Archive for the Rants Category


Posted in Politics, Rants with tags , on January 17, 2012 by czriley

Wednesday, January 18th, many websites will be dark in protest against SOPA and PIPA. Other websites and authors have done a better job describing the situation and the reasons for the protest than I can. In particular check out George Takei at Basically, what is being sold as a way to end internet piracy can, in fact, seriously curtail freedom of speech. I wasn’t able to figure out any of the fancy plug-ins to make my page show some cool graphic, or re-direct you to a site that explains more, so I’m just telling you about it.
I know, I know, me staying off Facebook, Twitter and WordPress will not have world-shattering implications. I suspect I’m the only one who will notice, quite honestly. Even so, I want to stand up in my own small corner of the web and be counted with the rest of the people who believe in freedom of speech. Censorship is wrong, and completely un-American. Stand with us, and tell Congress NO on SOPA!! And join our protest. Even a drop of water will wear away a stone eventually – imagine millions of drops. See you after the 18th.


“Inspirational” Videos

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Parenting, Rants on November 27, 2011 by czriley

If you are on Facebook, I’m sure at some point you’ve had a friend post a link to a video. Usually silly, sometimes they post videos that are supposed to be inspirational or moving. I don’t always find the video as funny or inspirational as the person who posted it, but the worst that happens is that I waste a few minutes and go on with my life. Not this time.
A friend posted a video with the title “How One Family’s Horrific Tragedy turned into an Unbelievable Miracle – a Must See” Sounds very inspirational, right? How wrong I was. The horrific tragedy? Mom driving 3 small children in mini-van when they get in an accident. With a huge truck. The picture was chilling – the back part of the mini-van was barely recognizable. And I’m thinking that the miracle must have been that the kids survived somehow, right? Please? Wrong. They slowly go through the sequence of events, as this family loses all 3 of their young children. And I’m sitting there, stunned and crying. I have 3 kids and I drive a mini-van – I can only too easily imagine myself in their shoes. My heart is breaking for these people I will never know. Where the heck is the miracle in all of this?  You are then subjected to what seemed like HOURS of photos of the adorable children, while really sad music plays in the background.  I wanted to yell at the screen “Okay already, we get it!  They were adorable!  They’re all dead now.  WHERE IS THE MIRACLE??”  Finally, in the last minute or so of the video, we get the miracle.  The parents had triplets 2 years after losing their other children.  And the triplets are the same genders as the children they lost.

Of course I’m happy that this family has more children to love.  And, yes, I believe it’s outside the realm of coincidence that they had triplets who are the same genders as the children they lost.  But did I find this video inspirational?  Hell no!!!  Well over 5 minutes of horror and heartbreak, 2 minutes or less of miracle.

What’s my point here?  I’m not sure I know, exactly.  I guess it’s a cautionary tale – be careful what videos you watch, hug your children and tell them you love them because life has no guarantees.  But I’m still left wondering – where is the miracle in all this?  Because in the end, these parents went through horror and heartache beyond imagining.  And nothing can make up for that.

A Private Affair

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Rants with tags on December 23, 2009 by czriley

Earlier this month I heard on Twitter of a mom who had lost her son. I don’t know the mom, don’t even follow her, just heard about her through someone I do follow. I also don’t know the details of what happened. From what I read the day it happened her toddler somehow fell into a swimming pool and died. She’d posted links to pictures of him on Twitter. He was an adorable little guy, who looked very much like my 14yo at that age. My heart went out to her, as I imagine any mother’s heart would. It is a thing we all fear – the sudden and unexpected loss of a child. Who could find anything but sympathy to give this poor mother?
But even that first day, in one of the comments beneath a photo of her boy, people started to step over the line. One comment just “had to ask” how the child had fallen in the pool at all? The accusation was there between the lines “how could you let this happen?”. I cringed when I read it.

More than a week later, and I was reminded of this mom and her loss. So I went to her Twitter account to see how she was doing. And found that her Tweets are protected now, you need to be approved to see them. Hmm, I wondered what was up? She has a link to her blog on her Twitter page, so I clicked on that. And discovered some of what is up. Apparently she and her entire family are being harassed by the press and public over this. Press barging in at all hours, up a private drive, demanding interviews. And it sounds like the accusatory comment I read was only the first in a long tine of accusations.
How can people do this to someone? What makes the press think they have the right to harrass a family who has suffered such a devastating loss? What makes we the public think we have the right to know every little detail, see the close up pictures of the grief stricken parents, criticise them for what they did or did not do? I do not know how this accident happened, and I do not need to know. None of us need to know. What we do know is that a little boy, who was happy and loved, died all too soon. And his parents are suffering a grief that we can’t understand, unless we have suffered the same loss ourselves. We need to step back, and give them room to grieve in private.
My heart goes out to them. I wish I could let them know. But I suspect even the kind thoughts of a stranger would be an intrusion right now. So I will send them kind thoughts, and leave them alone.  It’s the best I can do.

Bah Humbug!

Posted in Rants with tags , on December 23, 2009 by czriley

I’m sick of Christmas, and it isn’t even here yet! I’m stressed out beyond the capacity for any rational human being, and a large chunk of that stress can be blamed on Christmas. Got to get presents for everyone; but half the people I have no idea what to buy them! A lot of my in-laws don’t believe in making lists; so how the hell am I supposed to know what to get them? And, let’s be honest, none of us really NEEDS anything. We’re all very comfortably situated. Donald Trump comfortable? No. But doing quite well, thank you very much. And so often, the gifts the in-laws get us just leave us shaking our heads and wondering what the hell they were thinking! I’d so much rather they gave the money to charity; then it would be put to good use!
And then there’s my family. We have my dad, step-mom and brother over on Christmas Eve. Fine, if my house looked like a page from Good Housekeeping. Instead, it looks like the before picture in an ad for a home organizing service! I’d just work on getting caught up with that, but then who would do the Christmas shopping? Or ride herd on the kids? If I didn’t have to stop every 2 minutes to deal with the kids I might get more done.
And, being a complete idiot, I decided to make several of our gifts this year. Seemed so simple, so brilliant at the time. Ha! I just finished felting a silk scarf, with “help” from 2 of my kids. The kind of help that just frustrates you and makes everything take longer, though they did mean well. And I still have a batch of Grandpa’s Fruitcake to make for my dad. And then there’s the soaps I was hoping to felt for people. And the socks I’m knitting for my mom – thank goodness those don’t have to be done until January! Not to mention the eyes I have to sew on the felted turtle I made for one son, and the gecko I was hoping to felt in time for the other son. Yeah, I know, that one probably isn’t going to happen this time.

And while I’m ranting, let’s talk about our tree.  We did at least manage to get it up well before Christmas Day.  But the cats have decided that it’s their own personal plaything.  One of them loves to climb the dang thing, and they all love batting the ornaments off.  And they’ve knocked several of the branches out as well (it’s a fake tree).  So you pretty much have to rebuild and redecorate the tree every morning!

Ok, whew – glad to get that all off my chest.  It’s been driving me crazy!  There’s just too much for one crazed hausfrau to handle on her own!  I guess I just have to take a deep breath, prioritize the things that  need doing, and then just do as much as I can and let the rest go.  I can be calm and deal with this logically, right?

A Simple Thing

Posted in Rants on May 21, 2009 by czriley

It seemed such a simple thing. Move one load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. How hard can that be? Let me tell you!
Go to garage and open dryer, banging door on heavy box of books that’s somehow fallen over just enough to be ever so slightly in the way.  Dang, there’s still a load in there. Ok, find laundry basket, which is full of dirty clothes.  Empty into laundry sorter,  then get clothes out of dryer. Lift basket, take a step to the right (sounds like the Time Warp – where’s Frank when I need him??) heading for the only section of garage floor empty enough to set the basket down. Step as hard as possible on some small hard object. OUCH! Nearly lose balance and drop basket. Manage to save basket, but knock a bunch of crap off the cabinet next to it. Including the rack with the really sharp and dangerous food processor blades in it.  $%^@#$%^!!! Manage to set basket down, pick up blades without slicing off any fingers, and FINALLY move laundry from washer to dryer.  Door bangs on that box of books again as it closes. Sheesh!

And that, my friends, is how hard it can be to move one freaking load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. For my next trick – juggling chain saws. I think it would be safer. And easier!