Sunday, October 13, 2019


I bought a sofa at Mealey's Furniture. I've been trying to find out when it will be delivered. I was told paying in cash would get me the fastest delivery. I was promised it would come this month.
They're now saying my September purchase won't come until NOVEMBER.
DO NOT SHOP THERE FOR ANYTHING YOU CAN'T CARRY OUT OF THE STORE. I'd have taken the floor model if they let me. I was even told it would take longer if I drove to Philly to get it myself. LONGER THAN NOVEMBER?
This is your Public Service Announcement. The delivery is a scam. No wonder they're going out of business with a practice like this!

Bought on SEPTEMBER 26.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Credit Bureaus are a Cruel Joke

Equifax (the latest data breach one), Experian, and TransUnion Credit Bureaus. They rule adult American lives. They decide what a person is worth.

A good job? That doesn't matter.
Paid rent on time for over a decade? Nope, don't care.
Pay ISP and phone on time? Irrelevant.
Volunteer in the community? So what.
Actually paid off student loans at some point? Vanished from report.
Help little old ladies carry things? Nice to children and pets? Decent human? Not a factor.

You have to have two of the right kind of credit lines open, and owe exactly the right percent of money for a certain time period. But no one agrees what that is! And maybe it isn't two. Sometimes it is three. But it has to be just the right amount! And that's how they give a score.

What is that score? Some pretend number that has AT LEAST 4 different ways of being calculated. A number that varies wildly depending on who checks it. And how often they check it and why.

There needs to be another credit bureau. One that the consumer has input. One where the consumer reports payments, along with proof, every month. "Here is a copy of the check or the confirmation number for my payment." Volunteer hours should COUNT for something.

And there needs to be a law stating that the consumer has the right to request THAT REPORT be used to determine creditworthiness. Either instead of or in conjunction with the others, CONSUMER'S CHOICE. And the consumer should get to decide when good reporting things vanish, not everything automatically vanishes after seven years. (You shouldn't be punished with a lower score because you paid a loan off two years ahead of schedule! If anything, that should be a massive boost!!!)

We should take back control. This current system is garbage. Three companies with virtually no oversight have made up numbers that determine human worth. That should not be allowed to continue.

"Vive la révolution!"

Who is with me?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

#WEPFF #WEP #IWSG Red Wheelbarrow

Super Red Wheelbarrow 
By Jamie

"You're telling me you two are superheroes?" The chief of surgery raised her eyebrow and swirled her coffee cup. There wasn't much left to slosh around. Until I finish this, that was how long she'd agreed to listen.

"No, ma'am. Just super. We haven't done anything heroic yet. But we heard this morning about the case of the undocumented child in need of a transplant. We can save that child."

The chief pressed the cup to her lips. She let the warm liquid roll toward her mouth as she debated. Call psych? Call security? Or listen to more? She had prayed for a miracle. None of the other superheroes had a way to help the child. A few offered to fly the patient elsewhere or fly donor organs to the hospital. But there were no organs to match.

"How would you help?"

"We are Red Wheelbarrow, a partnership of powers. I have perfect mimicry of any activity I observe. Meaning if you let me observe a transplant surgery, I will be able to perform it. Video will work, though first-hand is best. I also have outstanding luck."

"Luck?" The chief sighed as she set her cup down. "That isn't a recognized power."

"It falls under the classification of sixth-sense for immediate danger. Knowing when I'm about to be unlucky is part of it. Give me a true-false test, and I'll get a perfect score by knowing which answers are unlucky. The odds are stacked in my favor all the time. That's how I met my power counterpart."

The one dressed in red, relaxing as a curled up ball on the floor, waved.

"Another one with luck power?" The chief turned her chair, intent on throwing the coffee cup into the trash bin behind her. It was full. The janitorial staff had never failed to empty it before. She mentally swore.

"No, ma'am. SC can regenerate. Also has the power to change blood type."

The chief held up her hands. "No. That's definitely not a recognized power. I have work to do and lives to save. You've taken up enough of my time."

"Your cup isn't empty. We have until you've finished. SC, hand." With blinding speed, a finger was removed and thrown across the room. There was a tiny splash as it landed in the nearly empty cup.

"What have you done!" The chief ran over. She took SC's hand, examining the wound. Another finger grew before her eyes. The chief glared.

"Thank goodness you really do have that power." She returned to her desk.

"The amputated digit is in your cup. You can test it for a blood type. And test SC, who will have a different type in a few minutes from now. The one the child needs."

"If that's true, why would I need you? I have trained surgeons."

"You aren't legally allowed to perform the surgery because of the child's immigration status. But it's unethical to release the patient. Lucky for you, I'm here."

"I can't just let unqualified people perform surgery. Even superheroes."

"Ever try to stop one?"


The chief walked into the scrub room. "Everything is ready. This is all off the books. Officially, this OR is closed for repairs."

"And my red scrub cap?"

"Here. One last question. Why do you call your partnership of powers Red Wheelbarrow?'

"We really like the color red. It's good luck."

"Yes. And?"

"Wheelbarrow races. You can't do those alone. It's a two person effort that requires knowing and accepting each other. Move in sync or fail. Now, if you'll excuse me, we have a life to save."

This flash fiction is a take on Grey's Anatomy Season 15's Gus storyline set in an alternative universe where superheroes are known to exist.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Caged Bird #WEPFF Flash Fiction My Terms

My story is controversial and may contain subject matter not suitable for all readers. So I'm sharing this Aerosmith song which also has a lyric about a caged bird, for those who would prefer that.

🎵 "I think that you should let your caged bird fly." 🎵

Story content / trigger warning: dystopian future, pro-choice, mass-shooting, suicide, genocide. 962 words NCCO

My Terms 
by Jamie

I was there when the shots rang out in the Capitol Building. Screams accompanied a stampede. More shots echoed as agents yelled for people to move or to get down. Three women left in handcuffs within minutes. I arrested one of them.

"We are the last of the Female Assasins. Killing those who destroy society is encouraged, rewarded even. It is not a crime," the oldest looking one tells me. Her short, gray hair blows back and forth as the interrogation room fan hits her. She doesn't seem to mind, unlike me, who can already feel my neck stiffening.

"We are time travelers. We have no peers in this time. Therefore, you cannot put us on trial. Not that we've committed a crime, as you insinuated."

There isn't enough coffee in the world for me to do this job. What is it about Mondays that brings out the crazy?

"In fifty years, there is only the Unwanted left. They are infertile, by choice or birth. We are the last three Female Assassins. No males remain with which to breed. We came here to kill the ones who made choices that end humanity."

I rub my temples. "Fifty years from now seven billion people are dead?"

"Some were cooked. But most were starved by the Unwanted. They are not peaceful or reasonable. We three Assassins survived because we killed to live. The Unwanted control all the remaining food and knowledge. We kidnapped one to learn time travel. They do not use this technology. And why should they? The world exists for them."

"Why are they called the Unwanted if the world exists for them?"

"You once called them foster children. But the system was overrun, about ten years from today. Millions of them. They rule a revolution. Within eight years they sterilized themselves. Then there's the drug in the water, which causes any new ones to be born unable to breed."

I chew on my pen cap as I try to keep a straight face. "You expect me to believe this?"

She scratches the back of her wrinkled hand. "We didn't come here to be believed. We came here to prevent a problem."

I nod. "See, the thing is that you created a new problem. Murdering some high valued targets in plain view, being seen doing it, means I have to deal with you. Not the best assassins, are you?"

"This was a one-way trip. We accept death. Or you can send me back to prison. At least this time, it will be for a choice."

I lean back in my metal chair. "So, you're in the system?"

"Not yet. Next year the version of me from your time will be. She's going to miscarry. And as she lies screaming on the hospital bed, blood still wet on her legs, someone like you will arrest her. Three point five million prisoners by next year."

"There's just over two million right now. Lady, we can't house that many."

She laughs. "You'll convert old shopping malls, abandoned apartments, even some schools. In five years, female prisoners become the fifth-largest export. You can't kill them here. So they're sent off to be tortured to death elsewhere. That's when the second wave of the rebellion commences."

I look at my empty coffee mug. Bourbon would be better. "Second wave, hmm? What's the first?"

"A few days from now, the My Terms riots will commence, that becomes the first wave. A string of three-way suicides sets it off."

"Three-way suicides?" She's obviously planning to plead insanity.

"A pregnant 19-year-old rape victim is first. A fist full of pills, arteries sliced open, face down in a bucket of water. The words My Terms scrolled in blood on her college dorm wall."

Guess that's how you make sure you die.

"The second is a 13-year-old, pregnant by her step-father according to the autopsy. Hung herself after downing pills and shooting enough drugs to destroy her heart. Same words, though she wrote them with lipstick."

I'm grateful I haven't eaten recently. Need to remember I'm talking to a crazy old woman who just shot up Congress.

"A mother of three is next. She left a note. Couldn't get treatment while pregnant. She didn't want her children to watch her suffer, nor would she land herself in jail when her cervical cancer inevitably resulted in a miscarriage. Signed the note with the phrase My Terms. Drank drain cleaner, then shot herself while leaping from a tall building."

"You're telling me a bunch of pregnant women are going to kill themselves, and that's why you opened fire in Congress?"

She scratches the back of her hand, breaking the skin this time. "I am telling you that's how it starts. They die, and then people riot. Hundreds more die. Thousands are arrested. More women go to jail. More people riot or protest, also landing in the big house."

"Do you want a tissue or a bandage for that?"

"There are those who will not become caged birds. My Terms means dying your own way, taking triple precautions to ensure it. Like a time-release poison capsule, having an organ sliced so you're bleeding internally, and having a cardio-wire that can be tricked into stopping your heart."

I look at her hand. She touches a wire sticking out where she was scratching. A moment later, she's face down on the table. I curse, my chair falling as I bolt up and rip the door open. "Help!"

Two other interrogation rooms are open. I hear someone yell, "Clear!" A stretcher is beside my desk. My boss runs toward me with the defibrillator from the breakroom. The television behind him shows a reporter outside a college campus, the caption under her reporting the suicide of a pregnant 19-year-old.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Budgeting - May 2019

Just collecting data to see how my budgeting is going.

May 2019

41.94%  -- Rent                                    (can't be cut)
31.56%  -- Food                                    (could try to cut down)
  8.39%  -- Mobile Phone                    (already cut down from before)
  7.96% -- Electric                                 (already cut down from before)
  6.72% -- Car Insurance                     (already cut down from before)
  4.73% -- Internet                                (already cut down from before)
  4.57% -- Transportation                    (can't be cut)
  2.42% -- Subscriptions/ Services    (could try to cut down)
  2.15% -- Fuel                                       (can't be cut by me)
  2.15% -- Prescriptions                       (will likely go up)
  2.04% -- OnStar                                 (shouldn't be cut)
  0.86% -- XM                                       (could try to cut)
  0.54% -- Bill/ Debt                            (should be far higher)

116.02% Spent

Friday, May 17, 2019

Questions About Mandatory School Prayer

I recently came across a post on Facebook where someone suggested that school prayer needs to be required again.


Will all religions be included? What about atheists? And would that mean the school day is longer, it replaces the pledge, or that a school subject gets less time?

I'm not going pro or con without that information. A few extra minutes a day for "silent meditation or prayer" would be fine. I'm not sure Americans are ready for the five times a day prayer required by some religions. I don't think that could work in capitalism. Then again, some places allow smoke breaks, and prayer might be the same amount of time.

I would suggest a non- denominational room for prayer so students could ask to go use it. But some teachers already only allow two bathroom breaks per school year per student. So I don't imagine prayer room use would get better treatment. And what about during the most special standardized test days, when no one is allowed to leave the room at all? Is prayer canceled then? Less time for the precious test? Longer school days required during standardized test days?

Plus, there's a lot of issues where adults attack other adults while worshipping. There's already violence in schools. Adding religious tensions? Oh sure, it sounds like some religions could be able to teach love, acceptance, and understanding of everyone... but the history department is over there with a boatload of wars that never seem to really end which kind of prove otherwise. How can that be dealt with? Who could be in charge of making sure the message of any religious group isn't one of hate, one that alienates some people for who they are?

But really, the biggest question I have-- okay, what if Congress brings it back, but it isn't your religion? What if they toss them all in a hat and pull one out. "JAINISM!" ...and now that's the type of prayer said over the intercom daily?

What if the 4200 religions of the world take turns? Twice a day school prayer, a different one each time. 180 school days. 12 years. (180 school days*2 times a day= 360  360*12 years=4320)

Yeah, every student would hear a prayer from every religion. Would Americans be okay with their children being exposed to two different religions every school day? (We're talking about people who brought back diseases because they didn't vaccinate.)

I think this is the side of the debate that gets ignored. But I think it's the most interesting part of it.

Extend the school days by 20 minutes. 10 extra minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon to hear a prayer and short summary of a religion. That's an interesting concept. Not sure how it'd get voted in though. But sure, that's an interesting idea.

Perhaps every religion that wishes to be included has to raise money to fund their 10 minutes. To pay for the staff that has to stay, the cost of keeping the building open a little longer, and a fee to cover any violence, graffiti, or lawsuits as a result of this experiment. There would need to be a guarantee that the trial lasts long enough for all of the relgions who sign up to be heard. (Between 11 and 12 years.) This also means no one can argue, "I ain't paying school taxes for them to teach some other faith to the damn kids!" No, in fact, you wouldn't be. Each faith has to pay the same amount. They'll have to raise that money from their followers.

(Religion is about money, right? You can't worship if you're poor, right? Pretty sure that's a thing. Your religion has to self-fund in order to be recognized. And it doesn't get taxed on that money. Yeah, pretty sure we've already set up that system of recognition.)

Percent of world religions.
Is this the argument? Whichever one has the most should get to be the one taught? Seems like it means that's the one that most people would already know, and therefore it's all the others that should be taught, as that's where the lack of knowledge is.

Equality, even and especially in education. What if we give it a whirl?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Faith or Hate

Imagine being hated on sight without having done something.

You probably don't have to imagine, because I'm pretty sure that's everyone now.

If someone asks me if I'm a Christian, my immediate gut response is, "Yes." But now I pause to think about it. Am I?

The Nazis, the Klan, the Crusades... sounds like Christians are terrorists. Am I a terrorist? No. I don't want to be part of a hate group!

I do want to keep my belief in Jesus, God, Heaven, and Hell. But I don't want to be associated with a hate group. Which matters more to me: my faith, or not being associated with a hate group?

Hang on. Why is that a choice?

When did religion become something that makes you part of a hate group?

To make matters worse, religion is also cited as the rationale behind the war on women and non-cis people. I am a woman. (A human being who identifies as female, was born with a vagina, and still have a vagina. That is me, in my case. But more importantly, I am NOT a "host body," not some laboratory equipment filled with embryonic fluid.) Several of my friends are LGBTQIA+. A handful of my friends are Jewish. I have one friend who follows Norse paganism. And another who is an atheist. I would have Muslim friends, but I don't know that I've ever met any. (Had a penpal who was, and know some from online groups, but that's more acquaintances.) I don't want to have to hate myself or my friends, or be associated with those who do.

I've seen some horrible memes lately. "Stop terrorism by hanging bacon on your doorknob and rubbing it on money." I don't want to be associated with any groups that find that funny.

Mocking people who have faith. Declaring that anyone who doesn't want to touch a pork product is a terrorist. I haven't seen them, but I'm sure there are memes of the same nature aimed at Christians.

Though, if one pays attention, the Christians from the Middle East are just as hated as the non-Christians. Not sure piggy is the problem. 🐷🥓 Where was Jesus born? Bethlehem near Jerusalem in Isreal? Wait, isn't that in the Middle East?

Bethlehem in the Middle East

Wroot-wroo, Shaggy! Looks like Google Maps just dropped a hard truth.

I want to keep my faith but not be part of the hate my faith spreads. And, frankly, if the Christian Heaven requires hate to get in, not sure I'd want to go. I mean, when I read the Bible, it sounded a lot like "Love Thy Neighbor" and "Love one another" and "judge not lest ye be judged" and I swear it mentioned something about "Thou Shall Not Kill."

But, apparently, other people read it and it says, "treat women like a sub-class of living things, something with less worth than an animal; but treat fertilized eggs like Heaven's Royalty up to the second they are born." (Because the second the cord is cut, they're a drain and should be ashamed for living. Already breathing our air, creating a carbon footprint, using resources. The nerve of that one-second-old! Should know better. How dare it not come out of the womb carrying 25-carat diamond to pay its way!)

Never mind what people think it says about others who are living as they were made. They're supposed to be lying about who they are? Covering for what Christians are deeming as God's mistakes? Or are we still pretending that someone else creates some people and makes them different so as to offend Christians? Or is this something about God being too weak to defend against his creations, so some Christians are doing it because they think the Almighty isn't mighty enough but are trying to phrase it so it doesn't sound like that? (Gotta tell you, that seems pretty offensive. Pretty sure God can handle business. But I read the part about Noah. I missed the part where it said to kill off anyone who doesn't agree with certain interpretations of some sections.)

See? I'm not good at this faith. I'm not. I don't believe in hating people for being who they are. As long as it isn't violating the consent of another being (who is able to give that consent because they are of sound mind and body, and at the age of adulthood), I don't much care what people do.

Does that mean I have to be an atheist? Or have to switch religions? I've been asking that for years. I still don't know.

I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. Wondering if abandoning religion is a way to not be hated, or associated with hate groups. Is that even enough?