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Monday, January 26, 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Think I Caused an International Incident! Me, Obama and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria!

Okay, every so often I check the stats on my blog. Since my other blog, The Art of Random Willynillyness, actually makes me enough money to buy a few Starbucks a month, I spend more time there. This blog, lately, not so much. It's been tough keeping up the two blogs but I do love this one.

Anyway, I have a site that tracks my visitors and when I check the other blog's stats, I check for this one as well. The other day, I noticed quite a bit of traffic on this blog. Since only my husband, mother, mother in law and a handful of other family members and random strangers visit my site, I was intrigued.

I went into the stat counter and noticed an unusual number of visitors from Bulgaria. Yes Bulgaria. Here is a map of where Bulgaria is because I know some of you are like "Where the hell is Bulgaria?" I know you are. Admit it! Anyhow, I digress. So I see all this traffic from Bulgaria. I also see that it is coming from 3 websites in Bulgaria and all these visitors are visiting my White House Christmas card post.

Hmmm, that is super strange. So I decide I better visit these sites to what is up. What I discover is the websites are in Bulgarian. I also see my pictures on these sites. I am super duper curious now because I am wondering why my picture of the Christmas card sent to me by the Obama family is on Bulgarian websites.

I decide to visit Google Translate and see what is up. Now Google Translate is not that great but it did give me some clues. This is what I found out. Of course, I can be wrong because I can't really trust Google Translate but I am piecing this together.

It seems that the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, put a picture up on his Facebook page of the 2014 White House Christmas Card. He may have said that he got this card because he and President Obama are BFF's or something like that. (I am totally speculating here) He probably made it seem like he got a card because he is special. He may have even said it was personalized just for him. I don't know because I don't speak Bulgarian.

Well, then it seems that a few Bulgarians took issue with that and did some searching on the internets. Somehow, they came upon my website with my card from the president. I may or may not have said that I am the President's BFF as well but that is not the issue. This is not about me. Anyway, so these people found my picture and discovered that anyone can get a card from the president.

This is one translation. I took umbrage with this translation as it says even the common people get cards. WTH? I am not common people, whatever Google and Bulgarians! But yes I know I am one in a million of people who get Christmas cards from the Obamas. But at least I got one. I am up there with the PM of Bulgaria.

Anyway, so I went looking for Borisov's Facebook page because that was where the brouhaha started. But I have to friend him in order to see his pictures. I mean, I could have tried to friend him but I thought better of it. I did not want to be rejected. I was surprised he did not have a public page thought. I mean he is the PM of Bulgaria.

I also noticed that the Bulgarian Government came to my blog and was poking around. Who it was, I will never know but there were quite a few visits. It is a little creepy when you can see who is on your blog. I am sure someone will be in trouble but it won't be me.

It's quite funny that these websites took my picture and sent people to my blog to show that anyone can get a card and that the Bulgarian PM is not so special. I also translated some of the comments on those sites and many of the Bulgarians commenting were mocking the PM. I felt bad for him. But if he did post the card and claim that it was special, then he has to deal with those repercussions.

It is fascinating how someone in Bulgaria found my picture and used it in an article dissing the PM of Bulgaria. I feel a little guilty but I did nothing wrong! That is my story and I am sticking to it!

I am still getting quite a few visits per day from Bulgaria. I am hoping the NSA doesn't notice because they might think I am up to something nefarious. Which I am not!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Plumbing Sucks

This past week, we had plumbing problems. What a pain.

But it's our fault because when we moved here, we have always had problems with the shower getting clogged. It finally broke on Monday.

I was washing clothes when I heard a gurgling sound from our guest bathroom. Then all hell broke loose. We dumped Drano down the showers and other drains and it must have loosened the clog and made it worse. By the end of the day, gunk was coming up in the tubs.

Luckily, it wasn't really ooky stuff but still gunk. We called a plumber but it was already dark and we knew if he came out, we would be charged a lot.

We decided to go to a hotel for the night since we could not use the bathrooms. Luckily, I had a gift card for the Marriott Town Suites. We packed some stuff and headed out.

The next morning, the plumbers came. They discovered a huge clog. No doubt from years of no one ever checking this stuff. The previous owners were a little hands off the house. And my hair falls off in droves. So years of gunk filling up the pipes finally stopped everything.

After snaking out the pipes the plumbers could not unclog the area. So they called the people who run the water in our town. The city and county don't. I think they contracted a private company. But that was a good thing because they came out with some fancy equipment and fixed our problem. They had a snake with a camera and a metal detector.

It took 4 guys plus our 2 plumbers and Tom to figure it all out. In the end, it was fixed. And it didn't cost an arm and a leg! Now we have clean pipes!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

I'll be honest. I am such a cynic. I look around the world and am often disappointed by the people in it. That is not to say I am bitter or hateful. I am actually one of the most optimistic people I know but I always doubtful of people's intentions. That's just how I am. It's not a bad thing. I actually find it is a good thing because I take everything with a grain of salt.

That also means I have very few idols. There are very few people I truly admire. And I am smart enough to know that the people who I do admire are not always perfect or truly good. But that does not stop me from admiring people for what they have done.

One of the people I truly admire is Martin Luther King Jr. He truly changed the world and died for what he believed. When I read his writings, they changed the way I thought. His writings opened up my heart and mind and made me rethink about what I felt strongly about and what I would die for. He was not perfect and many people always bring that up. But being great does not mean perfection. It means doing great things and believing in those things you do.

I always credit Dr. King for getting me into the University of Miami. When I had to write an essay, I chose MLK Jr. as the person I would like to be for 24 hours. I chose him not for what he did but because I could not imagine having so much faith and passion to change the world. I could not imagine giving up my life for a cause.

I wrote a post about it a few years ago. Here is the link.

On this MLK day, I urge you to go watch Selma. What a wonderful movie! It captures that passion and faith that I sometimes wish I had. It also made me sad because some of those same struggles are still around now. It is amazing how much things changed and how much they also stayed the same. It made me sad. Today, some of those same prejudices and evil are still around. Today, there are still people and institutions that practice bigotry. Even after his struggle, things remain.

I wish that was not true but it is. But things have come a long way yet there is still more to be done. So here we are in 2015. Yes, we have a black president but we still have black men being killed in the streets. We still have racism and hate. I want to have faith that will change. I really do. But the cynic in me always thinks that it might not. But luckily, decades ago this man with his faith took that first step and made a difference. If we all take a step, who knows what can change.