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Halftime Hope

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About Halftime Hope

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    multislacker extraordinaire
  • Birthday May 22

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  1. Round Rock has some gorgeous outdoor parks, with spring-fed water running over limestone. They've also put in one of the nation's first fully accessible parks for disabled kids. Past that, I'm no help.
  2. One of my loves is music, specifically top notch vocalists. I really enjoy opera, and also more popular music, but I gravitate toward vocalists who are really, really special. The first one was my college bestie, Elly Boudreau, a coloratura soprano who never went on to have a public career. Then, when I was a young mom, Josh Groban, from his first appearance when he still was nearly a baby on the Ally McBeal show. Later, Lara Fabian, and then Sean Panikkar (and to a lesser degree, Forte.), and in hard core opera, Haley Clark. And finally, after several years without any new discoveries, Dimash. So, can we talk Dimash? Anyone else appreciate him? He's a beast vocally, although I don't really care for his high, high range belting which becomes screaming. I put up with those tones, for the clear bell-like highs of his head and falsetto voices, and for the range, from a D2 to a C8 whistle. His baritone ranges are gorgeous. More than any other singer that I know, he is also the one who is the most transparent about his philosophy, so you really get a good look at who he is in interviews. (With the exception of David Garrett, who also does long-form interviews, but isn't a vocalist.) It appears that Dimash is an "old soul" with admirable values, and is very, very close to his family. It's good stuff. And I'm heartsick, because Americans first US widespread exposure to him on "World's Best" turned out to be such a fiasco. He ended up quitting the show -- they turned it into a huge drama and hyped it for ratings -- because they pitted him against children, reneging on what they had promised, and so he respectfully forfeited his position as the show favorite, the odds-on winner, because he wouldn't be put into a position of competing against child musicians. Blessedly, one of the children went on to win the competition. (The child badly, badly needs technique instruction, but now he has the cash to buy himself a good education. :-) ) Anyhow, I'd enjoy a conversation about this if anyone is interested. Thanks in advance. Here's a place to start if you've never heard him sing. Bear with the slow introduction as the video sets you up with the story line.
  3. So I think there are two distinct things here: 1) autoimmune issues possibly triggered by vaccines, and 2) immune response being screwed up by vaccines. Two completely different areas of concern.
  4. I'm in the middle of one of these: a mailing. A three-week project under the best of circumstances, but asked for in four days, no matter that I have other daily work that can't be put down. It was a "four day project" until we figured out how much data would have to be massaged to produce the extract of data needed. And yesterday, I found out that we didn't actually have the items that needed to go in with the mailing. The delay will push us into needing to postpone the projects until after other calendar events are past. That will be a tough sell on Monday. And I'll look like the bad guy.
  5. Several random thoughts: PLEASE DON'T QUOTE; I don't mind if you copy/paste a sentence or two. I am very much a "weigh the risk/benefit vaxxer", as we have some health issues that put us in higher risk categories. Several people on this thread have been very rude and bigoted in their characterization of anti-vaxxers. You can be that way if you want, but all it is doing is generating heat, not light. I'm sure there are anti-vaxxers like Faith Manor's niece, but all the very reluctant vaxxers I know wear the mantle heavily, coming to their choice only after much research, consultation, and thoughtful deliberation. A number of the ones I know came to vaccine hesitancy or refusal only after a vaccine injury, in the same way that many mothers come to homebirth only after a hospital birth that they perceive as a disaster. ( I would be an exception to both, coming to my unorthodox POV without it being a reactionary choice.) 1) I wonder: a) is there is a real difference in the virulence of wild measles today, vs. a generation ago? or b) do people have much weaker immune systems? or c) is it strictly a perception that measles are so God-awful, but really they are the same, and it's only our tolerance levels that have decreased? (A bit of S/o from the risk aversion thread, I guess.) Any older ladies here -- with first-hand experience over a couple generations-- that have an opinion on it? 2) FWIW: I've passed along most of my pediatric reference books, but one I couldn't part with says that measles is a "relatively benign" childhood disease. I had measles, mumps, and CP as a young child. I remember none of them. I have about a dozen pox scars, but nothing else. None of them were serious. OTOH, I got vaccinated for everything under the sun (international travel) multiple times, as did my brother. However, we've both had early onset cancers in a family with no cancer history, all of which indicates immune failure on some level. We both had childhoods full of clean organic food, heavy amounts of fresh fruit and veggies, and no known massive exposures to carcinogens. 3) I personally know three separate MDs who have become, if not anti-vax, at least delayed/selective vax. One was the chief of peds at a large metro hospital when my children were of pediatric age. It would be untruthful to say they were ignorant or incapable of drawing sound conclusions, therefore they should be ridiculed, scorned, or marginalized, the way some here have treated posters on this thread who are not pro-vax. 4) No one has mentioned the financial incentives given to doctors to fully vaccinate kids on a schedule. I don't like to think that the $ drives many peds, but one estimates that in his practice, by forfeiting incentives from the vaccine companies of $400 per kid, he has lost about a half million dollars, since he doesn't mandate full vaccination for all his patients. 5) My 16 year old teen and I went in for a consultation for a swollen lymph node with the one doc in our family practice who saw more children than not. (It was her first time to see a doc in the family practice dh and I frequent, as she had aged out of seeing the peds docs who never cared that we didn't vax very much.) He wrote her script, asked about vaccinating her with gardasil, and she told him she was sexually inactive. He asked to talk with her privately, I left the room, and she still declined the vax. When we came back for a followup, he was happy with the lymph node, but asked about the vax again. I told him we were not inclined as she had no medical need for it at this point, and he politely asked that we not return to see him again, as our vaccine philosophy did not mesh with his. So yeah, we've been dismissed for declining a vaccination we didn't need. Ironically, four months later I took her in to my GP in the practice, as we needed to discuss her getting a HepA since she was going to a hotspot overseas. We decided the risk/benefit was in her favor. I've got a couple of additional thoughts, but that's enough for now. I welcome respectful thoughts and discussion.
  6. Definitely get a second opinion. I saw three surgeons, each of whom suggested different treatment. It took us awhile to understand the various pros and cons, and that only came from meeting with several surgeons.
  7. Chiming in here to say that I'm one of the club, too, and wish Arcadia the best. It's great to see Hornblower here! My biggest complaint, and I don't really allow myself to complain much, since my bc journey has been mostly somewhat uneventful, is that the stoopid aromatase inhibitors make me feel 15 years older. Everything aches. I'll hit one year on them in a month, and I may go back to tamoxifen and stay on that instead. Best wishes and lots of love and good thoughts for all who have had a rough go with their treatment!
  8. We received a letter from dh's pharmacy provider about one of the Torrent meds. The local pharmacist who is usually very good, was not thrilled about having to swap out dh's meds. They do not keep records of lot numbers, so there was no way to know what lot number was in the bottle, other than that it was a manufacturer who is subject to recalls. I was surprised at the reluctance.
  9. Create two or three sites for wedding ceremonies on the property, so couples can choose what fits them best. Provide at least one heavy-duty electrical access point at each potential ceremony site. We had to buy $300 of extension cords to make the camp venue dd chose work with the set-up she wanted. (We had budgeted $1K for unexpected expenses, but still.) If a spot is beautiful but remote, you can make a genny available, but have long enough cords (300-400 feet) and an enclosure for the genny, to help dampen the loud noise. Provide plenty of outdoor cafe-string lighting above pathways, and in places where over-head cafe-lighting would not have scenic value, at least put solar pathway lighting at calf-level. Remember that trees are best planted 20 years ago. Money spent on "teen-age" (big) trees will pay off quickly, but also plan for the long haul, and plant lots of small trees strategically. My niece's wedding venue will not accept flowers or cakes the day before the wedding, and that was NOT stated in the contract. I'm presuming they learned that the hard way, but yeesh, it's a PITA for my SIL, as niece is having a late-summer morning wedding. She's trying to figure out how to store DIY flower arrangements for at least a day. Sigh. I wish the venue had said, "Sorry, no cakes can arrive until the day of, but if you want to leave flowers here, be our guest, but know that we accept zero responsibility for how they fare in our A/C or heating." ETA: If you don't want guests or lighting companies mucking around in your trees, string your own cafe lights at a site or two for outdoor seating and/or dancing. It was a huge job for us to do lights for dd's wedding, and we were super careful to use materials that would not damage the tree-bark. If guests want dancing under the trees, have them rent a dance-floor (the rental company will bring a tarp for under the panels) instead of damaging your floor panels, which you should reserve for super-flat spots you've pre-approved.
  10. So, one thing to consider. There are parts of Texas, like in many states, in which provincial and bigoted attitudes still prevail. I think (hope) there is less of that in areas that are demographically mixed, because people rub shoulders more. I had friends -- a blue-collar homeschooling family with many children -- who moved to East Texas, near a large city about 15 years ago. (Not a metroplex.) They were astonished at the attitudes they encountered (not directed at them, but pervasive), and after the need for eldercare passed, they came back to DFW. Ds encounters the same in the central Texas area where he is now working, but he has a platform to make a difference in the community. I'd be sure to stay awhile in whatever area you are considering.
  11. Fort Worth is fantastic, especially if you want a great performing arts scene. (Although Dallas is pretty good, too.) No beach close-by, though, but a 6 hour drive to get to nice beaches (Padre Island area) isn't too bad. Galveston (junk beach) is closer. If you are a beach purist and are looking for the sugar sand beaches of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, don't come here. I wouldn't want to live in the Austin proper area if strong conservative values are important to you. But not too far from Austin, you'll be back to not-weird. (That's a joke, as in the marketing slogan "keep Austin weird.") I love the Hill Country, Jan mentioned. You might really like it, too!
  12. I haven't posted anything since my grand-daughter was born. Do you mind if I post a short video? She's extremely attentive, engaged, and physically strong. (She stands holding onto things, at 5 months old.) She's too busy to be very cuddly, which makes me doubly thankful that I had very snuggly babies. Babies are the best...well, next to teens. I loved the teen-age years, too! Emma Giggle.mp4
  13. Agreed. Some people are really good at knowing what brings them joy. For me, surprisingly, because I was never a kid-loving teen or young adult (I only babysat for one family, and the kids there were extremely self-managing) it was my kids that brought me massive joy. I tried on a gazillion other things, but nothing brought the joy and delight that they did. They still do, but it's tempered by my knowing they need more space to become themselves fully as people.
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