Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for February 25th, 2011

Odds and Ends

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Today’s post is going to be a catch-all of various things.

First, I had been pursuing a job in Madison, WI; it was a writing/editing gig and I felt I could really help the particular company in question, and that it would be something I could do that would not set off my particular round of health issues (I am partially disabled, physically, though there’s nothing wrong with my mind or work ethic).  But this job has said “no” even though I apparently got to the very last round . . . this might be considered a triumph after eighteen months of unemployment (I’m certain my late husband Michael would find it so), but it’s hard to see it that way now as I’m still among the ranks of the unemployed, nor do I have a job that’s right up my alley as I’d truly hoped this job would be.

So back to the drawing board, there.

As for the Wisconsin protests against sitting Governor Scott Walker and his atrocious “budget repair bill” that would strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights and would drastically cut Medicaid and our low-income health program Badgercare (I’m on the Badgercare waiting list as I qualify, but last I knew there were nearly 100,000 on the waiting list before it was frozen last September), they are still happening.   There are protests all over Wisconsin; there was a protest in Racine a few days ago that I unfortunately was unable to attend that netted two hundred or so in the freezing rain, while in La Crosse a bunch of university professors joined the local teacher’s union (perhaps the one their teaching assistants belonged to; I’m unsure on that — note that when I was a graduate teaching assistant at Nebraska, we were not unionized, though my brother, who is a teaching assistant at Indiana, is) even though they didn’t need to do so for their jobs in solidarity with the protestors.  There have been protests in Superior, which is across the Mississippi River from Duluth, MN, against this “budget repair bill” of Walker’s . . . there have been protests in Oshkosh, Green Bay, Eau Claire, and elsewhere along with the usual places to protest, Madison (our state capitol) and Milwaukee.  In addition, many Republican legislators homes are being picketed, including my own newly-elected state Senator, Van Wanggaard (it’s not a constant thing, but it has happened in the last ten or eleven days more than once, and with more than one person) . . . the state remains opposed to Walker’s union-busting provisions while being divided on whether or not Walker’s budgetary proposals are good or bad for the state.

However, many commercials are being aired by the so-called Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is no such thing — that is a front group funded by the wealthy Koch brothers (they of the infamous “prank call” fame, where Gov. Walker admitted he was trying to bust the unions along with many other things that may get him into hot water with the Government Accountability Board here in WI), and is headquartered in Washington, DC — to recall state Senator Bob Wirch of Burlington/Kenosha.   These commercials are obnoxious, and offensive, aping the “All Points Bulletin” of a policeman’s call to his dispatcher . . . when I heard them, I immediately wrote a letter to Wirch expressing my support for his position and told him I’m glad he’s sticking up for Wisconsin’s voters because goodness knows, aside from the “WI 14” Democratic Senators, no one else is.  (That they’ve had to flee the state in order to avoid a quorum is the only thing they could do to slow this process down.)

I truly hope Bob Wirch isn’t recalled, mind, but even if he is, it’ll take time.

Speaking of recall, I know I’m already planning on recalling Van Wanggaard in a year’s time, the first permissible date as he’s newly-elected, because he obviously does not represent Racine voters — according to a recent article in the Racine Journal-Times, Racine Assemblyman Cory Mason has had 1057 calls against the “budget repair bill” of Scott Walker’s, while he’s had 97 for it, and Racine Assemblyman Robert Turner (my particular Assemblyman) has had over 1000 calls against while only 20 in favor as of earlier this week on Monday.  (What does that tell the rest of you about what Racine thinks about this, hmm?  Do you really think Wanggaard, who’s said he’ll vote “yes” on this bill, is properly representing Racine on this issue?  I know I sure don’t.)

In sports news, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy has had surgery on his right pinkie finger (his throwing hand) and may miss the start of the season as he’s not supposed to throw for a month.  They put a pin into his right pinkie finger and Lucroy says he will catch (but supposedly not throw; how is that supposed to work again?  Will he have a coach sitting there who will take the ball out of Lucroy’s glove, then toss it back to the pitcher in question in the bullpen before the pitcher throws again?) and that he doesn’t plan to miss any time whatsoever.

What is a little bit frustrating about Lucroy’s assertion is that he’s a very young man.  He needs to be careful of his health.  If he tries to come back too soon, he’ll be hurting himself, long-term.  He seems to be worried he’ll lose his starting position, or maybe he’s even worried about being sent back to Triple A (AAA) ball due to injury, but I think that’s highly unlikely.  If Lucroy rushes himself now, he may end up worsening this injury down the line and perhaps even shortening his overall career (as throwing arms are important, and messing with your motion due to an injured finger is very common) if he over-does.  I hope the Brewers new training staff (with a new manager came new coaches and staff) will “sit” on him and get him to back off working so hard; it’ll be difficult for Lucroy to sit and watch, but it’ll be much, much better for his team overall if he just lets this heal without hindrance.

Other than that, in Brewers’ news, Zach Greinke said he’s having issues with his new medicine for Social Anxiety Disorder (or SAD) and the sports talkers in Milwaukee seem concerned about it as Greinke said that the new med makes him “more tired” but didn’t really clarify in what way; some talkers seem to believe that means he’ll have trouble with his stamina on the mound, but I doubt this . . . I’ve never had SAD, but my grandmother needed anxiety medicine in her last years of life — I know this isn’t exactly the same thing, mind you — and changing a medicine’s dosage, even, can make you feel more tired at the end of the day, or perhaps when you wake up.  These feelings wear off after a little bit, but can get in your way if you don’t know what’s going on at first . . . anyway, Greinke probably meant that he’s getting used to the new dosage, doesn’t like it, and would rather not have to deal with it, but not that he’ll have any trouble pitching.

At any rate, the way Wisconsin is going right now, I’ll be glad to see the Brewers in action.  I know that I’m ready for some baseball, and I’m more than ready for some healthy interest in something beyond the asinine behavior of our current, sitting Governor.