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Searching For A Car Chronicles

November 28, 2012 - Author: newscoma

I’m a pretty trusting person. You really have to give me a good reason for me to want you removed from the same air I’m breathing. Yet, I’m having some trust issues right now and the person I don’t really trust is me. With what I do for a living, I have to have a car. It just absolutely is imperative.

The story goes that I’ve been looking for a new to me car for about three months now. As you may remember, my former car who I called Steve Austin died a horrific death back in September.

I’ve scrimped, I’ve saved, I’ve been blessed and I had about three good options recently but they didn’t pan out. That’s cool. Things happen. Yet on the other hand I have no mechanical knowledge in the least. And I only have cash to pay so whatever I get is going to be older but I really need it to be reliable. It can look like crap I just need it to run for at least a couple of years.

So here is a guide of things I’ve gone through during this torturous procedure so you don’t have to:

  1. Everyone seems to want to sell me a car but when I look at the blue book value and it’s much less than the price they are asking, I hesitate. When I bring it up, the owners look like I have shot and killed their award-winning labradoodle puppies.
  2. I have learned about different types of titles.
  3. I have learned about asking about if there ever was any flood damage.
  4. Just because it looks pretty on the outside doesn’t mean there isn’t a rubber band and a hamster underneath the hood.
  5. I have tried to find vehicles that have just one to two owners behind them. That isn’t easy in the least.
  6. Yes, I have tried cars.com and craigslist. I have also tried word-to-mouth, which I honestly prefer. Next stop is Autotraders little news shopper I guess.
  7. I met a man recently who has several cars in his possession and has talked to me about buying one of his. He collects them. I hope he meant what he said because I am very intrigued with the deal he is offering and the car he is talking about would be a dream. I just hope he meant it. (Maybe my trust issues are running deeper. I hate car shopping on a budget. It has worn me down.)

Anyway, that’s where it stands. I have a new friend who said he would look at the car and help a sister out. I may have to call on him about it. I really just want this to be over so I can not feel so isolated. I think they call this being taught patience.

And I need to trust myself, make a decision and start moving.

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Annoying Autobiographical Pause – Holidays, Politics And Pepper Spray

November 26, 2012 - Author: newscoma

Another holiday has come and gone. Everyone lived through it. I didn’t get to go home this year again, but it was okay. Last year I felt a bit like an orphan (Little Orphan Coma) but this year it was just another heightened day. SQ worked, I sort of wandered around to friends’ events and wiped out a tray of ham rolls stuffed with cream cheese and shallots. Those were pretty damned good. I need to learn how to make those things because I inhaled them like air.

There are a few things of note that I watched over the four day holiday weekend. First of all, it really amazed me that Scott DesJarlais finally spoke and it showed up in the news on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, the day that everyone was watching bad lip-synching and football is the day he finally addressed his constituents.

I also saw this story about football and Gov. Bill Haslam where once again our governor makes a sort-0f statement. The idea that academic scholarships are involved in recent decisions concerns me.  Just my two cents on the matter …

In other news, I lost my temper Friday night with a goon who has been harassing SQ and I for about two months with some of the most offensive and idiotic crap known to evolved man. This man is so pushy that he makes the pushiest person in America look like a My Little Pony. It was handled, but for the first time in my life I am contemplating buying pepper spray. Honestly, the first time in my life I am looking at doing this. No worries, it was handled but there seems to be a bit of an obsession about my personal life. So there is that. These are the times I miss Dirk Diggler who does not tolerate fools lightly. And Mr. Jimmy, who would have tripped this guy with his fancy walking cane.

So, other than Douche McDoucherson, it wasn’t bad.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming …

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A Thanksgiving Miracle

November 19, 2012 - Author: newscoma

It is a holiday week which means that yours truly is grinding her teeth a little bit.

No, it’s not you Thanksgiving, it’s me. I’m a grinch sometimes except I’m not tall, furry, green and live on a mountaintop with a dog which is in serious need to be put in foster pet care.

This year, however, I’m going to try to do better.  A lot of traditions that I really liked are gone due to new circumstances. And it’s not going to change at Christmas either so I just need to pick myself up by my bootstraps and drink a big ol’ cup of “Shut up, Trace” which is trademarked so don’t even try to steal it.

It’s made with rotisserie crow and the tears of sock puppets with just a hint of jasmine and chicken stock. Sort of the opposite of a raw juice diet.

There are some things that have cheered me up recently. A complete fangirl moment from a friend of mine who saw an actor in our local pub that was on Star Trek. I didn’t recognize him so I guess I’m not a true Trekkie. Another fan moment of someone else I didn’t recognize from another friend of mine when an actor showed up who is in the Young and the Restless. I would, however, recognize Bigfoot and have a complete meltdown. I don’t know if it would be a fan freak out but it would be a meltdown nonetheless if a Sasquatch came into my line of view. There might even be tears of the skeert variety.

I’ve made a couple of new friends who are musicians here in Nashville. I, of course, had to share my armadillo and horsefly poetry with them although I originally mentioned my terrible love poem to the honey badger that Steffens requested. I’m a douche, I forgot to share that epic stinker, dadgummit. So we’ve decided that this is performance art and most definitely needs to be performed in public at a poetry reading. They, of course, agreed to be dressed as a Mariachi band. I will be performing as Susan Boil, which would be a combination of Susan Boyle and the girl who comes out of the television set in the movie The Ring. They are headed out on the road in the next few weeks but who knows, this could be revolutionary. Or horrible, but who the hell cares. Ideas, campers, can be invigorating and fun.

I guess the bad poem about the mosquito and the snake are a little too sexually provocative for a bad poetry performance art piece, but one never knows. Damn, that would be fun. I’ve been telling people I need new hobbies.

It’s a Thanksgiving Turkey miracle!! Even if it doesn’t happen, I swear I had a hell of a time talking about it and planning my new career in performance bad poetry art which has to be a better hobby than competitively eating hotdogs. That sort of makes me want to barf, that hotdog eating thing.

Just sayin’.

(Of course the photo credit goes to the always wonderful TheoGeo)

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An Annoying Biographical Pre-Holiday List

November 18, 2012 - Author: newscoma

A list of things I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks in no particularly order:

  • Nashvillians love their Fireball. I, on the other hand, am not a fan in the least. Tastes like road tar to me.
  • Met a man who refuses to eat pork chops without a side of applesauce. When I brought up Peter Brady, he didn’t know who that was. Friends, that was a kick in the fruit.
  • Tennessee got their ass whipped yesterday and were just plum outcoached and outplayed. It will be okay. Derek Dooley, who seems like a nice man just not a very good coach is gone. I tried to preach this to a particularly obnoxious Big Orange fan I am an acquaintance with that this would happen if he didn’t beat Vandy and he pooh-poohed me. Sorry, dude, this woman was right.
  • I’ve been trying to figure out this whole Thanksgiving thing without a car. This has definitely been a learning experience on patience.
  • That may be resolved by next week. I’m hoping.
  • I found out that I have some new readers here that said some very kind words to me within the last week that I’ve met since I moved up here. Guys, it made my night, this unsolicited kindness.
  • When I’m completely stressed out, I forget to eat. I forgot to eat for about three days other than stuffing pickles and pieces of cheese in my mouth. This probably isn’t a good thing.
  • In related unexciting news, I am having to scale back on the java. Sad, but true story of the slow break up of a woman and her coffee beans.
  • I have an Internet crush on Chris Kluwe.
  • I hate getting stood up at the last minute by text message when I’m already at the place that I was supposed to meet that person. It’s happened recently and it always makes me stabby.
  • This makes me laugh.

That’s it. Just chronicles of my life thrown up on a blog, but there mine so now they are yours too.

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Learning From Recent History

- Author: newscoma

Some times you have to take your lumps and regroup.

Criticism usually comes from two different sources: the ones that are going to criticize you regardless of what you do and the ones that care enough to offer some tough love on what they really care about. If folks are disappointed and angry, find out why they feel this way.

Getting past the criticism can also go two ways: moving past it without taking it under advisement and being angry about it or learning from it.

There is quite a bit of finger pointing right now (and rightfully so) about how Mark Clayton got so many votes in urban areas. Much of the blame has been pointed to the TNDP while I’ve read other accounts that voters didn’t educate themselves very well about that particular candidate’s failings.

The blame game is happening and, quite frankly, it keeps people standing still.

I like to think I pay attention to the state’s political climate. I do this each morning for people that want to sign up for it. and although much of the criticism I’ve seen is of value, I also believe that it goes back to deeper issues. (I wrote-in Jacob Maurer for Senate if you were wondering.)

The national news screamed about Scott DesJarlais but, and I’m asking sincerely, did that information make it to smaller newspaper and radio stations in his district which is some sage advice that JR Lind gave. The Times Free Press has done an excellent job getting his indiscretions out, mind you, but that’s a weird funky district and I just wonder if it is getting to each rural town.

Yet some passionate writers around the state have been trying to sound the horn for several years that the message wasn’t fluid and it was getting drowned out when it came to educating folks on candidates and policies that impact everyone in this state. A post I wrote four years ago which I revisited this morning still has a lot of things in it still unresolved. And Terry Heaton laid out a wonderful way to communicate as well four years ago where several of us also opined on ideas to help get out the word. It is worth the time and energy, as Heaton wrote years ago, to invest in ambassadors, for lack of a better word. (And the language in that post also will show you how web terminology has evolved.)

And what local and state news competes with is bundled news about things like Twinkies (where folks miss the message that banking regulations were at fault and not much else. Don’t worry campers, they aren’t going anywhere because another company will save them. This is a weapon of mass distraction. The losers in this battle where workers because the company knew they were going bankrupt and took huge salaries, but that is another story for another day.)

This is a time of great opportunity to start making the necessary changes needed in dealing with a new media market. Just think of all those Tennesseans on Facebook or Twitter that will be available to share a message with their friends yet it needs to be organized. National news is sexy and readily available, local news not so much. One thing that made a difference this year, once again, was social media.

In politics there is always another exit down the road and 2014 has some things on the ballot that will make your want to set your hair on fire. There is value in rebuilding leadership and educating ourselves on what our state is doing. Hopefully we won’t let history repeat itself.

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On-line Petitions

November 14, 2012 - Author: newscoma

On-line petitions are about gaining email accounts where demographics can be herded like cats in many ways. I’m not necessarily against on-line petitions, but it is important to know that they serve a purpose that is much more about the issue you might be voting for or against.

I’m not saying don’t sign petitions. Sign them if you want to. It’s a part of democracy of being able to say and sign what you want to. I have signed some myself because I knew that I would continue to be sent information about specific things. It’s just a reminder though that many times when people put their digital signature to a cause of the week, not much will get done in instituting any real, meaningful change in government or meaty policy. It’s basically just a new way to say I’m all in. I tend to like local petitions from state-wide entities like TEP or Tennessee Citizen Action, but that’s just me.

This isn’t just politics, it’s the new way business tries to grab folks’ attention. World Market sends me about three pressers in my inbox a week because I signed up for a free sample of coffee on my birthday. I received a free cup of java and they got an email address that they use quite a bit. I don’t mind, I asked for it with my John Hancock. The same goes with organizations such as Amazon and countless others.

With your email address, another element for promotion is gained in spreading a message, an issue or a product.

And for that whole secession hoopla going on right now. It is as exactly at Southern Beale writes this morning. The states are not going to secede (it’s a law ya’ll).  It’s just another way that disgruntled voters that weren’t too happy with last week’s election to raise some hell about Pres. Obama without doing much more than signing a petition. She also brings up the other side to on-line petitions and that is there really is no way to gauge what are real contacts and what aren’t.  In so many ways, this is just another way to stay in the news for a little bit longer.

As I said, on-line petitions are great and inexpensive ways to gather email addresses. It’s also good to know that is part of what is happening.

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

November 12, 2012 - Author: newscoma

I’ve been thinking about the holidays. It surprises me to no end that Thanksgiving is next week. This will be the second year in a row that I won’t be able to go back to Hoots for the holidays. I’m a little sad about it but there really isn’t anything I can do about it. I know people hate the term “it is what it is” but in this case that’s the only thing I can come up with. I’ll have a couple of days off from work but SQ will be slammed busy.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community. I have a pretty nice community here in Nashville. I don’t think I expected the way it was built when I first moved up here but it grew rather organically.

There is a meme occurring on Facebook right now where people are documenting daily what they are thankful for. It’s a nice respite from the political fervor that has been going on for the past few months.

So this morning, I’m thankful for the Rolling Stones who are speaking for me today.

It’s true, you know.

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‘Smile, the only place we can go is up.’

November 11, 2012 - Author: newscoma

On election night, I was asked to text some of the results of Tennessee races to a friend of mine who was out of town. I was the messenger and bastian of bad news, campers, as my clumsy fingers sent text after text with a great deal of losses around the state. The wins were few and far between.

My pal answered back with one simple text, “Smile, the only place we can go now is up.”

Over the last few days I’ve thought about that a great deal. My friend was right, the only place in the next couple of years that we can go is up but we have to work together and we are going to have to look at the good, the bad and the undeniable ugly with realism and learn how to change.

I had the privilege last night to speak to The L Club. The small house in Nashville where we met was packed. People filled every chair and sat cross-legged on the floor. It was a room of people where I only knew four or five folks and although I’m not a shy person, I was a little nervous as these were new faces.

So I stepped up the the plate and started talking about what I know and what I truly believe. I talked about distributing Tennessee political news that comes out of the capitol to rural areas, who don’t always have Tennessee televised news.  I think there is a desert of information in certain areas around the state There was discussion regarding “building a bench” something the state hasn’t done in a long time and which needs to start now. I basically spoke about everything last night I’ve talked about here at Newscoma for the past six years.

The main thing that many people talked to me about individually was the need for a new face with fresh ideas for the party. And of course, there was a lot of discussion about the TNDP.

You can’t build a bench six months before an election, that’s a given.  You can’t build allies around the state who can be ambassadors in their community six months before an election when you need volunteers for the ground effort. Grassroots activism is crucial and identifying leaders who can spread a consistent message needs to start immediately. There is also a need for solid leadership that identifies new ways to reach out to independent voters as well as long-time democrats. And, for pete’s sake, we need new blood in a variety of areas.

Let’s for a second think about the TNDP as a business. It is honestly a franchise, for lack of a better word, for the national party. Yet each state is unique and as this is the longest, skinniest state with 440 miles from tip to tip, various regions are going to have specific and very real differences. We can identify just as easily what each division (Shelby, West, Middle, Davidson, East and Northeast Tennessee) have in common.

Focusing on those areas and building alliances for not only candidates but for advocates and activists is very important. The only way we are going to have a seat at the table when it comes to policy makers in this state (where there is a GOP Supermajority) is to combine several elements and start moving forward together. And we all have to remember that not everyone is going to be the head chef. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen, who is going to deliver the food to the tables of hungry people. Who is going to design the menu. Who is going to shop for the food? Who is going to be the cashier?

Because everyone of those roles is valid and damned important. I realize I’m simplifying what I’m trying to say, but I think there is so much lost potential but it doesn’t have to remain that way.

We can all fuss right now about how crappy things are or we can see the many opportunities available. And in many ways things are already happening, we may just not be seeing it. Keep that in mind in the next couple of months.

 

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Five Divisions In The State Of Tennessee

November 8, 2012 - Author: newscoma

I’m going to go back to a story that JR Lind wrote a few weeks ago about the election regarding the race in the 4th District. Of course, we know that Scott DeJarlais won, but I think there is some fantastic information for candidates running in rural areas in Tennessee.

Let’s fire up the time machine, shall we:

In the 4th, people count on traditional outlets — and in many places, small hyperlocal ones — for their news.

They get their TV news from stations in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, but they read papers from their own county seats.

If Stewart expects traction on this story, he has to hope those small-town papers run with it.

This is a sexy story. It’s one with a tea party congressman, a doctor, a figure from the young conservative onslaught of 2010, who encourages a woman — again, his patient — to have an out-of-state abortion. It should change the electoral dynamics.

But, to mangle another cliche, if a tree falls in a forest and it’s only covered online, does it even matter?

And let’s move back into the present where Steve Steffens writes a compelling piece this morning which looks at rural, urban and a state-wide initiative. He talk mainly about the state as a whole and building alliances, but he makes a very good point that there are still people that are looking for someone like Ned McWherter to save the day. I hate to tell you, campers, but   this is a new time. Governor Ned, as Steve said, isn’t going to walk through the door and we need to start looking at younger leadership. He was just what the state needed during his tenure. What we need now is new ideas, support for that ideology and building/maintaining alliances that will last. The issue also comes down to just because you did it one way 20 years ago doesn’t mean it is going to work today. That’s a reality.

There can be a relationship where established older leadership can work and pass the baton to newer leaders. Both components are equally important.

And I’ll stay on topic about rural development and politics.

Steffens writes:

Rural areas are hurting, and we can’t abandon them.  If anything, we need to help these folks and help them realize that while they have been voting GOP on culture, it is KILLING them economically.  I believe we can do this; if we can’t, then there is no hope for them OR their culture.  We cannot win on culture and we MUST find away not to play into culture.  As I said early, that worked for Ned because it was Ned; it ain’t working for anyone else.  West Tennessee outside Memphis and Jackson is DYING and we have to reverse this trend.

Areas in rural Tennessee aren’t necessarily dying and I think I would use the word financially reeling from decades of neglect, but when it comes to distribution of news and messaging, there is a profound isolation. How can you vote for state-wide issues and policy when televised news is coming out of state? When newspapers are behind subscription paywalls that are covering news from the capitol. And it’s not just patches of west Tennessee, it’s happening across Tennessee.

Mary left this comment earlier today here that deserves more attention from the northeast part of the state:

Speaking of E TN, Upper East TN is TOTALLY ignored. In 2000, though the Dems held the legislature in the state, when it was time to redistrict, Repubs up here whined until the Dems let them redistrict up here. The result was that Sullivan Co looks like swiss cheese with parts of one district in the middle of another, and district 1 running a narrow sliver from Bristol to west Kingsport. The Dem areas were split, and that’s how we lost Nathan Vaughn. This is important, because Ramsey, Mumpower (now a lobbyist),Lundberg, Shipley, are from this region. You might say this was a self-inflicted wound.
So, when there’s talk about the “3? divisions, there are actually 4. We just get ignored.

I told her in the comments and have written here before that I truly believe we have five divisions. West, Middle, East, Shelby County and Northeast Tennessee. I wrote this two years ago and I haven’t really changed my mind although I would tell you that a lot has happened in the past two years since that post.

These are just some observations that I honestly think are connected. What is really interesting is they are coming from all across the state of Tennessee.

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A Guest Post That Means A Lot About Name Calling

November 7, 2012 - Author: newscoma

From my brother-in-law who has some things to say:

I rarely make political statements, mostly because I hate the arguments that always ensue, but I just feel compelled to post this.

It’s over. Some of you are elated, some of you are less than happy. Now it is time for our elected officials to stop with the partisan pissing contest and get off their asses or down from their high horses, start working together and get something done. It’s not

 getting better, because nothing is getting done. Honestly to blame the president for all the problems is like blaming the chrome dog on the front of the Mack truck for the accident. (Borrowed from Brian Regan, but perfectly stated).

We as citizens also need to stop with all the derogatory name calling. I take offense to anything that ends in “tard”. We are not in kindergarten anymore and all this does is end friendships and drive a deeper wedge between all of us.

So if your guy won, don’t gloat. If he lost, don’t whine. Everyone needs to work together to get this country back on track.

That is all.

My family, my brother-in-law and sister have a nephew who has Down Syndrome, and he is a sweetheart. His name is Eli. If you use the word ‘tard it hurts people. So stop it. And when you use it in politics, remember, this is a hurtful, horrible thing.
Don’t be that person.
Don’t hurt people. Don’t hurt babies like Eli.

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It’s Over, So What’s Next?

- Author: newscoma

It’s over.

Some wins, some losses in the never-ending battle that is politics. Battles are won but the war goes on, as my republican grandfather used to say who taught me many things.

Today is where gloating is as tiresome as the whining is. Stop it, the sun came up today. We need to start working together. Congress needs to quit being contrary and serve Americans.

And yelling at each other, be it in the same party or different sides of the aisles isn’t helping anyone. We are a nation that stands together, not a bunch of villages shouting, or at least we shouldn’t be.

Here is what I know and bear with me for beating on the drum I continually bang my sticks on. There were some unnecessary losses in rural areas of this state. Remember, and I’ve said it before and I will say it again, urban areas need rural areas as much as rural Tennessee needs the big five. That’s how we get back into the state house and the senate.

I realize that no one listens to me, but if we don’t start building that bench with people who have institutionalized knowledge about the different areas in all three grand divisions with an emphasis on Shelby County as well as northeast Tennessee. Create alliances now, not six months before the mid-terms in 2014. We have a constitutional amendments coming up in the next election. It’s important to listen to the concerned voices of Tennesseans that know their community because that information is invaluable.

Guys, Mark Clayton took 30 percent of the vote as a democrat. He is about as much of a democrat as I’m a marine welder.

There are people in this state that want to be more involved than just sharing Facebook memes. Have a tangible plan and a realistic ask for folks to help in the areas of their expertise and that they are comfortable with. And there should be a candidate on every ballot and that needs to be looked at now, not in a frenzy when it become crunch time. Some of the candidates that didn’t win did gain quite a bit by learning HOW to campaign and will be invaluable in the next race. Remember news is scarce in certain parts of the state and they had a huge mountain to climb getting the word out. Facebook and Twitter are great, but that is just a small part of messaging. They can run again or they can mentor, it’s a win-win. This needs to be looked at now so people are ready and a support system will be in place be it distributing information, learning how to run a financially sustainable campaign and bringing allies in who will be there for the long haul.

Politics shouldn’t be a clique, it should be a movement.

Today is November 7th. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just the beginning for new possibilities.

 

 

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Runaway DesJarlais

November 5, 2012 - Author: newscoma

Rep. Scott DesJarlais ran away from the media this morning after a court hearing on whether or not his divorce records would be released. One of the reporters he ran away from was a tireless and diligent reporter from Nashville’s WSMV named Cara Kurami who is pregnant. The court in

This is not a picture of Scott DesJarlais but I like it.

Hamilton County will be releasing his divorce papers later today which should be interesting considering this is election eve.

Now let me get this straight, he wouldn’t debate challenger Eric Stewart during the campaign season, he’s been accused of a myriad of behavior that goes against what he claims he is as a Tea Party candidate.

That means he is supporting legislation for us as average Tennesseans to follow but doesn’t see much reason to apply it to himself.

He ran away from Stewart, and then he ran away again today.

What else is he running from other than his actions catching up with him. That’s not a question.

 

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