Thursday, November 29, 2012

Then What Happened?

I had a Tweet ReTweeted on Twitter.

That happens from time to time. It’s always nice because it means someone felt what I wrote was worth sharing. But today was different. Today I was ReTweeted by President Barack Obama!

OK, I know. President Obama wasn’t sitting around the Oval Office before he had lunch with Mitt Romney just checking his Twitter feed. I know the President wasn’t searching to see how his #My2K hashtag was trending. I know it was his staff. But it was his staff, you know, President Barack Obama’s staff, that ReTweeted me! I took screenshots. Oh yes I did! Heck, they’re in contention to become our holiday cards!

#My2K is a hashtag created by the Obama administration that folks on Twitter can use to talk about the impact of the expiration of the middle class tax cuts. Here is how they posted it: “If Congress fails to act, the typical middle-class family will have about $2,000 less to spend or save next year.” Should you so desire, you can Tweet what that $2,000 means to you and what you do with the money, including #My2K in the Tweet.

So I Tweeted:
#My2k goes directly into the local economy: shopping at local grocery store and farm stands, meals in local restaurants, tips to waitstaff.

Since the President ReTweeted it, it has been ReTweeted 138 141 153 times.

Cool, right? Well, in addition to the solidarity of the ReTweets, I got responses. It wasn’t long before the rude people emerged from the Twitter shadows. One of them joined Twitter and out of their first seven Tweets, two were just expletives directed at me. Classy. Fortunately, I counted to ten and realized I needed to not engage with them. All their smut and snark has been going up in word bubbles above their heads; their misspelled and condescending Tweets going off into the ether.

If I ever had a question about whether or not I should run for public office, this experience answered that. I do not have a thick enough hide. It also caused me to have even more respect for the people who are willing to stand for office. Politics has always been rough and tumble. In these fast paced days of proliferating social media platforms, it is even tougher. Sure, there are plenty of chuckleheads who get elected, but I give them their due as well for being willing to suffer the slings and arrows; spam-bombs and swear words lobbed their way.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thank You

Back in 2006, when I began this blog, I did not, actually, could not have imagined how much would cascade from that first post. I thought Pink Granite would be a place where I could give voice to my thoughts, feelings and memories. I expected it would be rather like speaking from a podium in an empty hall. I didn’t know how much I would learn. I didn’t expect to grow as much as I have. And I certainly never expected to make friends. But I did.

The friendships have been the most miraculous. It bears repeating that finding like-minded, intelligent, big hearted, clever, kind and deeply funny people has changed my life for the better. They have celebrated with me when joy entered my life. They held my hand when I - and Chuck - underwent surgery. They enfolded me in love and sympathy when grief rained down, most especially when my sister Karen died just days before her 65th birthday.

These past two years have been profoundly challenging for Chuck and for me. In the last twelve months especially we have sometimes staggered under the weight of family responsibilities. In that same short span of time, seven members of our extended family, besides my sister, died; half after full lives; half far too soon. We have also worn paths to doctors and to hospitals and learned more medical terms than we would have wished and more about hospice and palliative care than we ever wanted.

At every moment those new friends have been there for me. Even in the darkest moments I knew I was safe enough with them to let my gallows humor come out. I never felt judged; only cheered.

These stresses and strains are the main reasons my posting has fallen off. What is also true is that since the end of 2008, more of my attention has shifted to the free-wheeling, instant gratification of Twitter. Frequent bursts of 140 characters have expanded the circle of people I connect with and only served to deepen the aforementioned established friendships. All of these interactions gave me the courage to attend a mini-reunion of my elementary school and to even darken the door of my 35th high school reunion. Heck, I even joined the dreaded Facebook - with which I still have a like/hate relationship.

But, after more than 1,500 posts, I have no intention of shuttering Pink Granite. There is a depth here which I love. And I am the only one who grants both the nihil obstat as well as the imprimatur to every post; every photograph, every link. Where else could I find such autonomy? ;o)

So thank you. Thank you all for stopping by, for reading, for commenting and for enriching this experience more than I could ever have imagined. I am truly in your debt.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weather Geekiness

Back in June of 2007 I shared my family’s “weather prophet story”. To this day my mother still checks the weather via television and, if she sees anything at all stormy anywhere near her family, she picks up the phone to call her children and grandchildren. Mind you, prior to my sister Karen’s death in April, her eldest child was almost 65 years old! I will confess that it used to drive me bonkers. Then I realized she was just worried about us all and she was trying to take care of us.

To be completely honest, my nieces and nephews have surely noticed that when there is a severe weather warning they are likely to get a “keep an eye to the sky” text message from me. This of course is absolutely nothing at all like what my mother did and does! Nope, nope, entirely different. ;o)

Anyhoo, since we upgraded from flip phones to the iPhone 4s back in February, I have acquired a few weather apps. (All of these work on iPhones. Some have dedicated iPad versions and some are available for other platforms like Android.) Here are my favorites. They range from free to $1.99. Let the geekiness commence!

If you live in New England this New England Cable News product is a must have weather app. Every storm has us watching the radar on this one.

The Weather Channel
They were the trailblazer in cable weather news and therefore this app is appropriately snazzy with lots of useful features.

Weather Underground
This app is so full featured that for some it may feel overly busy. Definitely worth downloading to see if it meets your needs.

This is the pendulum swinging away from visual clutter. It is graphically clean and serene. It is very beautiful, with a slick interface but has all the basic weather info you need. (Thank you Morgan!)

These next three are not weather related but do involve our planet Earth!

World Clock
I have been using their website for ages so I was delighted to download the app. At a glance I can tell the time in London, Cape Town and Sydney!

iEphemeris Pro
I just wanted a good app to tell me what time sunrise and sunset was for every day. I could find it buried in some weather apps but then I found iEphemeris and I was sold. It also gives Moon and Sun information.

Shralp Tide
Type in a location and get the tides. We use this app whenever we’re headed out to do some beach combing. It is simple and elegant. Plus you can swipe through five days at a time.

That’s how I get my weather geek on. Let me know if there is something out there that I need to explore!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Remembering, Honoring

“...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives & the dream shall never die.”
- Senator Ted Kennedy at the 1980 Democratic Convention

“The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”
- Senator Ted Kennedy at the 2008 Democratic Convention

At The Other Extreme

This report, from the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hatewatch", is not an easy read but it is a very important and sobering one.

For the Radical Right, Obama Victory Brings Fury and Fear


President Barack Obama gave a pitch-perfect, wonderful, inspiring and unifying speech!!!

Full transcript can be found here.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More Years!

Four years ago I posted the following:

All the major television networks, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and BBC America, have called the election for Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

Tonight I am deeply grateful that I can post those words once again!


Live your values.
Love your country.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Call Your Zeyde!

Another great video!
This one is definitely inspired by Sarah Silverman’s “The Great Schlep” from 2008. But this one does not include expletives and it’s done to “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen. The singer is Michelle Citrin. If you need help with the words, you can go to the Call Your Zeyde website and click on the link for the lyrics.

Live your values.
Love your country.


Love this!

Live your values.
Love your country.