Friday, November 25, 2005

Still stuffed.....

Hello to all my favorite people :)  

Hope everyone got super stuffed on their Thanksgiving feasts.  I know I did!  With both oven roasted and deep fried turkey on our table, among all the glorious side dishes consisting of yams, asparagus, mashed potatoes, 3 types of cranberry sauce, rolls, and corn souffle (corn puddin, for my southern friends ;) we had ourselves a feast!  Of course, no feast would be complete without dessert.  Offered were both pumpkin and pecan pie :)  

I had my piece of pecan pie today... there was no room left yesterday.  It was all so yummy, but I'm pretty much over it tonight.  All turkied out...  

Grace had a cold yesterday, so she couldn't go with me to help serve at the food kitchen.  This is the second year she missed it, but my Dad thinks she shouldn't go anymore, anyway.  He's thinking of her safety, and I understand his point, but its not like I have to stay there.  If something should ever happen that I'm uncomfortable with, we'd leave!  

Ah well, maybe I'll just take her with me to the children's hospital for Christmas.  She has always enjoyed going there and handing out presents and candy to the little sick ones.  She liked to tell them stories last year :)  

This evening we went downtown to watch 'The Circle of Lights'.  They transform our Soldiers and Sailors monument downtown into a Christmas tree.  It is a big deal and this was the 43rd year :)  Be sure to watch Monday night football so you can see it live!  I love the way our downtown is decorated for the holidays :)  Everything is lit up....                                    

I love the monument by itself!  The architecture is fascinating.  For the history lesson: 

It was designed by Bruno Schmitz (1858-1916), Germany's foremost architect of national monuments. Completed in 1901, the Monument appears to be Schmitz's only commission outside of Germany and Switzerland. Most of the bronze and stone sculptures on the Monument were designed, executed and manufactured by Germans.                                             Soldiers and Sailors monument photo 

                  Photograph of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, ca. 1895  

The limestone sculptures are the work of Vienna-born sculptor Rudolf Schwarz (1866-1912). The bronze Army Astragal sculptural band above the monument base was designed by Nicolaus Geiger (1849-1897) of Berlin. The Astragal and the eight candelabra were manufactured in Berlin.   

Bronze Astragals  designed by Nicolaus Geiger and 
George W. Brewster.  (Photo by Ruth Reichmann)

North side of Monument: 
Limestone sculptures by Rodolf Schwarz, representing 
Artillery and Navy and plaque honoring soldiers of other
wars.  Above it the bronze Army Astragal sculpture band 
designed be Nicolaus Geiger.  (Photo By Ruth Reichmann

South side of Monument:
Limestone sculptures by Rudolf Schwarz, representing 
Infantry and Cavalry and Civil War plaque.  Above it the 
bronze Army Astragal sculptured band designed by 
Nicolaus Geiger of Berlin. (Photo by Ruth Reichmann)

The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was dedicated in 1902 to Indiana's heroes who died in wars before World War I. Erected as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the War for the Union (1861-65), it also commemorates the War with Mexico (1846-48), Indian and British Wars (1811-12), War of the Revolution and the capture of Vincennes from the British on February 25, 1779.  

South side of Monument:
Limestone sculptures by Rudolf Schwarz, representing 
Infantry and Cavalry and Civil War plaque.  Above it the 
bronze Army Astragal sculptured band designed by 
Nicolaus Geiger of Berlin. (Photo by Ruth Reichmann)

East side of monument: Statuary group "War" 
with "The Dying Soldier" below it by Rudolf Schwarz 
(Photo by Ruth Reichmann)

The Monument rises from a circular plaza, 342 feet in diameter, where once stood the governor's house--but where no governor ever lived. At the lower level of the Monument is a Civil War exhibit.                             

Anyway, it is something else to see in person... and anyone tuning into the Colts vs. the Steelers game on Monday night will see it, I'm sure!  Just wish we had some snow to make it extra sparkly ;)  

Onward, I now have a cold, too.  Knew I would as all the daycare kids have something going on, too.  I don't care how many vitamins a person takes, kids' germs permeate through anything.  I knew I shoud've kept taking Airborne :)  Now, I'm sucking diligently on Cold-Eeze lozenges.... Hopefully, I can kick it by Monday!  

Yes, two of my three favorite NFL teams, meet up for that game... and I'll be sitting quietly cheering both sides.  I don't want the Colts to lose a game, but the Steelers need a win.  Of course, if Tommy Maddox starts instead of Ben Roethlisberger (spelled without looking it up, too ;) I'll root for the Colts~ loudly.  Anyone who knows Tommy, knows how the game will end up for the Steelers.  

Okay, as you can tell by my font colors (hopefully), I'm decorating for Christmas.  Feel free to bombard me with your creativity ;)  I want to spruce up my sidebar.  Anyone think I can hang Christmas lights on my No Ads signs?  I know, its a cool idea ;)  

That about wraps things up in my neck of the woods.  Glad you stopped by :)  Nae~Nae better hurry, though, I'm having serious DTs without her around.  

Hang in there peeps....  


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Biting the bullet.....

Hey guys!  

Just wanted to wish all my family and friends reading here, a very happy Thanksgiving holiday :)  

This whole ad thing has really messed things up for me.  You all know I just suck at maintaining two journals in the same place, well imagine what two journals on two different sites does.....   

I really don't want to learn a new site, to make my new place look like mine... I already have a place~here, in my first 'home'.  I know some people have subscribed to Changenotes, but not many and I know its a big pain for my loyal readers to follow me around.   

I am against the ads, still.  Will always be and will continue trying to stop them.  But I think.... no, I know.... writing somewhere else doesn't feel right.  I am not comfortable there.  Sounds silly, I'm sure.  I am already a virtually unknown in J~Land,  Blogspot is like jail for me.  I feel isolated and alone there.   

This is my favorite time of the year from Thanksgiving until Spring, I come alive.  The first measurable snow fall brings me to life and sets the wheels in my head turning towards happiness and harmony, instead of the monotonous droning that Spring and Summer bring for me.  Kinda like a reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder :)  

Anyway, I think, on this day of thanks, Kitty's coming home..... to stay.  

I am thankful to everyone who stands next to me to continue our fight against ads.  I am thankful for my friends here... my second family.  I am thankful that the people I've grown to adore in this, our online community, are forgiving and non judgmental.  I am thankful for all of J~Land,the popular bloggers and not-so popular ones, the ones who left and the ones who stayed~you're all special in my book.  

Most of all, I am thankful for second chances.....   

Hope your families are all safe and happy this Thanksgiving, and for many more to come.  

Now, let's eat!  


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's a Groovy day....

Thoughts from a former J~Lander.....   With permission, of course.  Thanks, Groovy :)

For My AOL J-Land Readers

Feeling: Tired, But Thanks For Asking ;)
Hearing: White Christmas -- The Lettermen


So. There's quite the controversy going on in AOL's J-Land Community these days over the recently added banner ads to AOL's subscriber's journals. Some of you have asked me for my opinion, having not only been a member of AOL's J-Land Community, but also being a former AOL employee. So I thought I'd give you all my take on it.

I don't typically use my blog for this kind of thing. In fact, I don't think I ever have. The purpose of this blog is completely different than that. But, you asked, so I'll tell. I really wanted to do this entry a few days ago, but I honestly have been just so busy. But, I figure better late than never. So here it is...

First of all, I feel the immediate need to voice this sentiment: I used the term "AOL's J-Land Community" above. That's almost a Catch-22 phrase in itself. A huge part of me doesn't want to call it AOL's Community. Because, let's face it. AOL provided the space, but all of us -- and yes, I'm including myself in this because I was a part of the community at one point -- made it the community that it now is. Or sadly, the community that it was until last week. A part of me truly feels that it is your community.

Having gotten that part out of my system, I want to give you some background on where I fit into all of this. Most of you know that I was an employee of AOL. But I'm not sure many of you know exactly what I did when I worked there.

I was on this wonderful team of people that was called the Community Management Team. There were about 150 of us from all over the country who worked from our homes to manage various communities on AOL. The four biggest areas on AOL are, in no particular order, News, Sports, Personal Finance, and Entertainment. There are many, many more areas on AOL (such as Parenting, Health, Education, etc.) that are fabulous areas, but the four largest ones are the ones I mentioned above. I was in one of those four areas.

I worked in my area from October of 2002 until February of this year. And I loved my job. When I began, our jobs were more diverse than they were towards the end. I did everything from creating message boards to writing content to customer service and a zillion other things. I was probably most proud of my work when I saw it featured on AOL Welcome Screens. I remember signing on one day, seeing the Welcome Screen linking to a feature that I built from scratch and thinking, "Oh my God! Millions of people will sign onto AOL today and the very first thing that they will see is a link to MY BABY!" One feature in particular that I did was heavily promoted throughout the entire AOL service -- even on the main Journals page. I can't tell you what a feeling that is. (Some of you may have seen some of my work, and although you don't know it was mine, I'm proud as hell that you've seen it.)

In December of 2004, AOL announced a very large lay-off. Unfortunately, all of us who worked from our homes (plus a very large number of people in the Corporate Offices) were laid off. It was an extremely difficult thing to get through, and I went through a real anger phase, but I can look at it now and know that it was a business decision. They were kind enough to give us two months' notice. A lot of companies don't give that.

By that time, my job had changed significantly. AOL had gone through a huge community re-structure, and my job had turned solely into community management. I was no longer providing content, but I was managing Community Leaders, managing Message Boards and Chat Rooms, and doing mostly Customer Service.

(I promise, this really does have something to do with the banner ads on the journals -- I'm getting there, really!)

My Customer Service position was a hard one. There were times that I absolutely dreaded signing onto my Customer Service screen names to check the mail. The reason? At one point, AOL changed Message Board formats. And many, many people weren't happy. People in general don't like change. And I can understand that. I was so used to the old boards myself, I knew everything about them -- from the user side and the back-end -- and looking at the new ones, having to learn all over again how to use them, figuring out how to navigate through them and all that jazz wasn't easy for me, and I worked for AOL. Meaning, I had to pretend to be knowledgeable on a subject that I was trying to learn myself. The members hated these boards.

I look at the boards on occasion now, and my personal opinion is that they're really nice, and ultimately, they're actually easier to use than the old format. But, man! What a transition!

I got some of the nastiest e-mails from members. Some asking me to change the boards back, some threatening me with account cancellations, and some asking me to do inappropriate things that weren't anatomically possible. With my mother. I can't tell you how many tears I shed over some of these nasty, hateful e-mails.


Of course, I couldn't do that. And when I was feeling the worst of the frustration (which, at that point, was several times a day), I had to walk away from my computer and remind myself that these members were paying members and were visibly upset about the changes. Without them, I wouldn't have a job. And they deserved to be heard.

I also had to remind myself that I was their front line. I was the one in my area whose e-mail address they were given to voice these complaints. They had nowhere else to turn. This was my job. My life-line. How I would feed and clothe my children. And, regardless of how I personally felt about these changes (and I hated them myself), it was my job to not only help these members in every way I could, but to continue to be loyal to my employer. It's the hardest position in the world at times, and finding that middle ground is often next to impossible.

I had so many members ask me how I could work for such a horrible company. How could I work for someone who treated their members so terribly? The answer was simple: It's not easy to find a job that pays relatively well that allows me to work from my home so that I could be here for my children. Prior to my AOL job, I worked for an AOL Partner site. I started that job when Princess was 4 months old, and eventually had Spiderson while working there. How many other jobs can you bring a 23-month old and a newborn to? How many other jobs can you return to 48 hours after you've had a C-section?

Did I agree with every business decision that AOL made? No, of course not. But I've never, ever worked for a company where I was in 100% agreement with everything they've done -- even now, and I'm self-employed. But I continued working for AOL because I couldn't imagine finding another job that allowed me to be here when my children needed me. I felt like I missed out on so much with Goth Daughter because I worked outside of the home. And I was lucky enough to be able to make money and still be home with my children. Does this lower my professional integrity? Working for a company that sometimes makes unpopular decisions with their customers? Maybe. But my personal integrity meant more to me. There were many people, though, who faulted me for staying at my job. I still don't understand that.

So, fast-forward to last Tuesday. Which, by the way, I have seen mention of the day actually being referred to as Black Tuesday.

So everyone gets up in the morning and goes to update their journals. To their surprise, they're greeted by Bank of America trying to give them a loan at the top of their journals, when all they want to do is update them.

Then comes Surprise Number Two. The Save Entry buttons aren't working.

I saw a couple of New Entry alerts in my e-mail alerting me to the issue. Y'know what my first thought was? I thought, "I would hate to be John Scalzi and Joe the Journals Editor right now." So I took a little hike over to their journals.

<FONTFACE=VERDANA size="3" color="#a6a6d2">Oh my God, you guys are vocal! But, rightfully so.

I saw some comments in these guys' journals that ranked right up there with the ones I'd gotten myself. Luckily, the really bad ones were from screen names that I'm not familiar with. I'm so glad that my friends are showing some class with this. Don't get me wrong -- I never, ever thought any of you would be anything less than mature and rational. I just know that even the person with the most class in the world can lose it when they feel like they've been wronged.

I was glad to see that everyone is expressing how they feel about this. I really admire you guys for standing up for what you feel is right. I mean that.

One thing that is bothering me is that the comments are still trickling into Joe's and John's journals. There has been an e-mail address set up specifically for complaints about these banner ads. But, Joe and John are still getting nasty comments. Most of them have begun to die off, but there are some persistent little buggers.

Let me interject here that I have never met John Scalzi, nor have I ever had any direct contact with him. I occasionally read his journal. I don't even have him on Alerts. That's the extent of my relationship with him. Joe, I think I met in passing one time at an AOL conference a couple of years ago. If he's who I'm thinking of, he seemed like a nice guy. But I've never spent more than maybe 20 seconds with him.

I'm stressing that because I don't want anyone to think that I'm just saying what I'm saying because I'm sticking up for friends. I don't know these guys. I've simply been in their shoes. And those shoes may as well be three sizes too small with 8-inch stiletto heels and no arch support. They hurt that much.

Anyway, my point is this: I feel so badly for them, because they are catching the heat from a decision that I suspect they had no part in making. I know many of you are aware of that because I've read several comments in their j's to that effect. And I'm seeing more and more like that every time I read their comments. Thank you for realizing that.

If youhaven't already, please write an e-mail to the address they've provided. That is the appropriate measure to take. I can assure you that when I was manning an e-mail complaint box, I copied and pasted every last email into a Word Document and forwarded it to my boss, who forwarded it to her boss, who forwarded it to her boss, who forwarded it to her boss, who forwarded it to her boss, and I am confident that it got forwarded beyond that. They did get passed up the chain.

Whether or not that will get those ads removed from the AOL Journals, I don't know. And I don't want to speculate on this one. I just want to do my part to get people barking up the right tree.

On a similar note, I do feel a need to stand up for John Scalzi on another issue. He's taking a lot of heat for making a statement back in May. He said then that AIM members would be able to start journals, and that the difference between AIM and AOL-paid journals was that AIM journals would have banner ads.

Scalzi wasn't "lying" then, as some people have accused him of doing. At the time, that was the difference. And I'd be willing to bet that he had no idea that this would change when he made that statement. I strongly feel that neither Scalzi nor Joe has misrepresented AOL. 'Nuff said there.

The biggest issue that I'm having with this whole thing, though, is that I'm seeing the community being divided. I'm seeing friends turn against friends. I'm seeing name-calling and fighting. And I don't like that.

Until the day I die, I will think that everyone has the right to their opinion about anything. I think that people have every right to speak out on it, if it's done appropriately. I think that no one has the right to make something like banner ads in journals personal and to fault someone else for doing what they feel is right.

I'm seeing people calling other people names because they're leaving AOL's J-Land, and I'm seeing people calling other people names because they're staying. And, I'm seeing people blaming AOL for causing it.

I'm sorry, but AOL is not responsible for someone calling someone else an "ad-whore". That is the immaturity of the name-caller. If anyone truly thinks that AOL is causing all this animosity, then it's only because J-Land (as a whole -- not anyone in particular) is letting it. Seems to me that no one is happy with these banner ads. Yet somehow, people aren't sticking together. It takes an army to battle a giant. I think that army should be on the same side and not bickering amongst themselves.

I truly hate that this once-strong community is now divided. I hate that friendships are being destroyed over something as silly as an advertisement. Honestly -- is your friendship with someone seriously less important than the 1-inch space it takes to put up an ad? If anyone is faulting someone over 1 little inch, then I don't know that they're that much of a friend to begin with.

I know. It's the principle. But if the old saying is right, that you have to choose your battles, then choose the right battle. I think that your battle should be with AOL. Not with each other.

I wish that everyone in J-Land would call a truce. This is silly to fight each other over something that you're all mad at AOL for. Personally, I don't fault anyone for staying at AOL, and I don't fault anyone for leaving. This is an individual decision, but there is no unilaterally right or wrong decision to make. It's a personal one, and what's right for one person might be wrong for someone else.

*EDITED TO ADD:  Ya know, I've had a few hours to think about this some more, and something just occurred to me.  People are upset about having these banner ads because they detract from the content in their journals.  But the more that I think about it, the more I think that this uproar is causing even more attention to the ads themselves.  Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

I might be off-base, but I want to add that little bit of food for thought.

OK, having gone through all of that, I do have a personal opinion on the banner ads. They suck. I chose not to put banner ads on my blog. I paid extra not to have banner ads on my company's web site.

However, I don't not visit particular web sites simply because they have banner ads. They just aren't that big of a deal to me. It takes me a lot less time to scroll past a banner ad than it does to sit through a commercial on TV. And I haven't stopped watching TV either.

I don't think that everyone who has a Kodak ad on their journal necessarily endorses Kodak. That, to me, is like saying that everyone who pays to get on the subway endorses Company X because Company X advertises on the subway.

I know it was a shock to see these ads suddenly appear on journals, but I seriously doubt many people are clicking on them or even paying attention to them. My opinion is that this shouldn't be taken personally.

I've just re-read this entry and realized that it sounds very pro-AOL. I can't get into particulars, but I can assure you that I'm not pro-AOL. Nor am I anti-AOL. It just is what it is.

When I parted ways with AOL being my employer, I certainly had the opportunity to keep an AOL or AIM journal. I didn't do that. I still have the opportunity to open another AOL or AIM journal. I won't be doing that either. I have my reasons for keeping my blog off AOL. I'm not going into the whys, but I hope everyone can respect my decision, just as I respect everyone else for the decisions they have made.

This is the only entry in my blog that I plan on devoting to this subject. (Never say never, ya know.) However, I don't mind talking about it in e-mail, should anyone want even more of my opinion on it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Only because a friend needs it...

I know I said I was not using this place for personal writing, but tonight, I need to make an exception.   I just got an email from Stacy (Djzgirl71). 

Her Mom is in the hospital in Texas right now.  They believe she has had a heart attack, as she had all the symptoms.    They are doing an EKG and Stacy will let us know what they find.  

She is asking for prayers, well wishes, and thoughts for her mother.   It is enough for me to put my differences with AOL's ads aside for my friend. 

Please drop her a note at her new journal or via email.  

Thank you all, it means so much....

My thoughts are with you, your Mom, and your family, Stacy.  Keep me posted when you can.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

And the beat goes on....

Protest against Ad Banners, Article #2.....  

November 19, 2005

Angry AOL bloggers now push boycotts Stephen Baker

The anger over banner ads on AOL Journals is reaching a fever pitch. Bloggers are organizing boycotts of advertisers, presumably including Bank of America, whose ad appears on the Journals I've seen today. One even features flash art.View image I'm still not seeing any response from AOL.

Some Journal bloggers, of course, are less bothered by the ads. Here's a very funny post from an AOL blogger who shrinks from the idea of migrating to Google's Blogspot.

eww, I simply refuse to post an entry on something called "blogspot". I think I had a blogspot once...

Update: I originally posted the image as an art element on the post. But on second thought, I didn't think it was right to post ads as art (especially on a post about people rebelling against ads). So I changed it to a pop-up.

12:54 PM

The link.

Now, I know that not everyone minds the ads, or are against fighting to have them removed.  However, I feel that making light of this is not going to get us the type of press we need right now.  (I'm not saying you cannot have your own opinion, I am addressing the writer of the article... don't go hatin')

Still, just to have the issue still being discussed counts for something :)


Something useful, for a change....



Anyone who is trying to follow journals outside of AOL can sign up for Changenotes. 

It operates similar to alerts.  Just add the url to your watchlist and you will be notified when the page updates.  

I am sure there are others out there.  This one was recommended by a good friend and former fellow Jlander  ;)  Thanks!  

The downside is, it only notifies once a day. 

But hey, it beats not knowing at all, doesn't it?  

I understand how big of pain in the buttocks this is, believe me.  I also understand how many people don't read if there are no alerts ;)  And it is better than sending out emails to everyone for each entry....  

Ok, I tried.....  


Friday, November 18, 2005

It's all relevant....


Here are some links for those interested.  

The first is a way to track what's going on with the ads.  It will link you to what folks are writing. Please, add it to yours, too....  click:  AntiJournalAds.


Second, is an article written about our situation in JLand.  We have gotten press!  (I know, I know, I'm late..... but this was the last thing on my 'to do' list for the day... even if it is tomorrow :)  click to read:  BusinessWeek.   


Third, and most likely final as I am tired now.... is an article from when AOL/TW acquired Weblogs,Inc.  I find it interesting, maybe you will to.  Click for that:  TW October  

Anyone who is interested in helping get rid of the ad banners, there is a group trying to do so.  You do not have to leave AOL, or move your journal (I got that straight from the top!).  All you need to do is add your voice (and name) to the list.  Of course, any input is welcome.  Click:  Stop Journal Ads


I think, for now, I am just using this journal to relay information to those who aren't leaving.  I got the idea from Brian, and I think its a good one :)  

If you want a sign for your journal, go here:  Untitled States  

K, that's it.  I marked it off my list....

Night all!  


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Should I stay or should I go.....

I have no idea which way I am going.  I am against the ads.  I love it here.  It makes for a hard decision.... for me, anyway.   

Yes, I made a new journal.  Mostly acting in haste, which usually doesn't lead to good things....  

I like the idea of moving my place to UK.  I have always wanted to live abroad, even if it means doing it virtually ;)  Here's the link, if you want to try it.  They do not have ads.... yet.  

Then, there is our dear Jimmy.  Who always helps us to find the humor in tough situations.  Click below to see just what I mean.  Thanks, Stupid!  You did real good :)  I so needed the laugh....    

Lastly, there is this.  See, I left a comment at Magic Smoke asking the one question I needed answered.  Why? (It's my favorite word, like a 5-year-old... lol!)  

So, Sir Omar, sent me this article in response.  Please notice the date:  November 2, 2005.  The link follows....  

300 an Hour!

NOVEMBER 02, 2005

11:30 AM - AOL's got problems. Even with a huge boost in ad revenues, the online service can't stop people from heading to the exits. The new VOIP services and other fancy add-ons aren't even making a dent in the mess that AOL has become.

AOL revenues declined by $100 million, to $2 billion for the quarter, even though it saw a $71 million increase in ad revenues. The company saw its subscription revenues fall by $175 million. From the press release:

As of September 30, the AOL service totaled 20.1 million U.S. members, a decline of 678,000 from the prior quarter and 2.6 million from the year-ago quarter. In Europe, the AOL service had 6.1 million members, a decrease of 98,000 from the previous quarter and a decline of 170,000 from last year's quarter.

For a business of any size to lose 678,000 customers in three months -- that's more than 300 subscribers an hour -- you have to be doing something wrong. Maybe everything.

Phil Harvey, Numbas Editor, Light Reading


It explains part of it.  Revenue is down, have to raise it.  I get that.  But that happens to all businesses at one time or another.  (My issue is while AOL's revenue has dropped by 100 million dollars, they still made 2 BILLION!)

There are <insert six million dollar man theme song> better, cheaper, faster ISPs out there now. 

What did AOL/Time Warner expect?  To stay on top forever? 

Sorry, fellas, it just doesn't work like that in the business world. 

Besides, usually, when it does, it is deemed a monopoly... just ask Bill Gates.

I don't know which way I'm going yet, but I hope my readers and known lurkers know I will keep you posted and informed wherever I may set up camp  :)  Unless you'd rather not....


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Final Frontier....





5.    Holly!  (Sorry girl, that link was long!)  ;)  
















21.    (Angel, also)


It is a great idea to move to the Int'l Journals, Pam and Viv!!   ;)







29.  http://outmavarin/  













42.    (angeliarian, also)  





















What is all this you ask?  

These are fellow J~Land friends.  Family.  Who are leaving because of the ad banners.  Yes, that is mine listed at #13.   

I know I missed some people.  Alot of people.... so this entry is to keep record of all the people who leave.  If you have a new home, or know someone who does, please leave me their new link.  

It is also a place to keep all my favorites who are walking out J~Land's door....  

And because I am lazy like that  ;)  

The reason I won't write here is because for each time my page is loaded, an advertisement pops up there.  Those advertisers get paid if anyone clicks on it.  AOL gets paid to have them here.  

I have not heard of a reduction in price for us.   

I have not heard of the space I pay for, receiving any type of kickback for allowing it to be used by a third party.  (and I'm one of AOL's cheap, dialup customers)  

I have not heard a reason for allowing them to be there at all.  

I had my x-rated, PRIVATE journal TOS'd without consult or consent, so why is it that I can be bombarded with companies whom I would not personally associate or advocate?  

I will not pay for hypocrisy.

I have sent this to the email address,  

Please do not tell me to do so in my comments.  If I know anything, it is how to complain.  

Hey, at least I only do it when it is necessary  ;)  

Kitty's outtie.  For now....  


Well suited....

J~Land's own gorgeous resident, Nae~Nae, made me... er.... well us a going away present....  


Thanks, Vernae!  It says it all :)  (Please let me know if you cannot see it, FTP isn't working either... go figure)

AOL can KMA!!

Oh, and for the record, Kitty doesn't charge for her services either......  


Some other sites....

Whether you're planning on joining Armand in a new blog home, or Omar's suggestion of complain, complain, whine, then complain some more.  Or even my suggestion of making AOL pay for their advertising by deducting the cost from your monthly fee, here are some other blog spots for your perusal.....  

Now, I only checked out the sites home page, and I believe all of these are free, but I am not sure.  

Hey Nae, I'll take a tag that has a naked butt (cartoon will be best, if ya have one) and put some lip prints on it and it says "AOL can KMA!"  

Yeah, you inspired it... Thanks ;)  

They didn't stop to think what some of these ads may do to dial-up users like me. 

Like I need page loading time to slow even more....  


Here's my solution.....

Hey, I say since AOL decided to make us have ads, that we should decide to make them pay for it.  

My proposal is that we all deduct $10.00 a month from our AOL service!  

If they feel the need for the paying users to have advertisements on our blogs, then we shouldn't have to pay as much, right?!  

Right!  ;)  

Spread the word, people.....  


Just say NO!!

Mood:  Extremely pissed off!  

So, I have just learned from Joe, over at Magic Smoke, has just released the details of the new journal format (R2)  

He states that our new AOL Journals will have ad banners on them!  (See the top of mine?!)  

Go here to voice your complaint!  

Most of us feel the same about the ads~NO WAY, JOSE!  

Sorry to Joe for sending any more irate people his way, but this is so necessary!  




Friday, November 11, 2005

Its a wrap, Kitty style....

Hello all.   First, let me thank all the Veteran's, and currently enlisted men and women, for their service.  I am honored by those who choose to defend our country.  I am sorry for the bad decisions our government, sometimes, makes.  My Dad was in the Marines.  In Cuba.... The Bay of Pigs.... click to read to the details.   

Short version, it was a disaster on our part.  It didn't last nearly as long as some of our other poor choices, like Vietnam and Iraq.  The bay of Pigs, or 'La Playa GirĂ³n', was a backfired hostile takeover of the government... and control.  And guess what?  We still have a base in Cuba, as well as Vietnam, Korea, Germany, etc.... That should tell you something about Iraq, huh?  

But it is history, and most of us don't care about history too much.  Pity that.  We could learn so much from our past mistakes if we could just acknowledge them....  

Anyway, enough of that.   

Last Wednesday, November 9th, my parents celebrated their 42nd Anniversary.  Funny that they made it this far.  There were times, when my brother and I were younger, when they argued so much we almost wished they would divorce... or at least separate.  They have withstood alot of self inflicted torture from each other, and to each other.  But they're still together.  It has been calm for a long time now....  

My parents met on a blind date.  Only they weren't supposed to be with each other.  My Mom was actually supposed to meet another person, but he got called to duty (he was also a Marine).  So,my Dad went in his place.  They were married five weeks later.  Way too soon in my book, but I guess it happens like that sometimes... Mom was 23, Dad 22  ;)  

So, I understand why they did the things they did.  They went through the 'getting to know you' stage while married.  They had to work the kinks in their relationship out while married.  That has to be rough.  Also, I credit my Mom alot.  She doesn't believe in giving up because some mistakes were made.  Some of those were hers, too....  

Moving on.  

Workwise, #4 played snoop for me and I found out that Lead teachers only need a degree, not necessarily in education or childhood delevopment.  They can also work 32 hours/week and be considered full time (for insurance purposes).  So, that is good news for yours truly :)  Now, if I could get our current Lead to abandon ship, all will be well....  

I'm not saying anything formally until I think Mrs. Lead is leaving for good.  But I do like the way things seem to be going.  It would really burn Asst #2, if I became the lead.  She knows I'm not intimidated by her ;)  #4 is in college, and next semester, she'll work opposite days that I currently work.  That sucks.  I really like her :)  

I am watching Dateline's "The Birth of Jesus", and I'm not learning anything I didn't already know.  A lot of what they're saying corresponds to the Quran.  But it is interesting and all about history.  Oops, there I go with that word, again....  

Well, I'd better go before I compile a complete timeline of the history of the world  ;)  

Ya'll know I can......  

Have a great weekend everyone :)  


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Job well done :)

Dear Cathy,

Thanks in no small part to your grassroots leadership -- we've won another skirmish in a decade-long battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But the battle is far from over.

During the last week thousands of you called your elected representatives demanding that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be protected, and your message was heard. Today the House of Representatives stripped the proposal from the budget reconciliation that would have opened up the Refuge and allowed drilling. This vote saved the Refuge from the special interests who would destroy it, at least for now.

This victory is testimony to your hard work and the President's slumping political standing that he can no longer force the Republican Party to grudgingly support a blatant special interest giveaway that vast majorities of Americans oppose. But let's not forget what happened here.

Republican leadership was perfectly willing to use underhanded tactics to sneak destruction of the Refuge in the budget. We should not be surprised if they try again.

I'll be sure to keep you updated in the future on the status of the Refuge here on Capitol Hill. But today, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations on a great victory and a job well done.


John Kerry

Thank you to everyone who made a phone call!  Hopefully, we'll continue to protect this isolated piece of American wildlife refuge....


Monday, November 7, 2005

Comfortably numb...

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?
Come on, now.
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.
I need some information first.
Just the basic facts,
Can you show me where it hurts?

Kitty's been on a Pink Floyd kick lately. 

Sometimes, you just have to go there and take yourself into consideration, reflect on those daunting deeds that either need to be taken care of, or have been done , but done wrong.  Those are the worst....  having to go back and realize that tasks or decisions already done have to be fixed now.  

For those who don't know my story, here is the short version:

I lost my full time job of 12 years in 8/2000.  I left my live in boyfriend, of 4 years, in 11/2000, in our house with everything, but my clothes and personal items (I had kept my stuff in trash bags because I knew he was going to make me leave again, as he did it every time we fought).  

I was seeing Grace's Dad by Christmas, and I was pregnant in January of 01.  We had dated (for 8 years) previously to my dating the live in ex.  My decision to have and keep Grace pissed him off enough that we broke up, but are still friends....  

Anyway, my choice not to return to work full time caused a lot of financial drain.  First mine, then my parents.  I depleted my savings account by the time Grace turned 2.  So, I decided to apply for food stamps.  

At that time, I was taking care of my demented grandmother and my aunt was paying me.  My grandma was a horrid, wicked woman in her end.  But she certainly wasn't my Grams.  She had become that way because of her life.  That's another storyand definitely one for the books! 

She lived 3 houses down from us, and eventually moved into our house, the place of her birth, too! (How many people today are born and die, after a long life, in the same house?!)  She was with us less than a year...   

So, I received food stamps.  $270.00 a month.  After being on the rolls for a year, I applied for TANF (Temp. Assistance to Needy families).  I got $270.00 a month.  That was enough to buy diapers and food for Grace and I. 

While on TANF, I had to attend a minimum of 15 interviews a week.  15, people.  In 1 week.    Ok, so, I was on TANF for about 6 months.  (I kept receiving food stamps as they are 2 different programs)  

I was not told that if I took a part time job, I would lose everything.  I would understand a cut in the amount.  I would get not being able to receive TANF.  But not to totally stop it.  I only work 16 hours a week.  That is not enough to pay my bills, Grace's classes, and buy food.  

I am also losing medicaid.  I was told by my new caseworker (my old one is no longer working there) that I should have lost it all when I started this job.  That was new information.  Kind of scary when I'd also have to pay 100% out of pocket for medical fees....  

Grace's medicaid will continue.  Mine stops in October of 06 because I fell into a special category.  Lucky me.     Needless to say, this new information sent me reeling into the depths of mind melding panic.  I just cannot be without medical insurance.  I'm a heart attack waiting to happen...  I cannot burden my parents anymore than I already have.    

I talked to my boss about it.  She seemed to okay me working 4 days a week, instead of 2.  I need 32 hours to qualify for insurance coverage.  No problemo!  This will happen in August, I hope....     I really do not want to go look for another job.  I don't like moving from place to place.  I just make myself happy where I am :)  

I want to ask my boss about the qualifications for Lead teacher, but I am uncomfortable doing that.  I was told by one person that a degree (2 or 4 yr) in early childhood education was needed.  Another person said it was ANY degree.  Our current Lead is no longer motivated.  She doesn't get along with 2 of the 4 Assisstants.  Well, 1 really.  She is always looking for other jobs.  Why not be prepared, right?          

Other than that, life has gone by.  I can't believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away already....  I can't even think about Christmas yet ;)   Grace had a good Halloween.  She was a cowgirl.  And a darn tootin cute one, too  :) 

Dad brought her to my work and we went trick-or-treating in that neighborhood.  The houses are closer together than ours and there are more of them!  We walked 2 blocks and she had a bucket full!  I think we started at 6and stopped at 7.  She was exhausted, too.  Not too tired to eat some of her loot, but she went right to sleep :)  

I attended the VIVI chat.  I was in the 'Cool Room', as Omar stated repeatedly ;)  It was a good time though.  Congrats to all the nominees and winners!  And for those of us who were neither nominated , nor won... we just try harder for next year ;)  

Currently, I am watching my Colts show New England who in the hell is really boss, 27-7!  All I can say is "It is about effing time, too!"    About time the refs got it right.  About time we have a defense!  About time Peyton and the '3-headed monster' get some real recognition!  GO COLTS!  

Next Monday night game the Colts play is againt the Steelers.  I'll be real quiet then.  2 of my 3 favorite teams.... Don't like when they play each other.  The Steelers just beat the Packers (the 3rd of my 3) last Sunday....   

Now, I have to go so I can start thinking of a way I can win a VIVI next year  ;)  

Take care.....  


Saturday, November 5, 2005

Cat, like love, isn't always on time....

Ya know?  You guys are so right! 

Just because I'm not going to be in the spotlight doesn't mean I can't look like I am :)  


Of course, I'm gonna be fashionably late.... so you'll all notice my entrance  ;)  

That, and I need some Starbucks...  

On my way!