Music, Science & Generally Off-The-Wall Random Topics

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#Election2012 Hateful Idiocy

They were greater men and women than us that fought and died for our freedom.  They fought and died for our right to vote OR to not vote.  The same people that literally walked into those battlefields (figuratively and literally) to fight for your right to vote also fought for your right to speak your mind.  But to threaten violence because you don't get your way is crossing the stupidity line.  It's basically slapping the faces of those that came before you.

I went to twitter tonight to see what was going on there.  Of course, there were lots of news outlets obviously with up-to-the-minute state results and polls and the normal "my guy is better than your guy" stuff.  People can say what they want obviously (see above).  And sadly, some can only spew hate.  If you are screaming and threatening violence about your particular issue or if your chosen candidate doesn't win, doesn't that completely contradict what you are trying to accomplish?  Isn't it intolerant of you to do that?

Regardless of who wins this election, I'm going to get up in the morning, fix my husband's coffee and lunch while he gets ready, let three dogs outside one at a time at least twice before I leave, go to work, come home and spend some time with my husband and dogs.

What I've seen tonight infuriates me.  It doesn't matter who wins, you are going to go about your day-to-day life and make the best of what you do or don't have; and deal with the way things are the best way you can, whatever your situation.  This world owes us nothing.  Life is entirely too short for all this arguing and violence (or threats of violence).

People are letting something no one can really control, like the Presidential Election, turn them into psychopaths.  I think our founding fathers are probably rolling in their graves....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

All this healthcare talk is grating on my nerves.  The pre-existing thing is long overdue and should be a non-issue regardless.  As long as these companies get their money (and a lot of it), who cares?  Kids living at home being covered under their parents until 26 is necessary considering so many are graduating and not being able to get jobs either with their degree or at a burger joint.

Keeping my records in a database that is only the business of me, my husband and my doctor is messed up and seems a huge violation of privacy.  That just opens the door for medical discrimination.  And if you think people can't hack into that and get whatever they want (or probably buy it straight from the government), you would be sadly mistaken.  If a guy in England can break into the Pentagon computer systems and get his hands on highly-classified military info, this should be a piece of cake.

Forcing people to buy insurance if they can pay for their care themselves and choose not to use insurance or can't afford it at all is wrong any way you slice it.  But the most wrong part of all is the IRS getting involved.  They have no part in healthcare and should never.  If anything, they are one of the causes of heart attacks, stress, and probably alcoholism.  There has got to be a better solution than putting a lien on someone's home or even jail time for not paying that penalty since it will be enforced by the IRS.  And I may be getting some of the facts wrong on the IRS stuff, frankly I'm too tired to read up all this crap.  That's just the gist I get from the media (many sources) and who believes them anymore?  And what would it matter anyway.

The People no longer have a voice.  But that's what I've gathered so far.  Government is too much in our personal business as it is.  Yes, the healthcare system is broken and needs changing.  No doubt.  I pay too much for mine.  My checking account reminds of that all the time.  After we changed from a group plan to an individual family plan (in the same damn company no less), my insurance company mandates when I can try to get pregnant again because it would be pre-existing if it happened within the first year of our coverage.  Seriously?

Both political parties are power-hungry, and I really don't think this is a "greater good" situation.  And everyone that wants to move to Canada, get a clue.  They have socialized medicine and not for people who just move there, but natural born citizens.

Welcome to the Nanny State.  Let's ban big soft drinks, sugary food, french fries, and put a "sin" tax on cigarettes and alcohol. Oh and don't forget the light bulbs that are in the process of being banned.  Light bulbs!!! Next they'll be after my dogs I'm sure.  But yeah, it's totally fine to bankrupt the country even further and maybe even cause some more foreclosures and more job loss due to small businesses being taxed to death and having to close their doors because of these new "taxes."

Don't forget this is an election year.  If Obama had recognized gay marriage and a humane change to immigration in a non-election year, it would have had much more merit and would have meant a lot more to a lot more people.  It's all about getting votes at this point. I wish more people could recognize that. There are many changes that needed to be made a long time ago.  And don't forget how gas prices are going down just in time for the campaign to really ramp up, which happens during every election year.

If he really wanted to change things, he would have been working on all that from the beginning of his presidency.  It's all about the votes.  Romney is no better.  He has this individual mandate in his own state that he enacted while governor.  So what does that say about him?  So looks like I may go against my cardinal rule and just not vote at all....doesn't matter.  Sorry Papa Hyatt.

And don't get me started on the Fast and Furious crap...

Friday, April 27, 2012


Today is a double-edged sword for me.  Heavy.  The panicky feeling in my stomach is there, as usual, when seeing all the footage and hearing the stories again.  I can't watch all of the newscasts right now.  I'm watching Imus in the Morning instead.  I'm looking forward to the beautiful weather today and the blessed absence of storms.  But around here, it's hard to get away from the reminders, even in my own home, regardless of the weather.

Today will be a busy day for me.  I need to be as busy as possible (so as not to lose my mind) because not only is today the anniversary of that tragic day when that monster came to our Valley, but it is or was also my "due date."  I put "due date" in quotes because that was the last due date I was given before everything changed and before we were changed forever. 

I was looking forward to having a very happy memory on (or around) this date to replace the horror that's now associated with April 27th.  That really would have been something.  But instead, there's just more horror unfortunately.  I'm not playing a little violin nor am I having myself a little pity party, but I can't hold it in and sit on it today.  I have to let a little piece of myself out so that it doesn't eat me alive.  Once I pass today's milestones, I feel like I can move on a little better....hopefully.

So today, as I busy myself with everything I can possibly find, I will remember those that were lost in our community and everywhere else and also the one that was lost on September 30th.  I'm not going to wallow around like I want.  It's hard not to just go back to bed and stay there for the rest of the day.  Jonathan didn't.  So I'm not either.

So if you pray, say a little prayer or if not, send some happy vibes, for those whose families were forever changed a year ago today and for my family, who didn't lose anything but some trees, some possessions, and maybe some peace of mind, but for our loss who was supposed to be here today to make it all better.

I'm so thankful for my family and friends and especially my husband.  I would probably be in some kind of asylum if not for them.

Happy "birthday" in Heaven Little Jackson.  I know you are in good company:)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Have Mercy......

Hardly anyone can cover a Van Morrison song and make me like it....but Mr. Robert Pattinson can.  Say what you will about Twilight.  This is a non-Twilight related post.  This rendition of "I'll Be Your Lover, Too" is very, very nice.  Takes a minute to get going....very raw, but amazing in my opinion. I can only assume it's him singing I guess.  But I feel pretty confident ;)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Comforting in a way

Heard this song on my ipod a couple days ago, and it gave me a lot of comfort at the time.  Considering everything that has happened in the last week, I don't think it was a coincidence...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is what I need...

 For just a day or two...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Goodbye 2011....

For so many people, this was the worst year of their life.  So many people lost dear loved ones in April and after, some lost their homes, pets....the list goes on.  For some, it was the best year of their life.  There were some bright spots of course, weddings, babies, new homes better than before.  Not everything was bad.  Some things were beautiful.  It's the bright lights of happiness that keep things balanced in the end.  And I am so thankful for those things.

We saw many miracles that first week after the storm.  Little signs that we are not alone.  I no longer believe in coincidence.  And I am thankful for that.

We saw it everywhere.  We saw it at our own home, the day after, when it seemed that every family member and friend we had showed up to help us, along with some people we had never met.  We are forever grateful.  Truly amazing.  Jonathan saw it while he was out helping others.  The jaw-dropping beauty coupled with the jaw-dropping destruction.  Those images will be burned into our minds forever.

The tornado also brought some new people into our lives.  A true miracle occurred in Shoal Creek Valley that brought us to Tuscaloosa and introduced us to a wonderful family who despite losing a wife and mother, their business and their home, are positive and happy.  The Bayodes are a true inspiration of how we are supposed to be.  Thanks to Amy Echols and WVUA Tuscaloosa for inviting us to be part of the story and giving us the opportunity to meet Mr. Bayode.

Sometimes, it seems like that tornado brought more than just destruction and loss.  It brought a sense of dread that I've always tried to keep far away from me.  Now it seems that danger is always on the doorstep.  We do our very best to keep that at bay with the power of prayer and the love we share.  The miracles we witnessed do a very good job of that.

No doubt some of our friends have noticed our absence.  As some of you already know, we had a loss of our own a couple of months ago.  It's hard to describe how it feels to lose someone you never got to meet.  Very odd.  And there are so many others that have experienced that kind of pain.  So I do not feel alone.  I've been reading articles, forums, websites, trying to get a handle on how other couples deal with this kind of loss.  I've seen it referred to over and over as "the silent loss."  And it most certainly is.

True, it could have been worse.  I could have been farther along, something could have been very wrong.  Lots of things people say that make perfect sense in my logical mind, make me feel better for a moment; but the truth is that none of it really helps at the end of the day.  It sits in my mind and sometimes takes hold.  I guess the only thing that will help is time and knowing that that one is already in Heaven, waiting.

It seems that there is so much going on all the time, we don't have the time to really sit quietly and deal with it all.  Between work and the state of our home repairs and generally life going on, it seems kind of overwhelming for both of us, exhausting even.  It's hard when the people you interact with daily don't understand why you may be in a crabby mood or if you look sad.  I feel like you can't just openly talk about these things all the time without seeming to try to draw attention to yourself or to make someone feel sorry for you.  So you have to stop with the pity party and get on with it.  Every day, we get up and try and put on a happy face to take on the day.  That happy face fades in and out periodically, but we are strong in our faith in God and each other. 

The new year will bring some form of renewal to our home I'm sure.  For me personally, this has been the worst year of my life.  But by the grace of God, we are here safe and sound, family intact.  And I am thankful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where I Was On September 11, 2001

I was getting ready to go to work.  I was still a court reporter then.  I had a trial to go to that morning.  At the time I opened the door to leave, I still thought that the first plane was an accident until live on television, I saw the second plane intentionally slam into the other tower.  I was immediately consumed by fear, broke out in hives for several days after.

I drove to Birmingham, listening to the radio news the whole way.  Nervously, I set up my steno machine in the courtroom.  Everyone in the jury box, the bailiffs, the clerk, and me had the same look on our faces.  I remember thinking how in the world they or I were going to pay attention to the testimony of that day.  When the judge came out, he said that court was going to have to wait for another day as he was being militarily activated...panic hit me then.  I packed up to go back to my office and walked through Linn Park, crying.

Jonathan was paving Hwy 77 in Southside that day.  He happened to call at that moment in the park and started singing to me as soon as I answered the phone, When the World Ends by Dave Matthews Band.  It was then that I could smile for the first time all day.  I had never felt so much fear for my country and sorrow for thousands of people and families I'll never know.  I learned love of country from my grandfather, and I haven't forgotten it.  And I will never forget that day and what it means. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Music helps....

This song spoke to me just now....thought I'd post it  here.  The words are great.  Jack Johnson is a true poet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A thought

I am an avid music fan.  I love a plethora of music.  I try to share what I think more people than not would appreciate and enjoy.   I saw this performed on Austin City Limits the other night, and we just stopped talking and sat in awe.  Simplicity and truth; not a pie-in-the-sky love song with words that you would never hear someone say in real life or even think about saying.  The words of this song are awesome.  It seems that most great music is rarely heard by that many people these days.  But when a song has this kind of an instantaneous impact, I think deserves some recognition, even if it's just by a nobody like me. I'm not really one to get all mushy and TMI, but it blows my mind sometimes how a song or a sight can make you and yours both stop in your tracks and share a moment like that.  No matter what's going bad in your life or stressing you out, if you can have something like that, you know there's always a reason to keep at it.  You have all you need.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Pity Party

I had this epiphany one night right before bed that I probably have enough classes from my no-longer-used degree in court reporting to have a huge head start in getting a Business Administration degree, Associate degree of course.  That would be good enough for me to be able to make a better living.  It's obviously not something prestigious, but a lot better than what I am now.  Not that I am greedy and after a lot, I'm just thinking about the future.

After beginning the necessary steps to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing next, including applying for FAFSA, I felt this great sense of hope that isn't normal for me.  Not that I'm mean or bitter really, just more hopefulness than normal.  I was ready, full force.

After finding out this afternoon that I do not qualify for Federal financial aid, I became more upset than I have in quite some time. I have used it before.  According to their little page, I still qualified to apply for it again.  No reason given, nothing that made any sense whatsoever.  If I could afford to pay for the entire 10 or 12 classes I need, I wouldn't have applied...but the Government feels otherwise.  So here we are.  I have been so angry I could hardly speak for most of the evening.

And I don't mean in any way to demean or diminish the fact that other people are hoping for WAY more important things, like being rid of a disease, to have a child, to hope a loved one can kick an addiction.  My pity party is only nanoscopic compared to the seriousness of those things.

So I laid on the couch and mired in my self-pity.  I should just be thankful I got to use it the first time.  Wallowing and wallowing.  Not even the ultra-cuteness of Bo and Lucy could make me feel better.  Jonathan had to run out for a bit, so I decided to watch TV and mire there...I turned on an episode of Joel Osteen that we had recorded a few weeks ago but still hadn't watched.  He told his usual joke, which was hilarious; and then started talking about when something you were hoping for so much is taken away without clear rhyme or reason, do not give up hope.  It's just not time yet.  And he followed it with this:

Hebrews 13:5-6

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

I just sat there with my mouth hanging open.  I immediately felt the pity party becoming smaller and smaller.  It was amazing.  I could go on and on about the injustices of what's going on in this world today, but I won't give up.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 be a bulldog

It would be nice if all I had to worry about was how many squirrels are in the yard or when I got to go outside or run through the house with a rubber pig in my mouth....and beg for rawhides on top of the refrigerator...that dog has it made.  Wish we could switch places on busy, tired days like this.

the face of quiet begging

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inspirational Moment: Love's Divine - Seal

This is an absolutely beautiful song.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Perseids Meteor Shower Peak - August 12 and 13, 2010

This Thursday night is a great night for gazing at the sky (as long as the clouds stay away). After the sun goes down, turn your attention to the west and there will be an alignment of Venus, Saturn, Mars, and a crescent Moon. Venus will be the brightest object, except for the sliver of moon obviously. Should be an awesome sight.

Around 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, look to the northeast, grab a blanket and hang out in the yard or on a boat in the river and you should be pleasantly surprised. Lay back and don't try to focus on one specific spot. No need for a telescope or binoculars.

Here's a cool article about viewing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower along with SKY MAPS to let you know where to look;)

How to See the Best Meteor Showers of the Year: Tools, Tips and 'Save the Dates' - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bon Iver - Skinny Love Live on Jools Holland

Thank you Grey's Anatomy for playing Bon Iver a long time ago. I fell in love. The band is called Bon Iver. That's pronounced 'bon-eevair.' The guy in this video is named Justin Vernon. He started the band in 2007 and made a solo appearance on Live with Jools Holland, which has quickly become one of my favorite shows. It comes on Ovation TV a few times a day. Each show has 5 or 6 different musical acts of all different types. This is one of my favorites from what I've seen so far. The song is called Skinny Love.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Angie's Song of the Moment: Brandi Carlile "The Story" Acoustic

This song and the way it's performed is one of those that grabs you by your heartstrings and yanks the hell out of them.  Awesomeness...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My PaPa (pronounced Paw-Paw) Fred R. Hyatt 1924-2010: A Man of Honor

I felt the need to post this for anyone who couldn't attend to hear it in person last Thursday. If any of you didn't know my grandfather, this is a great description of what a wonderful person he was and is.

Our father was a man from “The Greatest Generation." No truer words have ever been spoken than to refer to these men in this manner. They were but mere children when they were sent to defend our country. There wasn’t any hiding or running from their responsibilities…nor did they want to shirk their duty. They faced it head-on, and Daddy was no exception. He was a POW in Germany with many heart-wrenching stories to tell as well as a few humorous ones thrown in for good measure. He was very proud to have served his country and continued to be proud all of his life.

If any of you are familiar with Steele, then no doubt you have seen the flag flying in the center of town. Up until a few years ago, Daddy raised and lowered that flag every day without fail; but only if the weather was appropriate. Many times he could be seen walking through pouring rain to take that flag down. When he was no longer able to take care of, what was to him the most important aspect of his day, the mayor and council had the flagpole moved to the center of the park and lighted so the flag could remain flying. He will always be our hero….

There are many adjectives that could be used when remembering or speaking of our father…stern, humorous, talented, generous, opinionated, hard-nosed, soft-hearted, loyal, stubborn, Republican, patriot, complicated & the list could be endless. But above all else we would describe him as a Man of honor. He was a complex man on some levels but lived his life in simplicity. Most people are not aware that he only had a 7th grade education or that he was an artist in addition to playing banjo & piano. But if you ever had a discussion with him, you were acutely aware that he was a man of great intelligence. He was introduced to the world of computers in his late seventies. He continued to play games on the internet, without assistance, until his death. Yes, most likely, you would disagree with a lot of his views; but he dearly loved to argue his points...almost as much as he loved his country…

By no means was he a saint. Growing up in his household was very complicated to say the least. On one hand, you would cringe when he walked in the door angry; but on the other he could be as gentle as a child. He had four children…each two years apart. So I am sure it was quite the challenge for him.

One of many fond memories is the story about the M & M’s. We did not have many luxuries, such as store-bought candy, growing up. But on Fridays when he got paid, he would buy two packs. Keep in mind, he had four children. You can imagine what a fight this brought on every Friday. We would pour the candy out in a pile so we could divide them equally. But usually there was only one or two red ones. So the fighting would begin. Later in life, we came to the opinion that he did this on purpose just to see us argue over the red ones or who got more, etc. Or maybe he just didn’t have the money for four packs. But either way, we survived. We never went hungry; although I suspect he and mother did at times. They would do whatever was necessary to provide for us. When there was no work, she would take in ironing; and he would mow grass at the cemetery. The same one where Mom was laid to rest in 1983 and where he will be laid to rest today…

He grew up in a blended family of thirteen children on a farm in St. Clair County. His uncle offered him what is today “Horse Pens 40” if he would come and help him with his farm. He declined….we never let him forget that one. But possessions and wealth were never his goal in life. He wanted enough to be comfortable and have enough to share with his children.

During the years that he owned H & H Supply in Steele, it was not unusual for him to bring someone in the store that needed gas or food but had no means to pay. He would give them what they needed and send them on their way. He was also known to have gone to the school when the weather turned cold and find out which children did not have warm coats and proceed to buy what was needed. He did not do this to put on a show or for praise. He did this because he remembered being hungry and cold, both in childhood and during the war. As was stated earlier, he was definitely a puzzle because he could be generous to a fault and at the same time want to hold onto a rusty nail if he thought he would use it one day down the line.

Growing up, animals were always a part of our household. He could never turn away a stray or an injured animal. We’ve had everything from a flying squirrel to a robin named “Ruffles.” I’ve heard him say many times that he should have been a veterinarian, and he was probably right. Over the past 15 years or so, he has had parakeets. And I don’t mean a pair! There are roughly 40-45 at last count. He would never entertain selling any of them because he did not want them caged. He had built a special “house” just for them. Many times it was difficult for him to even walk across the room, but somehow he always managed to feed his birds most everyday and the two stray dogs that he had adopted, Prissy & Hercules.

As you leave today, take with you the memories that you have of our father with you. Tell your children and your grandchildren about the grumpy little old man that you knew that just happened to be from “The Greatest Generation.” The man that was a POW, a Purple Heart Recipient, a father, a grandfather but above all else…a Man of Honor.

Written by Debra Hyatt