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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

Do you exercise to music?


After a lifetime of avoiding any more than the minimum amount of exercise I needed to do to get where I needed to go, I have lately been doing a daily walking routine.  I have worked myself up to 5000 steps a day, which may not sound like much since all the fitness people tell you to walk 10,000 steps a day, but there are people my size who don't even walk 500 steps a day, so I figure I am getting ahead of the game.

I walked on neighborhood streets until it got cold and then I broke down and joined a gym.  I joined in early January with all the other folks making their New Year's resolutions, but there are still a handful of people who joined about the same time as I did who are still showing up on a regular basis.  We give each other encouraging looks and high fives.

It's boring to exercise on machines, so there is a bank of 20 televisions along the far wall.  The only problem is that the shows they have on TV at the gym are boring.  I never realized how unusual my TV habits were until I was forced to watch mass market TV with a hundred other people half my age.

MTV?  Srsly?  Keeping up with the Kardashians? Dancing with the Stars? Two Broke Girls???  Food Network is on all the time too, which seems counterproductive for a gym.  Sometimes I get by with watching CNN, but you know how their bias can drive a liberal crazy.

Sometimes I would recite my evening prayers, or go over lists of things I had to do, anything to keep my mind occupied while the 45 minutes clicked by step after step after step.

Then dawn broke over Marblehead and duh!  I realized I should walk to music.

Exercising to music has been a big deal in the culture at large ever since aerobics classes first became the rage.  But back when Let's Get Physical was the hit tune on all the workout tapes, I swore I would never get involved in a fitness program that required me to listen to pop dreck.   Picking out my own music never occurred to me.

My walking pace is about 100 steps per minute, which is fortunate because a lot of popular music is set at 100 beats per minute.  There must be something special about that pace because a whole lot of songs are right in that same sweet spot.

Walking to a beat is so much easier.  With my list of 100 bpm songs the workout flies by.  It's almost like dancing.  In fact, sometimes I know I am bopping my head and playing air drums in a way that would be comical if anyone were watching me.

Fortunately everyone is focused on him or herself--eyes face forward at the bank of TVs, or eyes down at the counter on the machine watching the seconds and minutes and steps and miles and heart rates.

And with my playlist I always know where I am in the workout--how far I still have to go in time or distance.  These are songs I like a whole lot so I probably won't get tired of them for a while, but if I do, I found several websites with songs ranked by beats per minute so that I can switch in some replacements and keep it fresh.  I can also use this website to check a favorite song to see how close it is to 100bpm.

Now I have my own version of "Sweating to the Oldies"!  My current list, in order, is in the start up soundtrack below.

Eminence Front—a mindless repetitive way to just get started.  The only problem is that every time the car commercial featuring that song comes on I feel like I am supposed to get up and start walking!

If I Ever Lose My Faith in You—sometimes I feel I am singing about holding on to faith in myself.

Ain't Nobody—great dance tune I can't get enough of, and little bit wishful thinking :-D

Higher Love—more exercise and wishful thinking at the same time.  Killing two birds with one stone, or baking two cakes in the same oven as the new non-violent metaphor would say.

Suit and Tie remix—actually a little bit faster than 100bpm, so by this time I am sweating and watching my heart rate closely.

Lose Yourself to Dance—if I am getting tired or my back is starting to hurt, this one keeps pushing me with "come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on..."

Stayin Alive—anyone who remembers the iconic opening scene of Saturday Night Fever already associates this song with walking.  Besides, I am trying to think of my fitness as a matter of life and death, so singing along with "ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin alive, stayin alive" makes form follow content.

Usually Stayin Alive puts me over the 5000 mark if I have done some walking before I get to the treadmill.  If not, I continue through Beast of Burden and Put Your Records On either in time to the music or slower for a cool down period.

Do you walk or run or exercise to music?  Do you have favorite songs to work out to?  How do you select those songs?  Is there a song you work out with now (or otherwise associate with exercise) so that just hearing it makes you break out in a sweat?

Do you have music to exercise by?


start up soundtrack


Eminence Front by Top 1000 Classic Rock Songs on Grooveshark

Prologue (If I Ever Lose My Faith in You) by Sting on Grooveshark

Ain't Nobody by Chaka Khan on Grooveshark

Higher Love by Steve Winwood on Grooveshark

Suit & Tie (Oliver Nelson Remix) by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark

Lose Yourself to Dance by Daft punk on Grooveshark

Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees on Grooveshark

09 - Beast Of Burden by The Rolling Stones on Grooveshark

Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae on Grooveshark

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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

Do you have a celebrity crush?


Have I said lately how much I love Stephen Colbert?

I used to have so many crushes I kept track of them with something I called the "favorite boy list".  In fact there were two lists:  one for guys I actually knew in real life, and the other was for celebrities--television actors, songwriters, composers, comedians, movie stars, talk show hosts, etc.

I was fickle and my tastes kept changing.  Names moved up and down depending on a new song or a new movie or just a arbitrary change of heart that day.

As I entered mature adulthood I would not admit to this favorite boy list to anyone except my closest friends, or other women who shared the same crush(es).  I kept expecting to grow out of it, but then the thunderbolt would hit and someone new would catapult to the top of the favorite boy list.

I am old, and my crushes are mostly age appropriate.  Some folks get older while the age of their celebrity crushes stays the same, but that's not my way.  I have never even heard of most of the guys on the crush lists of younger women and men.  While some of them are pretty to look at, my crushes have never been based solely on visual appeal.  There's always an intellectual element and a progressive values element and other soul-depth criteria involved.  

Tom Hanks was at the top of my celebrity list for almost 20 years.  (I did say I was old!)

Then this happened, and I thought it was hilarious parody, but I did not yet see the man behind the performance.

Then this happened, and I thought it was brilliant, and my jaw dropped at the sheer political bravery of it.

Then this happened, and after he snapped off that final line I said damn!  A man after my own heart!

Then this happened, and the thunderbolt that had been soaring through the air for five years finally hit its mark:

I make no apologies for being a stone cold fangirl when it comes to Colbert.  None. what. so. ever.  He is so multitalented and so beautiful and so appealing on all the intangible levels as well that now I can't even imagine anyone could ever knock him off the top of the favorite boy list.  He is going to reign for a good long time.

I never saw a taping of The Colbert Report, and never tried to.  I imagine myself being reduced to gibbering drooling inanity if ever faced with the man in person, so I'm content to admire from a distance.  I almost emptied my bank account to see him in Company, but then thought better of it, and enjoyed it just as much on videotape.

I was heartbroken by the end of the Report.  Look, he made a hat.  Now he's working on finishing another hat.  September 8 can't come soon enough for me.  If (God forbid) the Late Show doesn't work out well, he can always do dramatic television, or movies, or Broadway, or comedy specials, or political commentary, or run for office o please o please o please?  If Ronald Reagan can be a governor and a president...

Even people who are happily married or coupled have the occasional harmless crush.  A crush on a celebrity you will never meet is a lot safer than the real world variety.  I've heard lots of couples joke about the "celebrity free pass".  Are you attracted to celebrities you admire and feel a kindred spirit connection with? Or are your celebrity crushes more along the lines of when you're hot you're hot?

Will you admit to having a celebrity crush?


start up soundtrack
not sure how long some of these videos will remain accessible...



"The Girl is Mine" with John Legend

"Get Lucky" with a bunch of interesting friends

The new royalty-free Happy Birthday song



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I am posting this as an Open Thread for people who want a place to gather.

Please share whatever you need to share.

Participating here is an act of trust between blogfriends who know each other and between people who have never met.  We send our needs, our cries for help, our poems of loss and recovery, our honest emotions, out into the blogosphere.  We trust that someone reading our words has been in a similar place and truly understands.  We trust that someone out there will offer a kind word and stand beside us as we rant and rage about the unfairness of it all.  We read without judgment and offer presence, not advice.

We share our experience, strength and hope.

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.
There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..
It just is.
Discuss
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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

Do you enjoy any unusual comfort foods?


Now that spring is here and the winter blues are behind us, I hope I can get back to healthier eating.

Over the last two months I have been reaching way too often for the unusual comfort foods I grew up with.

My grandfather is responsible for two of them.

One of his favorite snacks was to mix equal amounts of softened butter and pancake syrup in a dish and then spread it on Club crackers.  He used to eat it before bed when he came from working the late shift.  Sometimes I would crawl out of bed and go downstairs to join him, and he would give a few crackers to me.

I don't have "syrup crackers" very often in the wintertime, but I have been overindulging in something I call "Big Daddy Rice".  Basically it's just steaming hot white rice, with lots of butter, a little sugar, and evaporated milk.  Creamy sweet and almost like a dessert, it warms me up on more than a physical level.  Coming home out of a howling blizzard to a hot bowl of Big Daddy Rice helped me make it through this record setting harsh winter.

I've tried making it with brown rice and olivio and sweet and low and skim milk, but the effect is not the same!

I also ate waaay too many bologna and cheese sandwiches this past winter.  They bring back memories of walking home from school at lunchtime for a sandwich and a cup of soup in cold weather.  (The "soup and sandwich, soup and sandwich" commercial was popular then.)  Though I usually splurge on high quality cheese at other times, this sandwich is about generic American cheese and nothingspecial bologna on plain white "air bread".  With real mayo.

I've tried using all beef deli quality bologna with gourmet cheddar cheese on 12 grain bread with reduced fat mayonnaise, but the effect is not the same!

I do not think these are the standard comfort foods most people enjoy, like mac and cheese and pancakes and mashed potatoes, although the rice is hot and starchy.

The way they taste is yummy, but the taste is not the source of comfort.  They are comforting because of the memories they evoke, of eating with my grandfather in the kitchen of the house where I grew up.  I don't even remember we talked much.  It was just good to be with him.  He was my surrogate daddy since my biological father was not in my life at all then.  Just being in his presence made me feel secure.

The bologna sandwiches evoke memories of my grandmother, who made my lunches when I came home at noon on school days.  My mom, a single mother at a young age, was fortunate to live with her older sister and her parents, so that other adults were able to take care of me while she was out working, or hanging with her friends.

So the foods themselves are less important than the memory of the loving home where I spent my first few years of life, the grandparents who raised me like their own child, and the only time in my life when I was safe, protected, cherished, and wanted for nothing.

I can only recapture that now through the sense memory of syrup crackers, bologna and cheese sandwiches, and big daddy rice.

Lots of folks reach for pasta, pancakes, baked goods or potatoes when they think of comfort food.  But do you or your family have specialized comfort foods that are a little out of the ordinary?  What memories are associated with them?  Have you tried to update them or make them healthier?  How did that work out?

Do you have unusual comfort foods?


start up soundtrack






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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

“I have shoes older than you!”


Such was the exasperated comment of a woman about my age directed at a clueless young cashier who was giving her some attitude about an unsolved customer service problem. At the time I thought it was a strange way to claim age privilege.  Why would keeping old clothes entitle someone to respect?

But then I thought to myself, estimating the cashier to be no older than her early 20s, I don't have shoes older than her age, but I definitely have t-shirts older than her.  A whole bunch of concert tees from back when it was cool to go to concerts and buy souvenir t-shirts (do bands still DO that?). In fact, the coolest thing of all was to be at the concert in a t-shirt from a previous tour, proving how long ago you had been a fan.  Wearing your Darkness On The Edge of Town t-shirt at The River tour?  Kewlness!

Then I remembered that I also have shoes older than she is, since I still have my original pair of Uggs I bought in the late 80s. They have holes where the upper is coming apart from the sole but they are still warmer and more comfortable than anything else I could wear on a cold day.

I have a pair of jeans from 1985 that don't fit any more but I am saving them anyway because of their association of a very special trip to the mountains in Maine with a whole bunch of friends that summer. What a Memorial Day weekend... it was a nonstop party...

And I definitely have pocketbooks older than she is. In addition to old purses that belonged to my mom that I cannot bear to part with, I also have an old purple fringe shoulder bag from the 70s that I love. Fringe is back in style now—but it is too small for the amount of stuff I carry on a daily basis, so I can't actually wear it except as a retro fashion statement, and I don't have many opportunities for those.

In fact, I might have some dresses older than her MOTHER, since I have the dress I wore the day I graduated from high school in 1974.  I wore that same dress to the morning church service when I graduated from college in 1979, and I still have the bright mostly green tie-dye dress I wore when we went out to dinner that evening at Davio's.

I can't use any of those old clothes, though.  None of them fit, except the Uggs.  Even the pocketbook strap is barely long enough to go over my shoulder now. Every time I move and go through those old things I wonder why I am keeping them.  I cannot let go of the powerful memories.  

The oldest thing I own that I still wear is a lined windbreaker jacket from the early 90s that I bought to go on my one and only ski trip.  I still wear that jacket often, in fact it is one of my favorite pieces of clothing.  I had it on last Wednesday when temperatures here climbed into the low 50s.  If it isn't older than that salesclerk, she was still learning to read when I got it.

Do you have old shoes, old sweaters, old jeans, that you are saving for pure nostalgia, or that you still wear?

Do you have shoes older than she is?


start up soundtrack










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...the VERY SAME THING would be happening right now.

Rcons would still be asking "how do we know she was not doing State Department business on her personal email account"?

Rcons would be still asking "how do we know there are no Benghazi emails on her personal email account"

Rcons would be still asking "why does she get to decide what is personal email and what is professional email"

Rcons would be asking why she was using a separate personal email address--what did she have to hide?

Rcons would be demanding that she release her personal email to prove there were no State Department emails on her personal account.

She would STILL be in the VERY SAME level of trouble.

This is just another chapter in the never ending saga entitled "Hillary Can't Win."

So can everyone please stop pretending that there was some other better way that HRC could have handled this?

Discuss

No one was on the schedule to write for tonight so I am posting this as an Open Thread for people who want a place to gather.

Please share whatever you need to share.

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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

How do you respond to political lies?


So many times in politics I hear people complain that the press never calls out Republicons on their lies.

90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion     LIE!

President Obama started a program to give poor people free phones        LIE!

We had no domestic terror attacks during W's presidency    LIE!

President Obama was born in Kenya            LIE!

Muslims want recognition of "no go" zones in Paris    LIE!

Time and time again I scream at the television, radio or newspaper, That's a LIE!   Stop lying!  Why are you LYING?  Then I bemoan the fact that so few journalists, show hosts, or editors will call out lies as they see them.

But in reality, do any of us do this?

What do you do when you are confronted with someone who is telling you a bald-faced lie?

White lies and embellishments and other personal social fictions are not what I'm talking about here.  I know you don't really have to visit your sick aunt, you just don't want to have dinner with me.  You didn't have the flu, you just wanted to take a personal day from work.  I think most of us let those go.

I'm talking about what you do when you hear someone repeating a big political lie.  A friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a taxi driver, a relative, someone that you can't just walk away from.

Over the years I have changed my attitude about the best way to respond when I hear those kinds of lies.  When I was a youthful troublemaker it was easier for that accusation to come flying out of my mouth.  "That's not true!" I would state boldly, raising myself up to my full height.  My mommy said that's not true!  I read it in the paper!  That's just NOT TRUE!  And I said it to some people I should not have said it to, full of righteous indignation and not caring about the consequences.

Lately though I find myself taking a different approach to political liars.  I want to know if they know they are lying.  So instead of directly accusing them of lying, I tend to probe a bit.

If I am in a good mood, and if it is someone I want to be gentle with, I might say "Where did you hear that?" or "That's not what I heard" or "I hear people saying that all the time but it doesn't sound right to me."

Going a little further on the scale of psychological inquiry, I might say:  "I'm pretty sure you can't prove that" "Come on, do you really believe that?" "You don't seem like the kind of person who would repeat something like that."

If I am dealing with someone who has a bad attitude, is a known Rcon, or is otherwise trying my patience, I come back a little bit more strongly: "Where did you hear that—Fakes News?"  "Who told you that—Rush Limpbaugh?" "Where did you read that—Newsmax?"

It's not that easy to confont a lie, even an obvious one, unless you have a response prepared and ready to go.  A huge lie has a way of stopping you in your tracks and making you shake your head like What?  What did you say?  Seriously?  And before you can collect your thoughts the best moment for confrontation has passed.

Do you speak up in real life when you hear these kinds of lies?  Do you avoid confrontation?  Do you let it go, but let it change your opinion of the person thereafter?  When you hear people spreading lies, do you answer back?  What do you say?

How do you respond to political lies?



start up soundtrack

Would I Lie To You? [Remastered Version] by Eurythmics on Grooveshark

Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac on Grooveshark





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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

How do you blow off steam?


I probably don't need to spell out for anyone here the long list of recent political events that have made me angry enough to have steam coming out of my ears.

For various reasons, anger is an emotion I try to avoid, or to dispel as soon as it arises.  Life's too short to spend it angry.  But damn, the Rcon hypocrites are working overtime lately to test my spiritual discipline and try to steal my joy!

One of the most cherished childhood memories is eating Sunday breakfast with Meet the Press or Face the Nation on in the background while my mother provided a running commentary.  She would fill in the question the host should have asked, or point out the historical inaccuracies in how the guest was responding, and of course always always pointing out when the answer was a total dodgy sidestep "that's not the question—he did NOT answer the question!"

So talking back to the television is my first line of defense:  That's a LIE!   Stop telling LIES you LIAR! Answer the QUESTION!  How can folks VOTE for this craziness!

Another favorite is throwing rolled up socks at the TV. My aim is terrible.  I often miss my target.  But throwing something at St. John of Orange, a RWNJ pundit, or an Rcon presidential candidate, and occasionally whacking him full in the face mid-lie is quite satisfying.  This was a particular favorite during debates, back when I watched them.  In the last election cycle I found the debates insufferable.

I'm no good at punching bags or pounding pillows, but sometimes I just punch the air.  Flailing around and growling or grunting sometimes releases frustration, and sometimes makes it worse.  It depends on the day.

And then there is angry blogging.  If my poor keyboard could talk, it would definitely cry uncle when I start venting and pounding out a serious rant.

A lot of those comments and diaries never get published though. I get the release of writing them, but then I re-read them, and remember google cache is forever, and the angry words never reach any other eyes but mine.

Music can be a big help.  I like to sing at the top of my lungs—it's as good a release as screaming—but I don't want to annoy the neighbors.  I wish someone were writing more 21st century protest songs for that purpose!  I can definitely understand the mindset that has to express itself in head-banging music.  I'm too old for slam dancing, but mosh pits must have been a great way to externalize frustrating emotions.  There's a multi-million dollar idea—slam dancing nightclubs for aging progressives! Maybe we could all wear pillows, or puffy suits like Baymax, so we wouldn't hurt each other?

What do you do when the political news gets under your skin and you get mad enough to scream?  Do you scream?  Do you punch a pillow, or scream into one?  Or do you have some other way of releasing the pent up emotions of political frustration?

How do you blow off steam?



start up soundtrack










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A daily series, Connect! Unite! Act! seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups regularly socialize but also get out the vote, support candidates and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers-that-be. Visit us every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted, but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.

The orange pinpoints are the location of each organized group of Kossacks.
If you'd like to join a group, click on a point and a box will pop up showing contact links.
If you'd like to start a group, contact navajo for instructions.

View Interactive Map of Daily Kos Regional Communities in a full screen version.
Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

Which one is more uncomfortable: weather too hot, or weather too cold?


Yes, another diary about the weather!  My part of the world can hardly think about anything else!

As I write this, the eastern half of the country is setting records for cold.   Mashable reports that, during the past seven days, 489 record low temperatures have been broken or tied in the U.S., along with nearly 800 records for the coldest daytime high temperature.

Yesterday the overnight temperature was 5 degrees in Boston and people were disappointed that we didn't tie or break the record of zero.  I mean, if you're going to have extreme weather, you may as well break some records while you are at it.

I personally find it easier to get myself to a comfortable temperature when the weather is cold.

I can always add more layers of clothes, get under more blankets, or add more heat sources when it is cold.  Drink hot liquids.  Take a hot bath.  Snuggle with a friend.  

But when it is too hot, you can't take off any more layers once you have taken them all off! Drinking cold liquids does not cool me down as well as drinking hot liquids heats me up.

Even though I feel I can better cope with cold weather than hot, these last few weeks of bitter East Coast cold have turned me into one of these people who spends endless hours daydreaming of longer spring days and warm summer sun.

In the meantime some of my friends on the West Coast are rolling their eyes and saying we're not interested in your problems with snow!  It's too hot out herrre.  And we are not taking off all our clothes--it's February!

A lot of the west is having record heat for this time of year.  Flowers are already blooming in Seattle:

If it is this warm in February, I shudder to think of what the summer temperatures could bring to all of you, especially if the drought continues.

I don't mind the heat as much as most other people do.  When it is hot and humid and sweltering and other folks are sweating and complaining I am usually quite comfortable.  I think I turned on my air conditioner three times all last summer.

When it gets hot enough for me to be uncomfortable?  Then it is really frakkin hot, as in three digits or close hot, as in air conditioner going full blast but sweat is still dripping hot.  Then it is almost impossible to get comfortable.  Cool showers work only while you are in them, and you get sticky hot as soon as the shower ends.  Ugh.

But maybe that is just a technological thing.  If I had a good air conditioner I could be icy crisp and cool when the hottest summer weather comes.

mmmmm... hottest summer weather... that sounds so good right about now... I'm just going to hold that thought.  mmmmmmmmm.....

Do you dream of cool weather in the summer or warm weather in the winter?  Or maybe you are the type of person who can be content whatever the temperature is?  Which extreme is easier for you to deal with?

Which one is more uncomfortable: weather too hot, or weather too cold?



start up soundtrack


Cold As Ice by Foreigner on Grooveshark




Some Like It Hot by The Power Station on Grooveshark

She's So Cold by The Rolling Stones on Grooveshark

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Good morning Kogs and Kossacks in Dailykosland!

Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.

Do you have any "cabin fever" remedies?



Another Nor'easter for Boston.  The fourth major storm in the past three weeks.  Over seven feet of snow.  Unbelievable.

As I write this I am looking out the window right next to my computer, watching the snow blow sideways.  Fortunately the snowflakes are light and powdery because it is so cold.  If it were wet heavy snow I'd be worried about losing power.  As it is the power lines are swing dancing in the near-hurricane force winds.  The tree branches have their hands in the air, waving like they just don't care.


That's Mayor Walsh on the TV in the background

I live on a side street that is only one block long.  It is usually one of the last to get plowed. The cross street I can see at the end of the block is a well-traveled neighborhood shortcut between major arteries, but it has not been plowed recently either.  The lawns and sidewalk are indistinguishable from the street in these whiteout conditions.  A red SUV just rolled by slowly—so that's where the street is!

I've been inside since I got home Friday.  My Saturday meetings were all canceled, even through the snow was not falling yet, because of single digit temperatures, high winds, difficulty walking on icy sidewalks, and unpredictable public transportation.  The T was completely shut down on Sunday: no buses, subways, or commuter rail.  And today is a holiday that would usually bring people out in droves for shopping and movies and winter recreation, but it will take quite a while for some people to dig out.

I am going a little bit stir crazy.

At first the idea of three days off in a row was thrilling.  I literally cannot remember the last time I had a three day weekend with nothing at all on my schedule.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday to lounge around, read books, check out everything on dK, play Text Twist and Tetris, and catch up on several back episodes of Downton Abbey?  Bring it on!

Instead I am freaking out a little bit from looking at the four walls.  It's a small apartment but I've been moving aimlessly from room to room as though I will see something different than was there when I last walked through.

I want to go outside but the sidewalk is not well-cleared and the snow is up over the top of my highest boots.  On TV they were making fun of a man who walked half an hour to get to a convenience store where he could buy a paper and do the hard-copy crossword puzzle.  I love this guy!  A man after my own heart!

There is no official travel ban, and it might be worth a little snow in my boots to get out into the fresh air, but the Mayor has asked people to stay inside.

He was explicit in saying this means more than "please don't drive"—city officials are even asking people not to go out walking!

Sidewalks are slippery and it is hard to climb over the snowbanks at the corners. If you fall and injure yourself, emergency vehicles could have a hard time getting to you.  People are walking in the middle of the street and creating a hazard for snowplow drivers who cannot see them.  Last week a man was struck and killed by a snowplow driver while walking in a suburban parking lot.

Six more inches of snow are predicted for Tuesday.  Aaauugh.

Have you ever been stuck inside for more than a day or two?  How do you keep yourself occupied?  What do you like to do to pass the time when you are homebound because of weather?

Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with cabin fever?



start up soundtrack

Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers on Grooveshark


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The yahrzeit candle is sitting in the middle of the stovetop.

I lit it just before midnight, and I hope it will burn all day.  It already seems to have burned down to the liquid, and there are many hours left to go.

Other than that I have not done anything special to mark this day, the 8th anniversary of my mom's death.

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