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There are folks out there who like to steal your content with the excuse that they can take it and use it freely because of the RSS feed that we have on our WordPress Blogs.

Recently, twice in the last few months, I have had blogs swiped without permission. My copyright notice on my blog indicates that you need written permission to use any of my content. And anyone who does use my content without my written permission is stealing from me.

What these thieves look for on your blog are commonly used tags. My “Stuck in the Clouds” blog had travel as a tag. My other blog about the “2nd Amendment…” had a politics as a tag.

These folks try to fool you with their disclaimer. Here is the link to the thieves website regarding copyright…Destinary.com Copyright BS. Your copyright still holds, and if you indicate that they need your permission, they have to get it first or they are stealing your content.

Both times my content was stolen by folks who use the web host Unified Layer. I discovered this information by using a site called: WhoIsHostingThis.com. Going to this site to see who they are hosted by, only because I cannot get any information on Unified Layer, indicates that they are hosted by GoDaddy. There is information on WordPress with regard to copyright infringement. This page is useful too. Content Theft – What to Do

People and sites that steal your content have nothing better to do than steal other peoples copyrighted items. Why? It is because they have no imagination, no creative abilities, no morals, no talent. They set up a computer at their location which uses an automated software that looks for certain words in your tags and pull those posts that have those tags.

The problem with these folks, is that they are hard to find and track.

I am pulling my post from today. Their site will give them a 404 error that the content cannot be found.

As a group of bloggers is there anything we can do worldwide to block these lazy a**es that have nothing better to do than steal? Maybe a worldwide protest of companies that host these folks? Suggestions anyone?

Oh, by the way, any use of the content in this email without express written permission will lead to prosecution as can be done as dictated by worldwide copyright law.

Can you afford to do this? Think twice before you do.

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The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

I do not on a regular basis ever offer my opinion on any right in this country, that being the United States of America, but I do have to speak out now. Why? Because just about everyday on the news I hear about senseless shootings and deaths. Yesterday, locally, two deputies were shot and killed, and a third person, who was trying to keep his vehicle from being carjacked, was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Also yesterday, a teenager at a school in Washington State killed one person and injured four others before turning the gun on himself.

So, let us look at the second amendment shall we? Yes, let us look at this amendment. The reason why you will see in this post.

“A well regulated Militia:” This refers to: “A military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.”

“being necessary to the security of a free State,” I believe the meaning of this is that at the time when this country was formed because at that time we needed to do what needed to be done to ensure that this country was not under the control of anyone else other than ourselves.

“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…” To me this means that the people of this country had the right at that time to defend themselves as a well regulated Militia…

“shall not be infringed.” And that to protect this new country, this right shall not be infringed upon so that they could defend this new country.

OK – Now let us put together my translation: The United States Armed Forces, shall secure for our country, the right to keep our country safe and under our own control by giving the the right of those same Armed Forces the right to bear arms to keep our country secure.

Now let me ask this question: Is this country abiding by this amendment? I kindly ask that you, a citizen or not, answer this question. Here are recent events in the United States of America that might help you make this decision whether or not the founders of this great country had these circumstances in mind.

April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – 13 dead. 12 students and one teacher. 24 injured.

January 11, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords is shot outside of a grocery store in Arizona, 6 are killed and 13 others are wounded.

December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – 154 rounds of ammunition were fired. 24 people, both children and adults are shot. 20 were children. They were between the ages of 6 – 7 years old. These 20 are dead. This is the deadliest mass shooting ever in the country, and the second deadliest mass shooting at a school by a single person in US history. The weapon was a Bushmaster .223 assault weapon.

Did you know that since 2010 there have been 95 shootings at schools around the U.S.? Of this there were 98 deaths and 111 injured.

I just gave you some examples of gun use and death to citizens in this great country. Do any of these shooters appear to you to be a “regulated Militia?”

Now the National Rifle Association (NRA) will tell you that everyone is entitled to possess a gun in this country. They tell you it is not the guns that kill or injure people, it is people killing or injuring people. If people do not have guns then they wouldn’t be able to kill or injure anyone, would they?

Pew Research recently did a poll which indicated that the country is split over gun ownership, however 90% of those polled want there to be background checks on everyone purchasing a gun. The NRA threw all kinds of money to oppose background checks. Hmm…Why would they oppose background checks? Because gun manufacturers are behind the NRA and they are more concerned with their bottom line. Ka-ching! Yes, it is all about money!

Smart gun technology is out there but the NRA, who has lots of money for lobbying politicians, opposes this too, as well as those same gun manufacturers and gun retailers. Smart Gun technology that would only allow the purchaser of the gun to use the gun, by way of fingerprint recognition, is out there. There is ongoing debate that has to do with a law passed in New Jersey in 2002 that states that once the technology is proven reliable, the law to require this technology will go into place within 3 years of that determination. The law has not yet gone into place. The reason the NRA opposes this is they believe it weakens the 2nd amendment.

I propose a solution: Do not sell bullets! If it was more difficult to obtain bullets we have less senseless death.

I know that I will most likely hear from those who support the NRA’s view, which is fine. I am just exercising my first amendment right: Freedom of speech!

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A Congressional Hearing for the Birds - Photo by The Reclining Gentleman

A Congressional Hearing for the Birds – Photo by The Reclining Gentleman


“How wide is that island out there in the bay?” asked the Congressman. “I am thinking that it might be 20 feet long and 6 feet wide. Would that be correct Admiral?”

“Congressman, I do not have the exact information right now, but I can get it for you,” replied the Admiral.

“And what is the bird population on this island?”

“I think that it might be about 150.”

“Now you want to add how many birds to the island?”

“We want to add 6 birds sir.”

“My fear is that if you add 6 birds to this island it will become overly populated, capsize, and tip over.”

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I wrote this story based upon on an actual event. A friend of mine sent me a video link in an email. Not believing that what I was seeing was true, I did a check of Snopes.com. The story is true!

The true story has to do with adding U.S. troops to the Island of Guam. I hope that you watch the video below. I found it unbelievable and maybe you will too. As much as I would like to spout off here, I will not. I just ask that you watch this video, and then ask yourself about who you are voting for, no matter where you are in this world.

Now for the video:

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Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to the Reclining Gentleman who brought to mind the story of a video sent to me by a certain friend! Aloha!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I certainly hope that you took the time to watch the video…be well!

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As you may know, I am going through chemo and cancer and have had similar troubles collecting from the State of Ca money that I paid in on each paycheck…Every dollar was hard earned. This is an excellent example of government bureaucracy at best! No wonder CA is having financial troubles!

I also find that there are other posts on this blogger’s site that were informative and I live the daily affirmations, when she can post! Please take a moment to visit and look too!

IAmLivingWithSLL

Today I will be doing two posts. One that is a rant and the other will be The Daily Affirmation. For now, I have a lot to get off my chest about the bureaucratic BS that was exposed to me today. The parties involved: The State of California Employment Development Department – the EDD – (more likely just the State government) and Bank of America!

Yesterday, Ron at the EDD told me that I would have access to my disability money today. He gave me the telephone number for Bank of America (hereafter BofA) so that I could call them and have them move my money from their bank directly to my bank. Let’s look at the politics of this briefly, if I can be brief…

See the State of CA turns my disability money over to BofA as they have a “contract” to handle the money. This means that…

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The Side Step


Yeah, it is Friday! This is the year where once again here in the U.S. we have not only the Presidential Election but, depending on where you live, Senator, and Legislators. The ads have ramped up in the last week. Every other commercial on TV for weeks now and for the next 4 weeks will be political ads, whether they be for or against a State proposition, or the candidates. And, I decided that today, we needed to have some fun with this!

This brought to mind a segment from a movie, in which the actor was actually nominated for an Oscar for his performance. The movie: “Best Little Whore House in Texas.” The performer: Charles Durning. The song: “The Side Step.”

And now, here is Charles Durning performing “The Side Step. Be sure to listen to the questions being asked of the politician. Let me know if this reminds you of the politico today!”

Charles Durning performing “The Side Step

Remember to go out and vote! And, remember the words to this song when you do!

Now go and have a great Friday!

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We have been billed for this tax and are planning to appeal. There is quite an uproar about this here in the Sierra Foothills!

WrantAndWrave

We all know that the great State of California has been having money troubles for years. It is struggling to find new ways to raise money, either by spending cuts, or collection of fees, which is just a euphemism for tax. Cuts in spending include cuts to our fire departments throughout the State. This brings me to the topic I wanted to discuss which is the CAL-Fire California Fire Prevention Fee, for which I received a notice in the mail marked urgent. This is what the notice said:

“According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), you own property in one of the designated areas and must pay the new California Fire Prevention Fee. The Board of Equalization is required by law to collect this fee.

As the owner of property within this area, you will soon receive a bill requiring you to pay up to…

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It was my distinct “pleasure” yesterday to be relegated to cleaning the BBQ to get it ready for use. Now usually my husband takes up this task, but I lost the coin toss. I came from a long line of charcoal grillers, and my husband is a die-hard gas griller. Never having cleaned a gas grill, I donned the rubber gloves, grabbed a bucket of hot water and a sponge and off I went.

Not having been used for quite awhile, I was greeted by a number of earwigs as they fell from the cover as I removed it. Not to be daunted by that I shook the darn thing to make sure that no others were hiding only to have three of those little bastards land on me, and one of which went down the front of my v-neck white shirt! I found myself running in circles as I quickly ripped my shirt off. My husband came running out to see what all the noise was about and found me standing there topless.

Earwig - Photo from PestCemetary.com

I said that all was OK, as I picked up my shirt, inspecting it before redressing myself. I decided that I would start with the outside surface. I hummed to myself as I washed the top and side boards. I believed that I was doing a great job. Then I stood back to admire my expert cleaning abilities only to discover that the stainless had swathes of sponge marks streaking from left to right and up and down! It was then that I realized that I needed a heavy duty cleaning solution and that I needed to follow the sponge directly with a towel. Into the house I went in search of reinforcements.

Returning armed with supplies, I fixed the streaky problem. Then I raised the lid. I was immediately greeted by the smell of old grease, and bits of last season’s dessicated chicken still clinging to the grates. I slid the left grill rack to the right and peered down into the dark cavern of the inside of the grill. Removing the burner hoods, I found myself looking into the eyes of the creature from the black lagoon.

Creature from the Black Lagoon - Photo - Universal Studios

Never having spent much time with this kind of BBQ, I was amazed at all the parts inside. I realized that there were pieces bolted to the sides, cross bars, gas tubes and another hood like device under the burners. How is one supposed to clean the inside of this thing with all these pieces obstructing where the grease lay? As I stared and pondered, I heard a little voice in my head yelling, “Get me a blow torch!”

Blow torch - Photo by DetentionSlip.org

Not having one handy, I had to figure out how I was going to remove what grease I could. I went into the house, down to the basement, and retrieved one of my husband’s spackle knives. And I returned to the gaping mouth of the beast. Where is Mike Rowe from “Dirtiest Jobs” when you need him? The grease rolled onto the spackle knife as I slowly led it around the inside of the BBQ. It was as good as I was going to get it.

Next I made the trip into the house with the grates, and after a half hour of scrubbing I got those clean along with the covers for the burners. And, I put the pieces back where they belonged.

So the question is this: Which is easier to clean? Charcoal grill,

Inside of a charcoal grill - Photo by SmokingMeatForums.com

or a gas grill?

Inside of a gas grill - Photo by Dustin

I’ll take charcoal any day!

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So much of what is received in email is questionable. So much of the legends we hear about here in the Sierra Foothills are questionable. So much of what is in the news is questionable. Do you believe everything you read and hear? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from folks that they got an email, or heard a local story, or something in the media, that just has to be true. Because it was in an email, or, on the internet, or told to us by the news media, it just has to be true! Is it time to wake up?

My husband recounted a story for me many times of when he was in the fourth grade. He was told if you do not know something, and want to find out about a topic, go look it up and research it. The difference between today and back then is back then there was no internet. You actually had to go to a library. Today, the internet is loaded with good information and a lot of mis-information. You just have to weed through it to discover what is correct and what isn’t. Googling something is not the end all be all of information, and same with Yahoo.

If you look up Placerville, CA on the internet and go to the Wikipedia website, it states that Placerville is located in the “Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area.” This is not correct. We are located in El Dorado County, which they do have correct. The Arden Arcade area is near the western side of Sacramento, and Roseville is in the northern metropolitan area quite a distance away from Arden Arcade. Placerville is 42 miles from Sacramento, and is not located in Sacramento County where Arden Arcade and Roseville are.

If you read my blog on the Dogwoods, then you have seen a good example of story telling. We were told about the local Indian legend of the snow on the Dogwoods, and guess what? I researched the topic and found that this was something that had to do with people of the olden days watching nature. It had nothing to do with our local Native Americans.

It is great that the site Snopes.com exists, and they are one of the very few websites that actually looks into the validity of what gets passed around the internet. We need more sites like this. Does anyone out there know of another site like Snopes? If you do, please let me know.

So if you are looking for information about fruits and vegetables, go look at an agricultural website. If you want to find something out that is historical, go to the historical archives where the history you are looking for occurred. You get my drift. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Look it up and verify the information!

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Do you remember the blog I posted back on December 10th about the hermit I ran into on my walk into the forest? Well, I forgot to mention that he had asked if it would be possible to use our address in case one of his few family members wanted to contact him. I was OK with this, and then the mail started to come in…

Once a month I take a trip up to where my hermit friend lives to deliver his mail, get a nice steaming hot cup of his herbal tea blend, and to sit and talk to my interesting new friend. It was after one of my visits that we received a letter for the hermit from a very well known State of CA agency, who shall remain nameless. Thinking that this was something important, and enjoying my visits, I made a trip into the forest to see my friend.

Somehow this State agency discovered that this fellow was living where he was and they wrote him a letter. As he tore the envelope open, I took a sip of my tea. He read his letter and then started to swear.

“What is it?” I asked.

“This letter is one of the reasons I came up here. I wanted to get away from all the bulls**t that happens in life.”

“So, what is it?” I ask again.

“This particular State agency is accusing me of creating a dam to prevent water from making it to a particular sector of the valley, and that the farmer’s there are now suffering due to this! I have not done one thing that would affect anyone, other than myself.”

He ventured into his lean-to for one of the pads of paper I brought to him on one of my visits. He asked me to write the letter as he dictated it, and then he signed the letter, placed it in an envelope and addressed it himself. Basically, his letter stated that he was not doing one thing to block any of the waterways that headed towards the valley.

A week went by and I received another letter for my hermit friend, and knowing what was in the last letter I just had to make another trip to see him. My husband came with me this time. We hiked up into the forest and saw that our friend was not there, so we sat and waited. About an hour later he came up carrying a couple of fish on a stringer.

“Hungry?” he asked.

We both told him that we were not, and I handed over the letter. He set it down and proceeded to hang the fish in a tree. “Tea?” he asked. We both said yes and he proceeded to make tea for the both of us.

He tore open the letter and started to swear as he did the first time I delivered a letter from this agency. My husband then said to him, “Barb told me about the first letter. So what are they saying now?”

The hermit took up his cup of tea and took a good gulp and said that it was pretty much the same as what he first received. Again, he asked me to write a letter for him, and again he told this particular State agency that he was not doing anything to block any of the waterways. He also was very strong in his language that he would not cease and desist from something he was not doing. We mailed the letter for him when we got back home.

Two weeks went by without a word from this agency. And then another letter came. I went to deliver the letter. My friend took one look at the letter and asked me if I would not mind going home and getting my camera. He had something to show me.

I came back about an hour and a half later with my camera and my husband in tow. He asked us if we would mind hiking a bit through some tough terrain. He said it would take about an hour. Off we went. We were following the waterway that was nearby his camp. It branched off and at the branch he asked us to sit. We did. He said we had to be very quiet and wait. We did.

All of a sudden he was poking my husband in the side at the same time motioning me to take a photo to where he was pointing. There it was. The critter responsible for what was happening to the water flow.

The Culprit

And here was the blockage!

Beaverlodge - Photo by Bridesmill

Needless to say, he responded to the letter, and we included the photos for him. He did receive another letter about two weeks later informing him that he was now illegally harboring a beaver!

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My husband and I found ourselves aghast at the latest from a couple of our California legislators. They are suing the State Controller, John Chiang, for making the decision, which had voter approval, that the legislators should not get paid if they cannot come in with a budget within guidelines set forth in the State’s constitution. Guess where the money is coming from to pay for this? We, the people of California are paying for it!

The State has been in pretty poor shape after Arnold left. While as Governor he did not collect a salary, he did spend. He spent money just like the gal in that movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” He left the State of CA in worse shape then it was in when he took it from ousted Governor Grey Davis.

Be that as it may, during the years of Arnold, California’s debt grew bigger and bigger and our budget committee took longer and longer to figure out how they could come up with the money for what they wanted to spend. They called these folks the “Big Five.” By the way, the Governor is one of the “Big Five.”

It was the same “Big Five” that did turn in a budget for the first time in years on time for the June 15th deadline, and it was waiting for the Governor’s signature. However, when Governor Brown took a look at it he vetoed the budget stating that is was “not a balanced solution.” Schools were underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion and lawmakers had not passed bills that would help balance the budget. The State’s Controller enforced the law which was approved by the voters under CA Proposition 25. Controller Chiang’s decision cost these folks 12 days of pay and expenses. This move saved the State of CA over $583,000.

The money, the $583,000, two legislators are now using to sue the State. Yup, the savings are being used for legal representation for two representatives: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez. Their claim is that the State Controller, John Chiang, did not have the right to intervene in legislative matters.

The billing rates for the attorney’s (one, a retired justice from the 3rd District Court of Appeals) that have hired is approximately $435/hour and the paralegal costs are about $130/hour.

The long and the short of it is this: The Legislator’s got hit in the pocket, and they want to recoup, even if they did their job, but not well enough to get the approval of the Governor. And, the citizens of the State of California get to pay for it! Shouldn’t the Legislator’s pay for this themselves? Oh, by the way the total cost to them a little shy of $5000. No wonder California is in the shape it is in!

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