It's a drab, dark, dreary day here in Milwaukee, WI and I HATE this time of year. Each year the dark and gloom seems to affect me more and more, and I soooo fully appreciate why ancient cultures devoted so much time to feasting and spending time around massive fires and/or hearths and burning lots of torches, candles and oil lamps when they were each invented in their turn. I've followed suit and done much the same as the ancients. I've been cooking cooking cooking incredible foods since the third week of October. I pulled out all the stops, so to speak, in this room fully decorated for the Autumnal Equinox and the harvest, Hallo'een and Thankgiving days that follow, all leading up to the darkest, dreariest time of year, the Winter Solstice! I've been burning candles and using battery-operated candles and running my gas-powered fireplace, and turning on "accent" lights in every nook and cranny of this house during the dreary days!
The photo above makes the room look brighter than it actually was and it's a bit blurry because of the time auto time delay when I use it on "scene" setting. Now it's 4:32p.m. and if I didn't have this computer monitor on and Mr. Don's votive candle going (I have a photo of him on this desk and when I'm working here I keep a votive candle lit before his image in his Goddesschess memory) I would not be able to see my hand before my face, ach, as I turned off battery-operated or blew out fire-lit candles until it got a little darker! BTW, that's my view of this front room when I turn my head to the right while at my desk working. I love this room and spend most of autumn and winter evenings here (or days like this, when it never gets brighter outside than evening).
I was disappointed that the Unive (Hoogeveen) invitational tournament did not have a female player this year, so I'm not paying any attention to it. There was a large Open event run concurrently, and some female players took part. I've tried to pick out the top finishers among a very large field!
17th Unive Chess Tournament 2013 (Hoogeveen NED) Fri 18th Oct 2013 - Sat 26th Oct 2013
It was a 9 round Swiss. The official site no longer gives the option of an English translation, alas, and my Dutch is non-existent. I figured out enough (well, actually no, I didn't, I just clicked on every single fricking link until I got to the place I wanted to go!) to be able to give you these results from the Open -- winner and the female players -- not even a hand-full! -- who played in a field of 77 players:
1: GM Maim Rodshtein, ISR 2664, 7.5 TPR 2740 (winner of Open)
13: IM Tania Sachdev, IND 2438, 5.5 TPR 2428
20: WIM Lorena Sepada, ESA 2156, 5.5 TPR 2374 (well done!)
45: WIM Ilena Krasenkova, RUS 2133, 4.0 TPR 2213
72: WFM Caroline Slingerland, NED 2084, 2.5 TPR 1987 (oops! Methinks she may have fallen prey to "males are superior" syndrome)
And that's it, darlings! Four females out of a field of 77 players. That is sad.
Official website (it stinks, BTW). I could not find what the prize list was. WTF? Is it a state secret or something?
While some congressmembers are repeatedly quoted deriding and ridiculing people in need of assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly called food stamps, the cuts that went into effect Friday will hit military veterans in every state, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an independent, non-profit fiscal research group.
The food stamp cuts would also slam the families of 5,000 active-duty servicemembers, the Department of Defense said in July.
“Military members who receive SNAP tend to be made up of members in junior pay grades with larger than average household sizes," Defense Department spokesperson Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen told the web site Military.com.
Military pay at the junior levels is so low that such families must use food stamps, but generally are able to forego the assistance once the servicemember in the household receives a promotion, Christensen said.
In 2012, just under $100 million in food stamps were spent at military commissaries. That trend is rising, with $53 million already used at commissaries in the first six months of 2013.
According to the CBPP report, the states with the highest number of military veterans who receive SNAP assistance are Florida, with 109,500 and Texas with 105,700. No state has fewer than 2,200 veterans needing food assistance, with most states showing numbers in the five-figure range.
“Veterans who participate in SNAP tend to be young, but their ages range widely,” the CNPP said in a statement. “57 percent of the veterans in our analysis are under age 30, while 9 percent are aged 60 or older.”
Veterans on food stamps cover the gamut of wars, going back to those who served in World War II, as well as in peacetime.
During the recent government shutdown, Republicans in congress vociferously supported veterans who attempted to gain access to then-closed war memorial sites.
“Our veterans should be above political games,” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a rally in support of the veterans who wanted to visit memorial sites during the shutdown.
One Republican congressmember, Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, recently responded to a constituent’s question about the food stamp cuts by saying, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Oklahoma Republican Rep. Markwayne Miller also covered the food stamp topic at a meeting with his constituents in August. He characterized food stamp use, based on his observations at a local supermarket, as “fraud. Absolute 100 percent, all of it is fraud."