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Melissa Blythe
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Melissa Blythe

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I saw this, and it was just credited to "the cast of Flash", which I don't watch. I never realized it was Jesse L. Martin. I wasn't really looking, I was just listening. Don't know about this video, but the one I saw has a harsh cut at the beginning of the video - I hope this one is complete!
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Melissa Blythe

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I keep crafting this post, and it keeps getting longer, because I end up trying to turn it into a history lesson. :) So I'm just going to post this event announcement. If you're near Pittsburgh, please consider attending.

From the event flyer:
"Selma - Bridging the Gap
50 Years Later

A March to Commemorate Civil Rights
Saturday, March 7, 2015
10:00 AM

Please join the A. Phillip Randolph Institute along with SEIU Local 668, Chapter 3 & Civil Rights Committee in commemorating this historic event as we pay honor to those who sacrificed so much in the struggle for basic civil rights.

This silent march will start at the corner of 6th and Grant Streets & end with a ceremony at Freedom Corner - Guest Speakers to be announced"

Selma was an environment which saw a child was arrested for holding the following sign in front of the county courthouse in 1964.

http://zinnedproject.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/youngboy_demonstrating_selma-650x300.jpg

Try to imagine being a person of color, of any age, in that environment. They started working on voting rights in the 1930s and were facing stiff opposition in the mid-1960s.

On March 7, 1965, John Lewis and Reverened Hosea Williams attempted to lead over 500 protestors on a 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, the state capital. The march was a peaceful non-violent protest. Their journey involved crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/images/m-2340.jpg

(The bridge was featured recently in a performance during the Oscar ceremony by John Legend and Common of the Oscar-winning song "Glory" from the Oscar-nominated film "Selma". [If you haven't seen it - WATCH IT! It's extremely moving, as is their acceptance speech. http://oscar.go.com/video/oscar-music-moments/_m_VDKA0_6mhrbx3g])

From the event flyer, "Marchers crested the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only to find themselves facing a sea of state troopers and sheriff's deputies."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/Bloody_Sunday-officers_await_demonstrators.jpeg

"They were told to turn around and go back. But before they could get very far, they were attacked with clubs, hoses and tear gas. They were trampled by police on horses."

http://www.schillerinstitute.org/graphics/photos/amelia_photos/amelia_bloody-sun.jpg
Photo courtesy of Amelia Boynton Robinson

The event came to be known as "Bloody Sunday". Pictures of the violence appalled the world. That outrage reached into the Oval Office and inspired President Johnson and the U.S. government to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

There's a LOT more I could say, but here are a few background links, for the curious:

http://zinnedproject.org/2015/01/selma-ten-things/
http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/03/06/390943835/photographer-helped-expose-brutality-of-selmas-bloody-sunday
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-selma-activist-20150305-story.html
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Melissa Blythe

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In advance of next Sunday, I remind you (or teach you, if you didn't know) that the proper term is daylight SAVING time. Not daylight "saving_s_" time. We are saving time with respect to daylight (or at least perpetuating the illusion of doing so). There is no "s" at the end of the middle word. 

That is all.
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Hilary Hatch's profile photoMelissa Blythe's profile photo
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You're correct, of course. My snarky side wanted to say, "how dare you be logical when I'm trying to be pedantic!" 😛

Melissa Blythe

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I need a damn Undo in my phone. I had the saga all written up & accidentally deleted it.

The attached pic is a heat exchanger. My furnace has one secondary & one main one. The secondary is so filthy with dust and dirt that it isn't passing heat to the main heat exchanger. I saw the digital. (I couldn't see firsthand because the heat was on when he showed me, so I couldn't stick my head in the furnace.)

Here's how that causes my low heat. The thermostat tells the furnace to make heat, & the furnace makes heat that never gets passed through the system so the house doesn't warm up. Thus the thermostat doesn't register that any heat was made, so it tells the furnace to make heat. Lather, rinse, repeat. Plus, the heat that isn't leaving the furnace is overheating the furnace, which shuts down to cool off (safety mechanism), thus blowing increasingly cool air out the vents, causing the thermostat to again tell the furnace to make heat ad infinitum.

Bonus: All this overheating & cooling & extra wear & tear & such in the furnace has made the main heat exchanger rusty.

For reference, the new ductwork & return earlier this week ran about $2800.

Suggested fixes:
0. The secondary could be cleaned ($1528) & put back in - this is not recommended due to its poor condition.
1. "Renovation": The secondary could be replaced ($2723) + a system uograde, but that doesn't help the main, which is now only in fair condition due to the problems with the secondary. So that'd be a total of over $4500 spent, after which the main could fail anyway, because nothing had been done to fix it yet.
2, "Rebuild": The furnace could be rebuilt ($4112), meaning new heat exchangers & many other parts but no system upgrade as was in item 1. Includes a 1-year warranty on parts, no other service or guarantees.
3. The furnace could be replaced with a "budget" model ($3726 with parts-only warranty, $3912 with 10 year parts & labor warranty + first year tune-up) & that system upgrade from item 1.
4. The furnace could be replaced with a name-brand model ($5904 for the one without bells & whistles, $6643 with bells & whistles, which seem to me to be worth the extra $700 but I'm not footing the bill) and the system upgrade from item 1.

[Oh, and that's the_discounted_ price because of all that ductwork done earlier this week ($2800) - without that, the price for name-brand furnace with 10 year parts & labor warranty + first year tune-up would be $8794.]

And if you get their financing to afford it, it costs even more, with fees & whatnot.

Dad's out of town until Tuesday. So for now, HVAC man Chuck disabled the furnace's limit switch so it'll keep running until the thermostat registers the right temp so no more requests for heat are made. The house will heat up. The final fix, whatever it is, will be decided when dad's back in town.

At least it's supposed to get warmer this weekend. I may need to take Katie & crash @ mom's, but I'd rather not, due to my cat allergies & I'd have to sleep on the floor (air mattress) where most of it settles.

I'm exhausted, maybe from being so cold. Me & my 3 sweaters & 2 pairs of pants are going to burrow under the covers (including electric blanket) & nap.


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Melissa Blythe

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I shared a tweet, & my thoughtful incisive friend +Hilary Hatch discovered she had a lot to say about it. Very well expressed, I must add.
 
In which I discuss the #DropthePlus  movement, and the challenges involved in getting designers to stop stigmatizing or ignoring larger women, and start creating for us.
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I made that more clear in my FB feed - didn't mean to confuse people. Not trying to take undue credit or anything... 😀

Melissa Blythe

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If you watch my FB or Twitter, you've seen I've had trouble with heating the house the last couple days. Temp was down to -3 F last night, which after wind chill was lower than -21 degrees.

Wahl Heating says that when the former owners renovated & put in 80,000 BTU furnace in 2012, they eliminated an air return* - I think they just installed flooring over it - so there's only one air return in the whole house. (For reference, the house is 2 floors + unfinished basement.) The current system might work for a lower-capacity furnace, but it's inadequate for this one.

The furnace has been overheating trying to do its job & turning itself off to cool, resulting in the inadequate heat.

The repair option I know my stepmother (home owner) chose is to have a new return and new ductwork installed so the furnace can run at capacity. He's talking measurements for this now & we'll make an appointment for someone to come do installation.

She may also have opted for the short-term solution of reducing the gas pressure so the furnace runs longer before overheating. No guarantee of more heat, but warm air will run longer so it could up the temp until the real fix is in. I wasn't on the phone with them so I'm not certain.

Meantime, Katie & I are covered in blankets by the space heater & doing OK. He's just turned the air off & I can definitely tell the difference.

* They also cut ductwork that went upstairs to the bathroom off at the kitchen below. The kitchen has cabinets & a drop ceiling where the ductwork used to be. So there's a lovely floor grate (no joke - it's pretty) in the bathroom that doesn't connect to anything. That room isn't temperature controlled at all. I figured that out when bath water spilled into the vent & it started raining in the kitchen - the bathroom duct is just a big hole into the kitchen's drop ceiling. 
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+Melissa Blythe I can't believe how much my heater has to keep running today. It briefly shut off, and I wondered what that noise was!

Melissa Blythe

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I've loved following the inspiring story of Vidal and the +Humans of New York global fundraising effort for his Brooklyn school. Perfect example of a positive contagion. (Photo credit: Humans of New York)
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OK friends, I'm in dire straits and without a car for the next few days.  I could Lyft and Uber all over town, but it'd be better if those rides were free - and you can help me make them free if you ever considered getting a ride from Lyft or Uber and don't have the app installed on your smartphone yet.

Download the app(s) of your choice and put in my referral code when you sign up. You'll get a credit and when you take your first ride (amount is different for each one), & then I'll get free rides too! (which I could really use right now)

My LYFT referral code is mebl19
My UBER referral code is so3zk

If you're interested in driving for either one, let me know and I'll send you a driver link that uses the same code which gives me a bonus (usually after you do so many rides in the first 30 days).  Many many thanks for your help!!
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I did! I got the car back this weekend. I still need the free rides because you never know when you'll need a ride home - from a broken down car or dealer, for example... :)

Melissa Blythe

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entire post lifted from Jess Severe Higgins​, because it's awesome. (It's also from the linked article. :) )

"If you’re still struggling, just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea.
You say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they go “omg fuck yes, I would fucking LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!*” then you know they want a cup of tea.
If you say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they um and ahh and say, “I’m not really sure…” then you can make them a cup of tea or not, but be aware that they might not drink it, and if they don’t drink it then – this is the important bit – don’t make them drink it. You can’t blame them for you going to the effort of making the tea on the off-chance they wanted it; you just have to deal with them not drinking it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you are entitled to watch them drink it.
If they say “No thank you” then don’t make them tea. At all. Don’t make them tea, don’t make them drink tea, don’t get annoyed at them for not wanting tea. They just don’t want tea, ok?
They might say “Yes please, that’s kind of you” and then when the tea arrives they actually don’t want the tea at all. Sure, that’s kind of annoying as you’ve gone to the effort of making the tea, but they remain under no obligation to drink the tea. They did want tea, now they don’t. Sometimes people change their mind in the time it takes to boil that kettle, brew the tea and add the milk. And it’s ok for people to change their mind, and you are still not entitled to watch them drink it even though you went to the trouble of making it.
If they are unconscious, don’t make them tea. Unconscious people don’t want tea and can’t answer the question “do you want tea” because they are unconscious."
‪#‎nailedit‬
A short one today as my life is currently very complicated and conspiring against my preference to spend all of my days working out what to blog. But do you know what isn't complicated? Consent. It...
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Melissa Blythe

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I'm in the market for a moisturizer & would like your recommendations.

It must be that I'm aging, or maybe all the forced air I'm in, but I find my skin super dry this winter. I have face creams coming out my ears, but I need lotion for body & hands. I'd like to get something that isn't greasy & doesn't have the consistency of paste or Vaseline but will adequately moisturize without having to be applied five times a day. Unscented would be nice, but I can handle a fragrances lotion. It MUST NOT have glitter or anything shiny in it.

What do you like?

(I suspect I've asked this before, but not this year, and I can't find the prior post. Sorry if this is a repeat!)
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Donna Lee's profile photoKelli Ireland's profile photoMelissa Blythe's profile photo
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+Kelli Ireland thanks! I'll have to try that. 

Melissa Blythe

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Anyone know who Erin McKeown's other singers are on "Baghdad to the Bayou"? I asked the lady on Twitter but in case one of y'all had better Google Fu than me, Points for the first responder!! (Nite: points have no real world value, but they are fun to give & receive, especially if they're from Chris Hardwick!) 
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Melissa Blythe

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On my neighbor's roof yesterday - I was really surprised to see a bird, eating. 
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a wintertime girl in a summertime world
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