Monday, April 14, 2014

Terrence is Writing

If you've been following me at all here, you know I've written about the murder of Kelly Brumbelow by Terrence Sampson in 1989.  You know also that I am a staunch advocate of victims' rights and have been known to crow mightily when some wife- or girlfriend-murdering scumbag gets his just deserts.

You also know, Dearly Beloved, that both the victim and the murderer in this case were 7th graders.  They were neighbours.  They were both home alone.  The story is that Terrence asked Kelly out and she turned him down.  He came unglued and stabbed her 97 times and hid her body in a woodpile.

Since then, he has been locked up, first in a juvenile detention facility, and, since he reached adulthood, in prison.  He has been married and divorced, and has worked hard to get a Master's in English.  He writes.

A friend recently sent me this link:, which goes to some of Terrence's writing.  I hope you will read it and leave me a comment, telling me what you think about this.

In the time I have been writing about murder, my pro-death-penalty stance has softened considerably, and I no longer scream for it every time somebody is murdered.  Mistakes are made, and sometimes the wrong person is executed, leaving a killer running free.

The fact that Terrence was only 12 or 13 when he did this heinous thing, and the fact that he appears to be genuinely repentant, leads me to hope that he can recover.  When he is released, I think he can be a productive member of society.

I am hoping to have an opportunity to talk to Terrence and meet with him in person.

I think it does little good to go on and on about the fact that Kelly is gone and her potential was destroyed.  I do realize that.  I also realize that her family suffered a loss that will never go away.  Every child in that school who knew either one of them suffered damage that will never go away.  I fail to see what can be gained by continuing to punish Terrence, once he has done his time and paid his debt, and comes forth to deal with his future.  If he can have one, at least something will have been salvaged from the horror that occurred that long ago December day.


If you are a Democrat, or even if you are a reasonable Republican who is just as fed up with your Right Wing Nut Jobs as the rest of us, get out and vote this November.  Here is an article about a new poll that gives us a chance in the mid term elections.

Here in Texas, Democrats tend to walk around with our heads hanging low, too defeated to even show up at the polls.  This has got to stop.  Here in Texas, we have a choice:  Greg Abbott or Wendy Davis.  Even if you are a Republican, Wendy Davis is looking pretty good compared to the man who votes against women and minorities at every opportunity and then lies about it.

I know I still have some Republican friends, and I know some of you are so done with the Tea Party and their ridiculous and outlandish platforms.  Praying for rain while denying climate change.  Touting Texas as a pro-business state while fertilizer plants blow up due to a total lack of regulation.  Refusing to expand Medicaid while millions of us go without health care.  Blindly following the ALEC agenda, regardless of whether the people who elected them want it.

Wendy can't possibly be worse.


In the Federal government, every single Republican voted against equal pay.  They have voted over fifty times to repeal the ACA, even though they know it's not going to happen.  They have voted against aid for veterans, women and children.  But they are still all for tax breaks for the 1%!  Not a single jobs bill.  No inkling of what they will do for health care if they could repeal the ACA.  They have become the Party of I've Got Mine, so Screw You.

Is this what you want for this country?

People have been appointed to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology who think science is "of the devil."  Superstition is running rampant because we keep electing people who know nothing about science.  Legislators are making medical determinations that have nothing to do with science or medicine and run contrary to scientific and medical knowledge.  Education is falling victim to superstition.

Even if you are a Republican, you have to hate this.  Get involved.  Get rid of the Tea Party idiots.  If the only way to vote them out is to vote for the Democrat in whatever race you have a vote in, then bite the bullet and do it.

Isn't the country more important that the label you apply to your personal politics?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

News in Abaroa

We haven't forgotten this case, right?  Janet and Raven Abaroa had one child...Kaiden, and another on the way, and lived in Durham, North Carolina.  In 2005, he came home (ostensibly) from an indoor soccer game to find his wife in a heap on the floor.  He called 911 to report that he thought she had been shot.  Turned out she was stabbed, and Raven was the obvious suspect.

Well, nothing happened and nothing happened, and Raven took Kaiden back to Utah and remarried.  Of course, he didn't tell his new wife the story of Janet, and for some inexplicable reason, the girl didn't google him before she married him.  Who doesn't do that, these days?  Anyway, when she did find out (I think a family member did some searching), he had a story ready.  Red flags did not begin to go up until he got drunk on their wedding night and told her, "I would never hurt you!"  Less than a year after the wedding, she divorced him and traveled to Durham to share her story with police there.

Raven was arrested in 2010 and has been incarcerated ever since.  He had one trial which ended in a hung jury, rejected a plea deal (Second Degree Murder) and was set to be retried this month.

He has just accepted a second plea deal (Manslaughter).  The sentence he has been offered is less than half the one he rejected.  Reportedly, his sentence will be "from 95 to 123 months."  I hope they don't deduct the four years he has been incarcerated.

This sentence is better than nothing, but not nearly enough.  Maybe he won't survive prison.  One can hope.

Update:  Plea hearing:

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Today, two more Texas abortion providers closed their doors, including one in McAllen.  The only one, in fact, remaining in south Texas.  Women in the Valley will now have to travel all the way to Corpus Christi.  I would appreciate it, Dearly Beloved, if you would ponder that for a moment.  Remember that there is a waiting period and a mandatory ultrasound.  All in all, it takes two or three visits to the abortion provider before an abortion will actually be provided.  And now, for a woman in McAllen, Harlingen, or other points in the vicinity of the Mexican border, a trek of 150 miles has become mandatory.

The Mexican border is a lot closer.  Just saying.  Drugs, both street and prescription, are readily available there.  I have no personal knowledge of the quality of medical care available in Mexico, but I am sure that there are abortion providers.  Legal and otherwise.

Maybe it's time to have a little talk about choice.  Proponents of the Second Amendment are always on about their Constitutional right to own, carry, buy, sell and  trade whatever weapons they choose.  I have a choice when it comes to owning a gun.  I choose not to.  After Jim's suicide, even the most rampantly enthusiastic supporters of the Second Amendment will allow that they understand why I don't want guns around.

The right to obtain a safe and legal abortion is just as valid as the right to own a gun.  Just as Constitutionally protected.  Any time people, even a majority of people, evince a desire to impose even a tiny scrap of control over the purchase or ownership of guns, the defenders of the Second Amendment rise up en masse.  "Infringement!" they howl;  "slippery slope!"  And yet, there has been infringement after infringement of abortion rights in recent years, until there are many states where it is virtually impossible to get one.  Many states, including Texas, are only too happy to grease that slope when it comes to abortion.

A person adamantly opposed to actually having an abortion can still be pro-choice.  I choose for me, you choose for you.  The same way we choose whether or not to own a gun.  We could change our minds.  I was not opposed to having guns in the house until Jim used one to kill himself.  Some of my friends think I woke up to the dangers of gun ownership; some think I just went all ("understandably") girlie and got scared of the nasty things that go bang and kill people. choice.

I think we should be on top of this erosion of abortion rights.  Which right will be under attack next?  Free speech?  Religion?  Gun ownership?  If one right goes down, might the rest not follow?


There's a toaster in the kitchen!  A real one, as opposed to a toaster oven.  I dislike toaster ovens (for making toast, anyway).  My parents would have loved the dried-out, crispy product, but not I.  One should be able to bite a piece off, not break it.

Toasting has come a long way, but my taste in toasters stopped developing as soon as one came along that popped up by itself.  Some of you might think that is the very minimum a toaster should do, but I got nooze.

Toasters had several forms,back in the day.  They didn't pop up.  You had to monitor the process and rescue the toast before it actually caught fire.  I remember something like the early electric ones in the top row, as a kid in England.  The bottom left is what we had when I was a teen in Canada.  However, when Mom and I visited her relatives in Ontario in 1955, this is what Aunt Grace had:

It sat over a burner on the stove.  You had to really watch that one!

Backtracking to England, when we stayed at Granny's house (called The Slinget) in Herefordshire, there were no such new-fangled gadgets.  This is what served:

It wasn't always used over an open fire...Granny did have a cook-stove.  However, Aunt Zoë (notoriously a bad cook) was usually assigned to make the toast, and usually managed to burn it, even though the other end of the fork was in her hand.  As the BBC was usually on and playing classical music, I have issues.  Some of my friends have heard me refer to certain pieces of classical music as "burnt toast music."  My memory is a wonderful thing, and forever associates the smell of burnt toast with the music that was playing at the time.

I had a lovely breakfast this morning...buttered toast with Marmite!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Don't You Just Love a Pissed-Off Ex?

Not even an ex, really.  He walked out on Vanessa three and a half years ago, and yet there has been no divorce.  She can't afford to do it--I have no idea what his excuse is.

So, a little recap.  While pregnant with Ethan, Vanessa was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  Joy.  Himself was not a whole lot of help...he considered that Vanessa's symptoms and fatigue were due to laziness and hypochondria.  Through quite a bit of that, he was unemployed and she worked.  He played World of Warcraft while Ethan ran wild through their house.  She was four months pregnant with Eli when Himself packed up his PlayStation and moved back home to his mother.  Eventually, he got his own place and moved a woman in.  She turned out to be a felon who was spending her weekends "elsewhere."  Himself and Vanessa went to court to settle child support and visitation.  He was totally disinterested in Eli for the first year of his life.

Now that Vanessa has Addie (In his eyes, proof positive that she has been having fun), Himself is all of a sudden interested in the boys and thinking they are being neglected in favour of Vanessa's scintillating social whirl.

He called CPS.  When did wasting the precious resources of an under-funded and understaffed branch of state services in order to harass your ex become a "thing?"  Claiming that the boys are not being bathed enough or taken to doctors.  This, from the man who kept them all weekend in the same clothes and refused to give Ethan his allergy meds because the doc had not done a full allergy screening (with the needles and all).  The result of that was Ethan coming home covered in hives and totally congested.

But now that he sees an opportunity to give Vanessa a hard time, he is all over that.

Not nice, Himself.  Not nice at all.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

In Which the Blog War Rears its Ugly Head Again

You have heard me talk about the Great Blog War, right, Dearly Beloved?  It actually started a year or so before I started this blog, and there are some references to it in my earliest posts.  Googling, the most recent reference to it I can find anywhere is from 2008.  So, let's say it had a duration of four years and has been over for six.

...At least, over for most of us.  One pathetic person is still mired in the hate.  Back in the day, we knew her as Susan Frazier.  I can't keep track of all the names she became irrelevant that day in 2008 when it all ended.  She, however, has kept track of everything, including having a Google Alert set for Loretta Dillon.

Loretta has written another book.  We all thought she would write "The Narcissist's Guide to Relationships," which would have been, to use her word, "highlarrious," but she has gone a different route.  Perhaps in regard to a change in attitude or point of view, her new book is titled, "Finally! A Great Relationship."  It offers great advice, humourously, and reflects the sort of positivity a good relationship engenders. And I say, kudos to her.

The said Susan, now using an Amazon profile under the name Herbert Frazier, has popped in over there to tell the world that Loretta has no right to write a book about relationships due to the Great Blog War.  I kid you not.  If you want to read her whole screed, get on over there and have at it.  Here's a sample:

I would hesitate to be in the same town with this "lady" let alone the same room. IF she has a boyfriend (she is very imaginative) I pity him. No doubt he has no idea of her horrific vindictive history and let's hope he doesn't have a pet bunny because the first time he disappoints her, no doubt the bunny gets it. She finally got some poor sap to "like" her..that says way more about him (he probably had zero other options) than it does about her ability to catch a man.
Of course, Susan/Herbert is ready and willing to serve up "her horrific vindictive history," in the interests of saving this poor man.  Pure Public Servant--that's our Susan!

Of the people who were involved in the Great Blog War on the side of The Light, many of us have had many changes happen in our lives, over the years.  We have lost loved ones, acquired grandchildren, made stunning career moves, written plays, travelled the world, had mid-life crises, dumped loser narcissist spouses, and watched our kids grow up to become productive citizens.  I know about the Misfits because we have remained friends and have kept up with each other on a regular basis.

I am not a stalker, so have no Google alerts set for the names of all the people in the world with whom I have ever disagreed.  Maybe the members of the Dark Side have done the same as we have.  I know I am now friends with one or two of them on Facebook.  I don't hold grudges, and a sincere apology is all it really takes for me to bury the shovel.  This person, however, still lives in the past and can't stand to see Loretta achieve any sort of success without doing her best to destroy it.  Back in the day, we used to say that the Dark Side inhabitants could not possibly have any sort of lives.

It seems, in Susan's case, we were right.