Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010!

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey, Queen of all media

As we eagerly await 2010 and head into year six at Toner Mishap, I will attempt to start writing here more frequently. Not that anyone has really complained about the lack thereof, but it’s my way to share bits and pieces of life as I see it through my tinctured glasses.

The last two years have been exceptionally busy and stressful at work. There are some very hopeful signs 2010 will be different. Potential help is on the way and other encouraging signs that the workload will be a bit more manageable.

This all means that I plan to have more personal time for writing and photography in the coming New Year and throughout the decade. I have some goals I anticipate meeting; a few that I will share are:

Grant writing – Work to become a nonprofit grant writer in my spare time, which I hope will lead to ways to spend my semi-retirement years. My goal is to write at least two grants this year.

Reading – Increase my reading total from 13-15 books a year to 20.

Riding – Get on my bike much more this year. I started out with good intentions, but emergency gallbladder surgery put a major crimp in my plans. Not sure I want to push myself for 60- or 100-miles rides, but who knows.

Publishing – I want to publish my own little iBook of photos and essays.

Spending – Spend much less in 2010.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thank You Democrats!

From the New York Times:

The Senate voted Thursday to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and to rein in health costs as proposed by President Obama.

The budget office estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 31 million uninsured people.

And Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, said the business model of the health insurance industry deserved to die.

“It deserves a stake through its cold and greedy heart,” Mr. Whitehouse said.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A State of Happiness

“One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, novelist, dramatist, and historian

New research by the UK’s University of Warwick and Hamilton College in the U.S. has used the happiness levels of a million individual U.S. citizens to discover which are the best and worst states in which to live in the United States. New York and Connecticut come bottom of a life-satisfaction league table, and Hawaii and Louisiana are at the top. The analysis reveals also that happiness levels closely correlate with objective factors such as congestion and air quality across the U.S.’s 50 states.

The full report can be found here: full report or the New York Times story can be found here

1 Louisiana
2 Hawaii
3 Florida
4 Tennessee
5 Arizona
6 Mississippi
7 Montana
8 South Carolina
9 Alabama
10 Maine
11 Alaska
12 North Carolina
13 Wyoming
14 Idaho
15 South Dakota
16 Texas
17 Arkansas
18 Vermont
19 Georgia
20 Oklahoma
21 Colorado
22 Delaware
23 Utah
24 New Mexico
25 North Dakota
26 Minnesota
27 New Hampshire
28 Virginia
29 Wisconsin
30 Oregon
31 Iowa
32 Kansas
33 Nebraska
34 West Virginia
35 Kentucky
36 Washington
37 District of Columbia (not a state, just a state of confusion)
38 Missouri
39 Nevada
40 Maryland
41 Pennsylvania
42 Rhode Island
43 Massachusetts
44 Ohio
45 Illinois
46 California
47 Indiana
48 Michigan
49 New Jersey
50 Connecticut
51 New York

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Party of NOPE

What John McCain gets for leading his party of nattering nabobs of negativism -- the party of NOPE

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Wonderful Writing

I unplugged my computer. “I unhooked the power cord and the two external drives that I have, and the optical mouse with the little red eye in its belly, and the speakers, and the monitors, and the scanner, and the printer, and the keyboard… and I laughed pityingly at them…My computer was as if amputated--all of its ways of connecting to the world were gone, and it was just a black obelisk with a rich man's name on it. It couldn’t reason, it couldn’t speak, it was imprisoned in its frozen memories, its self was in a state of suspension. It could not add anything to what it had done, or remember anything that it had done.”

Nicholson Baker from “The Anthologist”