February 27, 2015

Put a sweater on!

I am not much of a fashionista.  Never have been, and don't really care.  I prefer comfort over anything else.  Granted, I don't want to look like a slob, but I don't subscribe to fashion magazines, I don't need any specific labels, and I don't care if I am wearing last year's shoes.  In fact, I have many a shoe, sweater, and t-shirt that are older than my children.

Despite my general nonchalance regarding fashion, I do believe in some general rules.  While Labor Day might not be a hard deadline for packing away the white items, there is attire that is clearly meant for summer and warm weather.  And wearing it in winter drives me nuts.  
Now, I live in Texas, and there are some fashion norms here that I accept despite their cross-seasonal wackiness.  For instance, shorts on the bottom with long-sleeves, sweatshirts, and/or sweaters on top.  It just works.  
The trend of females on television news broadcasts wearing sleeveless outfits makes me crazy.
Is it a humble-brag thing, to show off toned arms despite the outdoor temperature?  This morning a local meteorologist stood in front of the green screen that was showing the blowing snow outside, warning everyone to bundle up due to the wind chill, and all the while, she was wearing a sleeveless dress.  The visual message does not compute.
I noticed the same thing the other day on Fox News.  The New York City studio windows showed the winter weather outside, while every single female in the studio was in a sleeveless ensemble.  I think it just makes you look stupid to present yourself as a well-informed news person, yet be inappropriately dressed for the weather that you are reporting on.
In other news, for reasons beyond explanation, a local weather man has become meme-tastic, after his spot-on predictions for school closures.  This was my favorite, the man himself posted the picture and caption on social media:

I told you kiddies school was going to be cancelled tomorrow! OK...tell me...who's your daddy!!!

February 24, 2015

Just shoot me...

The kids are on day two of school weather closures.  And now, this...

The temperature is supposed to get above freezing at noon today, but will drop again around 10 pm.  Not enough time for the roads to dry, so there will be a nice sheet of ice under any of the forecasted snow.  Praying that the track shifts north or south - north we just get rain, south it stays completely dry.  Otherwise, 2-4 inches of thick wet snow. Ugh.

Yesterday I let the kids take it easy, they played on the ice for a bit, watched TV, played video games, etc.  This morning I am lecturing them about taking advantage of these forced days off to get ahead, study, practice, prepare.  They glower at me and point out that they will be lucky to make it to school at all this week.

For as long as I can remember, our north Texas school calendars have had two bad weather make up days on them.  For as long as my kids have been in Texas schools (15+ years), they have had to make up extra days, get waivers for extra days missed, etc.  Maybe they need to plan better, so the kids aren't going to school for two weeks in June.

February 23, 2015


Last night I watched the Oscars.  Well, I read a book in the same room, while the show played on the television.  I like the music numbers, the pretty dresses, and the annual death montage which spurred me to say, "Lauren Bacall died?".  And, no, I didn't notice that they skipped Joan Rivers, Jan Hooks, and Elaine Stritch, among others.  As the names and faces of directors, writers, and marketing people scroll by, I understand that there are people unknown to me, that are important to the movie business.

I looked up from my book on occasion, as winners were announced, and listened to the self-serving crap that came out of the winners' mouths.

I find it distasteful for anyone to use an award podium as a political platform.  For actors to do so at the Oscars is all the more disrespectful and crude.  They are shitting in their own bed, so to speak.  Of course, their media darling of a president has set the example. Never before has a president acted so utterly un-presidential; be it late night talk show appearances, taking selfies at funerals, chomping on his Nicorette, and using the presidential podium as his bully pulpit.

How embarrassing that we Americans are represented to the world by Hollywood and Obama.  Part of me wishes that the outbound internet and television broadcasts stopped at our borders, so the rest of the world couldn't judge us by those who dominate the airwaves.

February 22, 2015

Here it comes...

Thundersleet.  Icemageddon Redux.  Thanks, Mother Nature.

If you are reading this from a normal winter weather location, you likely can't appreciate the two things that make this such an event.  One, we are woefully unprepared for winter weather.  Our cities do not own the equipment needed to deal with winter precipitation, and there probably isn't much to be done for multi-story overpasses anyway.  Our citizenry does not own cars with snow tires, heavy coats, ice scrapers, etc.  Two, this is an ice storm.  No fluffy snow to plow off of roads, and for kids to play in.  Nope, this is sleet and freezing rain.  It will fall, it will coat everything.  There will be widespread power outages as tree branches fall onto power lines.  Idiots will try to drive on it, forcing emergency responders to take unnecessary risks to rescue them.  And, this weather event will dominate the local television stations for days.  Heck, it is already all they can talk about, which is what feeds the mass stampede to the grocery store.  Luckily, I did that yesterday.

It is all but a certainty that my kids will be out of school for the next two days.  I have a few hours today before the front arrives and the temperature drops, to grab some work from my office, and round up a few things to keep the kiddos occupied for their extended weekend.  I am trying mightily to make this a 'make lemonade' sort of event.  This is a gift of time, homebound, to catch up on chores, do some projects, get organized.  Optimism and enthusiasm are going to prevail!

Check back Tuesday, this will likely be me:

February 19, 2015

Honking Mad

More and more each day, as I drive, I rail about people who are on their phones while driving.  I don't mind, as much, people talking.  Except for the ones that clearly aren't capable of talking and driving at the same time.  If you can't maintain a safe speed and talk, then hang the phone up, dimwad.

What I am really at the end of my rope about, is the drivers that are clearly distracted.  There are the ones that hold their phone up high, in their driving line of site, for all the world to see why it is that they are weaving all over the road.  But, as more and more cities adopt 'no texting' bans and similar laws, the number of people that drive while staring down has increased.

This morning I reached something of a breaking point.  It actually started with a cow.  Surrounding my kids' school are lovely pastures filled with cattle.  The landowner clearly has the herd on a fall calving schedule, as there are have been several new calves lately.  This morning, I drove by a heifer that appeared to be in labor (I will spare you the details), which spurred me to wondering how many hours my grandfather had spent during his life, checking on his herd, pulling calves in distress, etc..  One thought led to another, and I recalled my grandfather's lifelong habit of waving to passing cars as he drove.  Not a full-on wave, but a slow raising of his index finger off the top of the steering wheel, as he met other cars.  In Farmland, Kansas, everyone waved back.  I fondly remembered riding to town with him in his truck, and thinking that he knew everyone!  I decided that I would try a friendly little experiment and greet each oncoming car with a similar wave this morning as I drove to work.

None of the frickin' people were looking up!  Try to do something nice to brighten people's day, and they ruin it.  It was ridiculous that nearly every single car that was passing me, was clearly focused on something in their crotch area.  So, instead of my 'do a good turn daily' type of plan, evil Harper emerged and I began laying on the horn each time I met a car with a distracted driver.  Thank you, Ford Motor Company, for not scrimping on the decibel level of my car's horn.

I might make this a daily thing.  Make eye contact with me, or clearly be attending to your driving abilities, or you will suffer the Horn of Harper.

February 16, 2015


The subject of Obama's religion has been long, and furiously, debated.  I don't really care, and I don't think he is Muslim.  I think Obama is a textbook narcissist, and, as such, worships and adores none before himself.  He may pretend to be one thing or another, but make no mistake, he loves himself first, and that doesn't work in any religion.  

So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Obama's Department of Health and Human Services is trying to get churches to peddle Obamacare.  Since 2013, they have been encouraging churches to devote the second Sunday of each month during the enrollment period, to getting their congregation signed up.  They have an online toolkit with sample notices and church bulletins:

I wonder if HHS is also providing the churches with new interpretations of the Bible?
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”  Matthew 21:12-13

February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

I am pretty anti-Valentine's Day.  Not that I don't appreciate the intended sentiment, but, really, Russell Stover, FTD, and Hallmark pushed the envelope and set the bar ridiculously high years ago.

I had to stop by the store after work yesterday, and had a constant grin on my face, watching teenage boys and dads with kids, as they filled their carts with teddy bears, flowers, chocolate, and glittery cards.  Again this morning I had a laugh, as a friend posted a photo of the special breakfast her daughter prepared; half a banana, a piece of toast, and four mini muffins.  A carb lovers dream, and very similar to breakfasts that my kids have made for me.

Perhaps more infuriating, from my anti-commercialization standpoint, is the fact that as I shopped last night, store employees were consolidating the remaining Valentine's merchandise and putting out Easter candy.  Oh. Hell. No.  C'mon, give us a day or two in between the merchandise switch.

I hope that your day is meaningful to you...