home. Other than my throat being a little scratchy from the O2 there were no after effects at all. I did get a call the next day but no flowers.

If you are still with me, the point of all this became clear Thursday evening when I read that a blogging friend had been diagnosed with skin cancer.Treatable with a great prognosis but not something you want to hear. Had there been anything growing in my colon I would not have forgiven myself for putting the test off for so long. This was my third go around so I knew that it wasn't as unpleasant as it sounds but I just put it off. If you are over 50 and you have a colon, you need to get this done. Early detection and early treatment leads to early recovery. I believe the procedure is even covered as preventative care under the Affordable Care Act so if you have any kind of insurance it won't cost you anything.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rebranding

I am amazed at the amount of re-branding that goes on in America. If you knew the original names of some of the the fish we eat you wouldn't go near it. The noble King Mackerel was the Hogfish before the consultants got a hold of it.The Chilean Sea Bass sounds so much nicer than the Patagonian Toothfish ( Eat one before it eats you).  Crayfish sounds better than Mudbug. Even the lowly Whitefish sounds tastier than Gizzard fish.  A rose by any name would smell as sweet but it wouldn't sell if it were named the Skunk flower. One man's Job Killing  Regulation is another man's Health, Safety, and Environmental protection. One man's Failed Stimulus is another's Intervention That Saved Us From Collapse. Let's look at a few Job Killing Regulations.

Some say that our economy is stifled by taxes that are imposed on Job Creators (Billionaires). Employers are forced to pay a tax on the wages of their employees that goes to send checks to people who are not even working. They really do not have a choice in the matter and employees pay nothing into the fund. Could any program be more ludicrous and unfair? Redistribution of wealth plain and simple. They call the program "Unemployment Compensation" I call it a Job Killing Giveaway. Anyone who wants less government in their life can have it by simply not filing for benefits when they are out of work.( I think a even a few true believers may try to file anyway.) One party hated Cash for Clunkers but a lot of them took the check. What we really don't want is our money going to someone else. Their money coming to us is just fine.

No need to stop there. Certain politicians scream that Social Security will eventually break the economy. Don't privatize it, just stop it. It is financed by a tax on Job Creators and on hard working Middle Americans. Well at least on the working man part of the wages, remember, it's capped so people that earn more don't pay more. (finally they get a break). You know how we hate taxes so the smart move is just break the social contract. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proven it's  ok  to break union contracts so why not? Would people suffer? Maybe, but most could live comfortably on that emergency fund that Suze Orman recommends we all have. Simply put, "If you need some money, take it from your extra money."

At least one governor is catching on. Ohio passed and John Kasich signed new energy "regulations" this week. The impact of the increased "regulation " is that Fracking is made a lot easier.  Nothing like MORE man made earthquakes to shake things up a little. This is one kind of regulation I can do without.

Every time John Boehner opens his mouth about any of Obama's policies he now prefaces it with "job killing". Job killing Healthcare bill, job killing stimulus, job killing Apple Pie, job killing blue tie. Give it a rest Johnny. Calling a law " Job Killing Obamacare" or "Life Saving Healthcare law" doesn't change the content of the law or create any jobs. Jobs come from demand for goods and services not from giving the rich more money .

Folks who had been referring to the current downturn as the"Obama Recession" have realized that it really doesn't wash to just blame him so they have begun to link him to another well known liberal activist, George W. If you listen, many are now calling it the "Bush/Obama" recession and laying some of the blame on Bush being too far left. Really???  I agree that George overspent, under accounted,gave tax dollars to the rich,and left two little wars out of the budget (which really  goosed   the debt when we started counting it.) I don't think we can hang the blame for European double dip recession on either one of them .Those guys (say gees) did it to themselves and it continues to hurt us all.

"Shrink the government !" is a popular rallying cry. You give them what they want then they use it to bite you in the ass. Government has already shrunk so much that laid off public workers account for about 2 of those 8 percentage points of unemployment. Really. Surprisingly, the folks who scream the loudest about the size of government don't take credit for that statistic and try to blame the entire unemployment rate on the big O and I don't mean Oprah. Remember all those "community helpers" you learned about in Kindergarten??? That's government. "Let's fire the community helpers" doesn't sell as well.

In summary, everyone spins the message. Don't listen to the platitudes and euphemisms. Get your facts from a primary source not someone whose livelihood depends on rousing the rabble just to get attention.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Running on Empty

Every now and then the lightning fast red carpet glamor of being a potter/blogger catches up with me and I start running low on interesting topics that do not piss off half my readers.While I ruminate on a future post that you might like, you can look at this instead.

First, a short ride on the braggin'  wagon. I was big fish in a small show at the Middletown Art center.I know some of you have seen this jug before, but it didn't have a blue ribbon to pose with last time


Next is my once a year, nothing else to write about back up embarrassing video. Every time I sing, people say I should take my act on the road. Actually, they say I should get out of town but that's almost the same thing isn't it? I am just trying to make everyone happy. Some of you will be happy when this starts, all of you will be happy when it stops.Sorry about the fumbling at both ends. I cut those out but the editing didn't upload with the video for some reason. Probably operator error. Well, here goes.

video


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Augusta

Saturday dawned early, but not before I did. I was out of the house before 6 and started on the 70 mile drive to Augusta Ky. All went well but about 5 miles from the show a deer jumped out of the bushes in front of the van. I thought we were both in trouble but after a small bump, she ran off and later I couldn't find any damage to the van. It was as close as I have come to a big deer crash and it was close enough that I don't need another.

Set up and check in went well and about 10AM folks started strolling down through the show. It was cool, breezy, and partly cloudy so there was a pretty good turnout. I sold a cookie jar, a pitcher, some baking dishes, a square casserole, a big bowl but not one mug or cereal bowl until 2PM when mugs started selling. I didn't sell a cereal bowl all day and mine are really nice. You never can tell what people are going to want. It is a beautiful site with gardens on one side of the street and art show on the other. The ferry docks at one end of the show and there is always that anticipation that George Clooney will come back to his boyhood home for the day. It is a nice little show.

Last year I had sold a LARGE baking dish/serving bowl to an older woman named Jane. She was walking with a cane and needed help getting the pieces she bought to her car so I had carried them to the car for her and wished her well. This year, Jane pulls up in front of the booth in a golf cart that her son was driving.They both started carrying on about how much she likes the big baking dish and how often she uses it for cobblers and casseroles. She said that she uses 8 cans of green beans to make green bean casserole in it! That's big. She was hoping to get another but I didn't have one that big so she bought the biggest one I had. I love it when people are happy with their pots and I really love it when they use them.

I didn't get rich but I did ok and it is always pleasant to show there.. One thing I did learn is that I need lights. We were set up in the shade on a cloudy day and it was a little dim in the tent. I picked up some battery powered LED lights this morning and will try them next time.

This morning, I woke up too early but too sore to go back to sleep so I wrote a poem instead. If I don't make it big in pottery, I can always fall back on the lucrative field of freelance poetry.

Early to bed
early to rise
oh my aching
back and thighs.
I used to be
strong like oxes
had no trouble
loading boxes.
Does no good
to sit and grieve.
think I'll take some
more Aleve.