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In the ongoing saga of stolen bike stuff... I found a bike light, sans mount, only to discover that the mount that used to be on my bike has disappeared in the months since the light was stolen.

This is more than a little frustrating. Oh well. After tonight we will have somewhere nice and private to park bikes and stuff.
ocelot: (Default)
I'm so upset right now.

[livejournal.com profile] habibekindheart's 2 1/2 year old son was killed in foster care. There was evidence of physical and sexual abuse.

I know a lot of you know her, and know how much her family has been through at the hands of CPS. It was clear she very much loved her children, and I can't imagine that ANYTHING in her home situation could possibly have been anywhere near as bad as this.

(Edited to add: I have no reason to believe that the children weren't removed for completely spurious reasons, and don't mean to imply that there was any good reason for the removal. Which makes this all the more terrifying and heartbreaking.)

I'm so upset.

I hope his 4 year old sister, who was in the same home, is OK.

This post has a little more info and information about donations.

God CPS, please stop giving hell to loving but imperfect (who isn't?) families and concentrate on the kids who NEED help.
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I just love people who can't see any possibility in between making nasty faces/comments at a breastfeeding mom and worshipping her as an Earth Mother Goddess.

How about ignoring us, just as you presumably would a bottlefeeding mom?

When I breastfeed in public, I do so as discreetly as possible without inconveniencing myself or my baby - in other words, no retreating to the bathroom, no blankets over the head, but I'm not going to strip off my shirt or anything. I'm not doing this in an attempt to elevate myself in your esteem or militantly promote breastfeeding or anything like that - I'm trying to feed my kid.

Please recognize that I'm attempting to do the best thing for everyone involved, you included (lowering health insurance premiums, better for the environment), and that it isn't necessarily easy. All I want in return is for you to keep any misguided negative feelings to yourself.

Oh, and if you aren't going to let me bring my chapstick on a plane, I'm not going to buy your damn overpriced tickets. Even if you do let me bring on breastmilk. So there.
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I was reading through one of those free local parenting magazines, and found an ad for Arbonne International makeup proclaiming "Look younger than your daughter".

This is a magazine aimed at parents with school age or younger children.

That's just creepy.

I can't help feeling that the attitudes behind that are related to things like this.
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Sometimes I believe I may be the only person on the planet who is irritated by all things pirate.
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Carsickness sucks.

Parents who leave their 3 year old kid sitting in a lake while they sit up at the picnic table a ways away, forcing me to go in fully clothed to retrieve said kid, who is attempting to swim out to the float in the middle of the lake suck too. (She probably would have made it - she was wearing floaties. But since she was relying on floaties, I wasn't really comfortable with it either)

The lake itself is nice enough, though.
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Lindsay Hoppe

'Lactivists' Plan Protest at Blogging Company Headquaters

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - Women on the popular blog site LiveJournal.com are calling foul at the company’s decision to brand images of breastfeeding as ‘inappropriate'. Users of the site have urged LiveJournal’s parent company Six Apart to address their concerns and reevaluate the policy. The company refuses to consider modifying their policy and continues to suspend users whose default icons were deemed inappropriate, even though SixApart has asked the letter writing campaign to cease. Over one thousand complaints about LiveJournal's policy were sent by users of the site and supporters. LiveJournal stated a clarified rule, mothers are still reporting major inconsistencies in its application. A nurse in is planned to take place at Six Apart’s US Headquarters, located at 548 4th Street, San Francisco, CA. The event is planned for 12 pm on Monday, June 5th. The activists encourage nursing mothers and supporters to join in the protest.

Userpics are small icons (pictures) no more than 100 by 100 pixels. They are used to represent Livejournal.com members throughout the site. LiveJournal allows users to define one of these icons as "default icon" -- a setting that automatically plugs the icon into the user's public profile. These default icons were originally not permitted to be ‘sexually explicit or graphically violent.’ When asked for claification, LiveJournal changed its FAQ section to state nudity and continued to suspend users with breastfeeding icons.

Claimed Live Journal Abuse Staffer 'Erin' in a post on the site, "That's really a matter for the FCC to decide. The standard for the FCC is that bottle nipples are a-okay." These statements, however, are false. The FCC does not consider the act of breastfeeding on television to fall under the definitions of indecency or obscenity and therefore would be appropriate for any television programs or movies. Nursing photos not showing visible areola are considered acceptable on LiveJournal. Whether or not areola is visible is dependant on a number of factors, including skin tone of the mother and physical changes undergone during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding is exempt from nudity laws throughout the United States, but more notably in California where the SixApart offices are located. Advocates are urging LiveJournal to adopt the same national criteria." "It is regrettable that LiveJournal has chosen to target breastfeeding mothers instead of standing up for the protection provided them by law." says Carrie Patterson, Executive Director of ProMom.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and public acceptance of breastfeeding. Advocates state that the feeling that breastfeeding should be hidden only fosters the idea that the natural act of nourishing a child is scandalous.

Breastfeeding bloggers who have refused to change their default icon have been suspended from the site. These users, as well as others questioning the policy, have been treated poorly by the site’s volunteer abuse team, something that is not unusual according to other bloggers on the site. For more information on the Nurse In, please contact Lindsay Hoppe: lindsayhoppe@breastfeedingisnormal.org
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Riding around just now, I noticed that my bike light had been stolen, too.

I can't even bring myself to be the slightest bit upset about this. After all, they were stupid enough to not steal the mount, which costs like $10 on it's own, and is dead easy to remove (it's a thumbscrew, no tools required).
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Grr. Someone stole our bike trailer.

I'm a little tired of this. Especially since it's my fault for not locking the trailer to the bike. Self-grrr.
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I woke up hearing someone messing around with our stuff outside. Turned out to be the neighbor's cat, who wanted in out of the rain. But now I can't get back to sleep.

I'm tempted to give the doula program a piece of my mind. I sign up for two days a week. On those two days, I can't go further from home than the library (and even then I'm unlikely to get there within the 30 minute response time if they call - I basically have to be sitting at home ready to go for that to happen) and have to be ready to drop everything at any moment, pack Leif off to friends, and rush to the hospital. This means that my friend is also on call on these days.

I haven't been in since November. It's disheartening, especially since I'm the only person on the schedule those two days. I get no feedback, so I don't know if there's something I'm doing wrong that's causing me not to get called. I did get called once, but it was randomly on a day I wasn't actually on the schedule, and they found someone else before I could arrange care for Leif.

Looking at the tentative schedule for the next two weeks the coordinator just sent out, I don't think it's just me. Only four people (out of 50 or so on the mailing list) responded for her first request for availability information, and there are lots of slots open. I'm sure some will come out of the woodwork (like I did) now that she's basically sent the final reminder, but still, it looks like people are losing interest. Only 2 people other than me attended the last group meeting.

I have a friend who was in the program a few years back who eventually quit because she was never being called in.

I know the coordinator can't force the midwives and nurses to call doulas, and maybe there just truly isn't the demand. Not everyone wants a random stranger to come in and sit with them during labor.

Still, it seems like something needs to change if they want the program to work. The current coordinator is moving on to a new project (making the hospital into an official baby friendly hospital, meaning basically that they provide exceptional breastfeeding support), so perhaps the new coordinator will be able to push the program a bit more.

A funny LJ coincidence happened yesterday. In the morning, someone posted in [livejournal.com profile] ucdavis about seeing a cop staking out a local bank with a rifle, and mentioned seeing some people across the street taking about it and taking pictures. In the evening, I saw a post while reading friendsfriends from the person who had been taking the pictures. The really odd part - she's was just visiting Davis for the weekend, and our mutual friend lives on the other side of the country and has no connection to Davis. She was, however, with a local friend who is on the friends list of my former roommate. Small world.

Leif is in love with the Babar movie. It's cute, but I find I really don't like the colonialist, materialist message it has. Yes, the elephants are of course oh so much happier wearing clothing and living in a city than they were frolicking in the wild. And then there's the mommy-death, which, if I'd thought about it in advance, probably would have had me avoiding it entirely. The inconsistancies between the movie and the bonus episode on the DVD bug me, too. In the movie, he clearly becomes king as an adult. In the bonus episode, he's a child king. Ah well, continuity is for wimps.

I should try to get more sleep. 5 hours really isn't enough.
ocelot: (finger)
Phone spammers who wake up napping babies are bad bad people.
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Weary means tired. Wary means cautious.

That is all.
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We decided just to go ahead and pay the Bernard the Crackmonkey rather than fighting it. I don't object to paying legitimate expenses (even if they didn't notify us properly), we're actually paying less due to this than we would have otherwise, and it shouldn't be a problem to get the money together.

So yay, I can sleep again.

The funny thing: After we finished doing the payment, he said he would send a confirmation letter that we should receive within 10 days, and to call us if we didn't.

I asked if he had our current address. He read off the address of our old apartment, which was why what started all this trouble in the first place.

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The people I lived with in 2000/2001 got a phone call for me from someone named Bernard, saying he had to talk to me, and it was very important.

He's apparently a lawyer for the apartment complex I lived at in Davis. They claim I owe them $800 something for ending the lease early/cleaning expenses/etc. They'll settle for $650 if we can pay it by the end of February, or we can pay $100 per month and take a credit hit.

This is the first we've heard about this. We moved out at the end of May.

California rental law requires them to notify us of these expenses within 21 days of leaving. They claim they sent mail to our old address, which we had forwarded to Virginia. We never received it. Perhaps they never sent it, perhaps there was a mixup in the mail system.

I question whether this would be considered proper notification.

I'm pretty certain I gave them a real forwarding address, either the PO Box or Christof's work address. Even if I didn't, they had our new phone number, as they called it on multiple occasions about other issues.

Whatever the case, I'm pissed off, and hope something gets worked out. I have no problem with paying what we owe, but it's going to be difficult to manage on this short notice. I'll be especially pissed if AOL won't cover the early termination fee because of the delay.

Hopefully this is just all lawyer fast talk, and if we call them on it, they'll back down. Bernard-jerk certainly wasn't giving me much chance to get a word in edgewise, for all his talk of wanting to sort things out.

The random expenses really need to stop.

Oh well. At least I can stop losing sleep wondering what the phone calls were about (I've known he was calling since Wednesday, but was only able to call today due to phone number mixups and time zone differences).
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Today, a new Ikea opened in College Park, MD. They had festivities at the two other Ikeas in the area, as well.

One of these festivities was a free $200 comfy chair for the first 100 people in the door at each location.

So, being in need of nice comfy chairs, we left the comfort of our comfy bed at 1:00AM and headed to Ikea to wait in line with 100 other insane individuals.

Luckily, it had stopped raining heavily by that point, and didn't start up again while we were there. It was still a less than comfortable experience, since we didn't have any sort of chair, and the blanket got all soaked through. And because EVERYONE SMOKES IN VIRGINIA. GRRR.

Side rant: You're in line somewhere. You're standing next to two women who are discussing their pregnancies. 4:20 rolls around. Do you A. light up your joint and breathe smoke in their faces, or B. be polite and go elsewhere, or not light up at all? I'm sure you can guess what the people next to us did.

So anyways, we sat around in line for 8 hours. It wasn't that bad, really. For some reason, 8 hours passes a lot faster when you're sitting around in the cold on hard concrete without a whole lot to do than it does at work. Go figure.

We ended up being number 92 and 93, so we got out free chairs, which we will soon go home and assemble. Some of you will come sit in them soon. Yay!

Still no phone line at home, and there may not be before next week. Grr. I hate being punished for not having a credit card. Verizon emailed me on Tuesday to say that they needed further information from me in order to process my application. Because I don't have a phone line, I could not access email until late today, which means that they won't get the information they need until tomorrow morning, and there will undoubtedly be additional delay after that before service can be established. Grr.

This especially sucks because I have a new laptop - a 12" PowerBook G4. It's really cute.

I'm online from Borders right now.

Anyways, I can either continue rambling, or attempt to catch up on my friends list, so I'll stop now.
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One thing I will not miss about Davis is the mosquitos.

I'm well aware that VA has mosquitos, quite likely in larger quantities than Davis. However, I've decided that I'm particularly allergic to Davis mosquitos. They tend to swell up like spider bites, and cause quite a bit of pain, including difficulty with moving if they're near joints. In fact, I'd assume they were spider bites, except that I've seen mosquitos bite me, and a spot develop in the same place the next day.

My theory was confirmed (or corroborated, anyways) this weekend, when my mom got a mosquito bite that swelled up much worse than usual.

She suggested eating more B6, but I'm hesitant to take any more vitamins on top of my prenatals. Plus, they taste nasty.
ocelot: (pow)
I've had really stupid songs stuck in my head today.
Continue reading only if you're not susceptible to earworms or are a masochist )
ocelot: (buffy)
I wonder whether the baby likes my music, or is irritated by it? She starts going nuts every time I play music on my laptop.

I suppose that if I were a good mom, I'd begin playing Mozart. Get her brain developing. At least I took Eminem out of the playlist.

I'm having a very argumentative day. I've spent the day having mental arguments with people in my head, and have had to stop myself from posting snarky comments in several random people's journals.

Things I'd like to say to people )

I must do laundry soon.

The format of my online class is kind of bugging me. We have to post at least three comments per week - one original comment, and two replies to comments of other people. At least two of these comments have to be posted 24 hours apart (for example, two one day, and one the next day) in an effort to keep everyone from trying to do all three at the last minute.

The problem is that no partial credit is given. If you post 2 comments, you get 0 credit. If you post 3 comments and one isn't considered acceptable, you get 0 credit. If you post 3 comments, but less than 24 hours apart, you get 0 credit.

It's also been difficult to think of comments that are more than just "I agree" for this week's topic, since it isn't one that inspired a whole lot of variety in thinking or major discussion.

The teacher is also posting very confusing instructions for the non-online assignments. It isn't clear whether we have four assignments due at the first midterm, or whether we can turn them in at the start of any midterm.

I still like the class, though.

Must do homework for my other class tonight.
ocelot: (pow)
Every year, they have this United Way donation campaign at work. This year, they've made it nice and easy. You can go to a website and set up a donation to be automatically deducated from your paycheck.

They sent the username and password via plaintext email.

As far as I can tell, there is no further authentication required in order to arrange for this automatic paycheck reduction (perhaps there is - I haven't gone through the whole process, as I don't want to make a donation. I'm not betting on it, though). In addition, there's no way to change the automatically assigned password, so there's nothing whatsoever I can do to defend myself.

I talked to the postmaster (who works in the office next to me) about this. She says that the email was pushed through by The Power That Be despite complaints about the security.

*writes pissed off letters to idiots*


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