Monday, April 30, 2007
Another busy day ahead. Apparently, the warm weather has abated somewhat and that will make this morning’s practice more comfortable. And after the practice I should stop at
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Some odds and ends from the RSS feeds this afternoon…
“Cocaine prices in the United States have dropped and the drug's purity increased, despite years of effort and nearly $5 billion spent by the U.S. government to combat Colombia's drug industry, the White House drug czar acknowledged.”
Gosh! Do you think we’re doing something wrong? Maybe we’re not spending enough money.
And I really liked this one; note the key word, performance. Yep, that’s what we want in a president, the ability to act as if she knows what she’s doing…even when she doesn’t. Too bad our current president hasn’t mastered that skill. As soon as he opens his mouth; we know…
“The Democratic presidential debate in
“CBS News has learned exclusively that a new
4:23 AM. A warm morning already. The remote thermometer tells me that it’s almost 61° degrees outside. And it’s 76° where I am sitting. It’s time to get the fans out of storage and start running them at an early hour, ridding the house of warm stale air and pulling in the cool. Should we think about installing a whole house fan?
If I remember correctly, this is the day that the Zumwalt/Maiorano families head to
Back to the fans; if I go out to the garage to get the fans, I will most likely be bitten by a mosquito; as I was a few minutes ago when I went out there to let the cat in. It’s that time of year and I will have to make a decision about whether or not to use the mosquito repellants again. I really don’t like the thought of putting volatile substances on my skin. On a lot of skin! We tend to think of our skin as being a sort of shield when it’s actually quite porous at a ‘nano’ level. And although the news media has abandoned the hype over West Nile Virus, it hasn’t gone away at all; it’s just not newsworthy anymore.
I gave blood the other day and once more I noted that they were testing for West Nile Virus and I would be contacted if had been exposed to it. I really hope I have been and then I can stop worrying about it altogether. No, I don’t spend much time worrying about it, still, it would be nice to have it off of the list.
And when I gave them my pint of blood I asked them why they were concerned about whether or not I had an ear piercing or a tattoo during the past year? Those items were on the questionnaire. It seems that they require a one year wait after either of those two activities before you can give blood once again. Darn! But you only live once…
Friday, April 27, 2007
Since giving up on newspapers I have had to suffer the consequences; which means no Sylvia on a daily basis. And I ran across a book of her work the other day while collecting books for the Friends of the Library. Sure, I kept it. And had a good laugh as well!
That daily strip? Right here.
As usual....Mr. Hightower cuts right to the chase. I think his theory about CCD is right on.
Your local bee's need your support! Down with corporate bee's!
I would love to hear Mr. Hightower speak at Chico State some time...I wonder what the chances are of that happening?
Yesterday, while I was Stumbling around the internet, I came across this site… Take a look and see where you might like a floor like these. I’m thinking that a pond floor would look great in a bathroom! How about a flower laden floor at the Plant Barn?
It’s just not fair! The days of the month are moving faster than I am. I haven’t accomplished half of what I had planned for the month and it is almost over with. Planning and Execution have a large gap between them in my life. But should I expect to be different after 66 years? I guess I had better take my comfort from the small accomplishments.
Well, I need to get out and get with the program this morning; getting in a 5 mile practice at least. That would be a small accomplishment. Then, as it’s a habit I love, it’s time for a cup of coffee and the reading of the two alternative newspapers. Alternative? When compared to the Chico Enterprise-Record they certainly aren’t. And the one paper, The Beat, has been publishing some negative articles about the Downtown Chico Business Association and their sponsoring of the Thursday Night Market. Apparently, a lot of business people don’t care for the market night as it only drives away legitimate customers. I would have to agree with them. We tried the market a few times but the vendors are mostly of the ‘fringe type’… with an abundance of beads, baubles and chiropractors. There are some farmers, but they are outnumbered and look somewhat embarrassed by the company they keep. We’re not going back; a decision made long before we read the articles.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
An interesting book that I just started and one of the things I learned from it prompted me to make those remarks about "conservatives" who won't change.
The Army has plans. Lots and lots of plans. But there is one drawback to all of these plans and the Army knows what it is and identifies it thusly, "No plan survives contact with the enemy". True. Because all plans never take into account the unknown! If the Army understands this, would we want a president that doesn't? Oh? We already have one like that?
I don't get it. What is the matter with these people? To admit that you're a conservative? Why would I want to elect someone who can't change? Who's afraid of change? We have one of those presidents right now and he's a disaster because he can't change.
I really think that "conservatives" are missing something vital in their brains. It has to be a physical defect of some kind. You really wouldn't want to think that way...
Well, that's exactly what will happen unless parent's demand that schools close their campuses. Just go to a supermarket near a high school right around lunch time and you can see for yourself that the diet guidelines are only a dream by the time the kids get to the checkout...
What bozo's...what this doesn't do is fix the system. It only adds more beds to an overburdened system. Almost all Correctional Officers are working 'forced' overtime right now because there is not enough staff; a dangerous situation. And believe it or not...not everyone wants to be a Department of Corrections employee.
Besides irrigating, I also got a start in the garden; rototilling a section and beginning the cleanup of the raised beds. I want to continue that today and get the ground ready for the gourds that I bought. I have those seeds sprouting (hopefully) in the greenhouse at the Plant Barn. And I would like to build two more raised beds.
But, at the top of my chores list today is “make lemon bars” for the blood drive this afternoon. I’m using the recipe that
Only in Orland. We had a bad day in the orchards yesterday as the irrigating process slowed to a trickle. It started out just fine and then it slowed enough to make me get in the car and go back up to the canal to see what was happening. Hmm? It all looked normal and when I returned, the water was flowing again. The whole process took about 90 minutes, which is normal enough. But a few hours later and after I was through, the neighbors down the ditch from me experienced the same thing. By the end of the day, there were at least 4 hostile water users demanding to know what was going on in the water district and calling for a meeting…which I declined to attend! When was the last time you saw a meeting that produced tangible results? Meetings are events where good ideas are paraded out before killing them. Hopefully all will be resolved before we irrigate again in two weeks. I’m sure glad I’m first in line on the ditch…
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
But I did vote in the national election in 2000 and again in 2004. And so far this president has not disappointed me. He is behaving exactly as I said he would…in fact he may have exceeded my expectations. I’m sure of it.
And to really make my day...I ran across this ad. Surely, Jesus wept... (who are these people?)
I can't help it...I'm drawn to any story that reveals the idiocy of the TSA.
But let's face it, we'll never be rid of them and their mindset. They have to discomfort the passenger's in some way just to let the passengers know that they are working. That's how all bureaucracies operate...
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It's all part of a plan to make the war 'invisible' to the majority of Americans. We get to see it as a media event and not real. Printed words and a few photos. 45 seconds on the evening news. No blood, no coffins, no one crying. Flags at half staff would be so depressing!
Another fine spring day, and this morning’s chore will be to return all of the books that weren’t sold at last week’s sale. The Friends of the Library made about $3,200 from this sale. And at an average of 25 cents per book…we sold a lot of books! Even so, it looks like we have about 12,000 books to return to storage or to the recycling center. A full morning’s work.
I was listening to NPR, Fresh Air, and heard an interview with
I was in ‘memory mode’ this morning. The Middle Ages and castles were a favorite subject of mine to explore every time I went to the library when I was about 10 years old. And I enjoyed making toy castles from clay and then attacking them with my own ‘weapons of mass destruction’; Tinker Toy catapults.
So it was interesting to see that the Pentagon still believes in castles; building great walls around some neighborhoods in
Monday, April 23, 2007
This is the kind of judicial ‘logic’ that simply makes no sense. His philosophy is simply his…he cannot determine in any way what the framers of the constitution were thinking. For him, or others, to think they have some sort of insight is egotism at its worst. And the ‘unproven’ allegations of sexual harassment? They were proven all right; just not believed. Men do stick together when threatened and
And speaking of gardening and of those things associated with gardening; I’ve made some new signs for the Plant Barn. I’m using my new scroll saw to create the letters using a Tempus Sans
OK, last photo. This looks as if I have abandoned Karlee’s step stool project. Not so! The mental processes continue and now I’m thinking that a mirror would look great behind the circular cutout’s you see here. So I’m on the lookout for 2 small mirrors to cut and shape to fit on each side. Then the “jewels” would be suspended in the middle of each cutout.
Does anyone ever really ‘finish’ a project?
(I give up! I've been trying to post all 3 photos here for the past hour. Hughes Net has to be the worst!...I tried to contacting Clear Wire and was told that it wasn't available in my area yet...although my next door neighbor has it. So close!)
What a pain! I’ve lost the journal entry for Sunday. The computer was giving me problems all morning and then when I tried to shut down to reboot, it apparently didn’t save anything at all. I’m running a file search right now to see if I can find any .
Yesterday was definitely a ‘bad’ day for the local newspaper. Besides the usual idiocy in the “Tell it to the ER” column…my copy was missing the Sunday comic section! For me, the comics are the only reason to buy this rag and that’s twice now in the past month that they have missed inserting them. To give you an idea of how good this paper is; they had two (2) full page ads from competing chiropractors in the front section of the paper along with one quarter page ad. These bozos were selling the use of the DRX 9000 Back Adjustment Machine. One chiropractor had a photo of himself in a sort of Superman costume? OK, maybe newspapers have to take any kind of advertising to make a profit these days…but this should tell you all you need to know about chiropractors!
Then there was an article about State Senator Carol Migden and her drive to require labeling for cloned meat. Now that should tell you plenty about her level of intelligence. Unfortunately, the article also reveals the intelligence levels of the “average” consumer as well. We have been eating cloned fruits and vegetables for decades and cloned meat is no different.
The front page was filled with the usual “what if” articles about the shootings in
By Niall Ferguson
“Why do we insist on drawing causal chains to exceedingly rare calamities after the fact?”
A good question. Millions will now be spent on researching the “what if” factor and in the end, nothing will have changed. Until Americans come to realize that mental illness is a very real problem, it will only be swept under the bureaucratic rug. This nation can’t handle physical illness very well; how on earth will we ever get a handle on mental illness? (Thank you so much,
To blame it on Koreans is simply idiotic. Mental illness isn’t ethnic. But violence is! A culture that worships violence will be violent. Americans, as a rule, are violent and we love it…but we’re not alone in our love for it. The majority of mankind loves it as well. (Man-kind? An oxymoron?) Though some ethnic groups love it more than others do. A Korean did it? No, a human did it. This is tribalism in its full glory. There are no individual races…only the human race. And until that’s understood, violence will continue.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Susan Sontag and Opera Attic and Rodrigo y Gabriela. What do they have in common? Just bits from programs I was listening to this morning as I was driving to and from
Rodrigo y Gabriela are definitely on my list of favorite musicians now after hearing some of their work. We’re talking acoustic Metallica! And I have to find some more of Susan Sontag’s books. She is fascinating…though she died in 2004. Opera Attic is simply fun; lots of quirky info about opera mixed in with selected arias and librettos. Opera has attracted me recently because of its exuberance. Really; it’s very much like heavy metal!
I have to add this bit of news…
“April 20 - American military commanders in
(Believe it or not, but the Pentagon refers to this as a “gated community”.)
And you should compare the news above (widening sectarian violence) on the 20th with what the president said on the 19th. “
Now that I’m back into a writing mood, I can report that I mowed the orchard yesterday afternoon and while I was out there I noticed that we seem to have a bumper crop of apples coming. Same with apricots and grapes. The peaches and pomegranates are also doing well; in fact, all the trees are doing well, even the ones afflicted with Fire Blight. I guess the severe pruning has worked to increase the crop.
And after reading the latest headlines about bush&co, I have to admit that some things have changed for the better in my own small world. Back in 2001, when bush took charge, I was afraid to travel outside of the country for fear of attack by some crazed terrorist. Now I’m no longer afraid! I’m simply embarrassed. I think that’s better?
Friday, April 20, 2007
I have completed my first project with the Black Walnut pieces I bought awhile ago. It was small and simple because I wanted to see how the wood works with different finishes. The piece is only 3.5”x7.5” and with a polyurethane matte finish. You can see that the finish doesn’t do well on the end grains. The copper
I have always been fascinated by the shape of the cross, or crucifix. And not just for religious reasons. The shape and its many variations seem to be one that humans have used throughout history. Folk art is a great place to see its use...
What a bother! The cat has to be in my lap this morning and she won’t take no for an answer. But I need another cup of coffee, so off she goes…And when I return, she is waiting and leaps back up and makes herself comfortable.
I see an almost cloudless sky this morning, so I’m going for the race training again this morning. I drove into
Reid says war is 'lost,' drawing GOP rebuke
Boston Globe - 4 hours ago
By Anne Flaherty, AP
“Senate majority leader
The war was lost…from the very beginning and by the Republicans and their leaders. These are the same people responsible for the poor treatment of veterans, yet they say that Democrats have failed the troops? When it’s the Democrats and some responsible Republicans that want to bring them home?
By Andrew Gray. JERUSALEM (Reuters) - US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sought on Thursday to allay Israeli concerns about Washington's possible sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia, arguing that friendly Gulf states are a bulwark against Iran.
Amazing! But I suppose it's no more amazing than the fact that we sold weapons to the Taliban. And Saddam. After all, it is all about the money...
Globe and Mail - 2 hours ago
WASHINGTON - US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, President George W. Bush's long-time friend and trusted legal adviser, was clinging to his job yesterday after failing to persuade skeptical senators that he wasn't lying...
"Senate Judiciary Committee members expressed grave doubts about Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s truthfulness and judgment in the firing of federal prosecutors."
I think "It takes one to know one" is apt here.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Better safe than sorry? Right?
Tahoe Daily Tribune - 3 hours ago
"The FBI searched the Virginia home of Congressman John Doolittle, focusing on his wife's business which could spell trouble for the Republican who has been trying to repair his political image."
Maybe he should ask the Attorney General for a little help here... Oh? He's busy with a problem of his own?
It’s addictive! StumbleUpon and ‘stumbling’ has become way too enjoyable. I would bet that most IT departments will be asked to exclude this from their servers; if they haven’t been already. Corporate productivity has to suffer when workers are faced with a choice of stumble? Or not to stumble? Stumble! It wins every time.
The calm before the storm. Yesterday we watched the dark clouds gathering over the Mendocino range and then begin to rain upon the foothills to the west. It looked threatening all day long, but…never a drop upon us here in Orland. The clouds sailed off to the north and the south, only to gather again on the foothills of the Sierra’s. Where it rained and snowed. So what’s our problem? Well, we have another chance tonight; a 40% chance.
Silly cat! She has made herself at home here on my lap…which makes typing problematic. And slow. She has become a creature of habit, just like ourselves and she usually begins her mornings this way. In a few minutes she will get up and stretch before heading to the TV room to sleep in the wingback chair for the rest of the morning. And afternoon. So when is she doing her job?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I suppose we all have the same memories of a high school civic's class. We learned all about the division of powers in our government and how that 3 way division (executive, legislative and judicial) of power kept us free. It seemed so basic. And right.
But it's now quite obvious that it has been subverted by the executive branch. The president gets to decide what a law means and then proclaims his decision to be "constitutional". And since he doesn't veto the bill, congress doesn't get a chance to come back with an override. By doing this, the president has taken the power away from both the legislative and judicial branches of government and given it to himself.
I find it hard to believe that the legislators have allowed this? And the people? Why aren't we complaining? It's our freedom that has been taken from us.
Thank you, Charlie...you deserve the prize
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
And this, I was listening to NPR yesterday morning, just as the news of the Virginia Tech shootings broke and I heard this…“A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman
Unbelievable! People are dying as he speaks and he can only think of pandering to the NRA voters. What a guy!
And then I couldn't find that quote anywhere yesterday afternoon or early this morning. I was beginning to wonder if I had really heard it...but finally, there it was. Yes, he did say it, but it was quickly put aside in favor of something more intelligent or compassionate sounding.
For those who only read the headlines, the news was filled with ‘selective’ headlines yesterday. Here’s an example;
French "knew in 2001 al Qaeda was planning hijack"
Washington Post - 23 hours ago
PARIS (Reuters) - French secret services produced nine reports between September 2000 and August 2001 looking at the al Qaeda threat to the United States, and knew it planned to hijack an aircraft, the French daily Le Monde said on Monday.
What’s not in the headlines is the fact that the
Monday, April 16, 2007
I was able to sleep till 6 the other morning, but not today. Maybe it was the lovely nap I had yesterday afternoon that has caused this sleeplessness. Napping is such a wonderful habit and I can say that I look forward to it. It gives your brain time to sort and file all the information you have received…or so I’ve read. It’s a process somewhat similar to defragging the hard drive. A good thing! Maybe I should look for a list of famous people who have napped. I would bet that there is such a list. I must look.
Well, I found very little on naps, but a little more on “siesta”. It’s definitely a cultural thing and while it’s OK to nap in some countries, American nappers are certainly suspect, maybe even subversive.
Then I read this, “Afternoon sleep is also a common habit in China and Taiwan. This is called xiuxi or wushui in Chinese. Its main difference from the siesta is that it lasts between two and three hours. It occurs after the midday meal and is even a constitutional right…”
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Home again after a quick trip to Susanville to swap vehicles. I got my truck back and returned
Now that we’re home, I have to wander out to the orchard and see what’s blowing around out there. Hopefully, there will be no trees down.
There was only a loose tarp out there, one that I used to cover the mower from the rain on Saturday. How much rain did we get? I’m sure it rained all of the time I was battling snow. I’m thinking that I would like to get a home weather station; I would know how much rain we had and I would know just how windy it is right now. The forecast says 25 mph gusts and I think they’re closer to 40 mph.
The wind drives me crazy; OK, not really crazy. It just irritates me a lot. Although I do get a certain amount of satisfaction from watching the winds shake the trees while we are snug in our house.
I was reading an article in Wired magazine this morning; one that really spoke to me. So I googled (the verb) “wired
"Imagination is more important than knowledge," a comment from
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Also in the local news; very local…the house at the corner is up for sale now and I love the price! The house next to it is also for sale but we think that price is too much. I’m really hoping that either one of the houses will sell for the asking price. Even if they don't sell right away, just the fact that a real estate agent was willing to list them at that price is a good sign.
I thought I heard it raining? It’s in the forecast but it’s still too dark for me to see. I am hoping that the rain will hold off for awhile as we (The Friends of the Library) have trailers filled with books to be unloaded at the parish hall this morning. About 19,000 books are on the trailers and right now they are safely under cover at the cow barns on the fair grounds.
I got a lot of exercise yesterday, starting with a 4 mile practice walk around Bidwell in the morning, followed by helping to unpack and move some heavy pots at the Plant Barn. Then it was time to load the trailers with books. And I will be getting even more exercise this morning as we unload those books and place them on the tables. Perhaps that’s why my hands are aching this morning? Nothing else hurts; just my hands.
I just checked and it’s not raining this minute but it obviously has been raining. This on again/off again rain is slowing down the progress towards replacing our swimming pool liner. And we’re really looking forward to getting rid of the murky swamp we used to call a swimming pool. What an eyesore!
We were third on the list of customers to get new liners and we thought that with an early spring, we would be swimming by May. It could still be possible, but they need a full week without the possibility of rain to get the work done. And there is only one contractor in the north state that does this kind of work anymore.
I see that
Friday, April 13, 2007
So if 40 cents of each tax dollar goes to the military, what about some of the other pressing problems we face? Non-military national security gets 3/4 of a penny of that dollar. Global warming, national parks, pollution abatement and other environmental spending uses up 1.5 cents. That makes sense, none of those things make you #1, so why waste money on them?
Let's see how we're doing militarily. After all, Bush&Co. said we would only need to spend $50 to $60 billion back when the war was started. Today, we've spent close to $500 billion and the Decider says he needs another $142 billion for 2008. Sounds like we're doing just fine! And I don't know about you, but spending all of that money just makes me feel so much safer...
Just wondering if those e-mail's would have been lost if they pertained to any subject praising the administration? Or if they had mentioned some "criminal" or "suspicious" links to ordinary citizens. If they had mentioned you or me (we're ordinary) in those messages, you can bet they would be present and accounted for.
Hmmm? 5 million e-mails lost? I doubt it!
More coffee. Need more coffee. And perhaps an ibuprofen for the shoulder pains (Impingement…it’s an old age thing). Trader
I’ve been fooling around with design ideas from Web 2.0 and I think I’ve got it figured out that Web 2.0 is not a “thing” at all, but a concept and it is a very flexible or loose concept at that.
Will there ever be a Web 3.0? And will someone tell me?What else is new this morning? I got a late start on the news this morning; that’s odd. And to show you just what kind of a society we live in, I see that the headlines are still featuring
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Aren't these people simply amazing?
As usual after a good storm, it’s chilly this morning; 42°. We had a nice thunderstorm with lightning and a fair amount of rain. That, plus the irrigating should have the orchard in good shape for the next two weeks. And I’m hoping that the rain will help the curly leaf willow to fight off the effects of the Roundup.
Thanks to Michelle, I’m looking at the basics of Web 2.0 this morning. Something new for me to think about. And I can’t help but think that the perfect website is like
I remember seeing the Google site for the first time many years ago and being impressed with its simplicity. I still am. So…after some thought, I have to say that site design is art. As much as oil and canvas. Pen and ink. And that makes it difficult. I took a design class at El Camino JC many years ago and the instructor was not one of those warm and fuzzy types, he was cold and calculating when it came to judging design. The first week’s assignment was to draw a black line across a white surface; ½” wide black on an 8”x8” white board. Straight. And not in the center, but placed somewhere, somehow, to create excitement. What? On Friday we placed our samples on a ledge where he could judge them. Two dozen studies in black and white. One by one he tossed them onto the floor until only one remained. It wasn’t mine. Yes, design is difficult and even simple design doesn’t come easy.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
We’re supposed to see some rain today; well, a 60% chance of rain. And it’s also irrigation day and that means the orchard will get wet…no matter what!
I’m not all that enthused about irrigating at this time of the year. I really don’t like doing it in the dark and it will be another month before it’s light enough to clearly see all of the potential hazards where I have to walk up to the canal to open the gate that allows the water into our ditch. And with these cloudy skies, I won’t have the benefit of the moonlight either.
Some in G.O.P. Express Worry Over ’08 Hopes
”Party leaders are concerned about dissatisfaction with the president and political fallout from the war in
Not to worry. The Democrats have at least a year or more to shoot themselves in the foot and they will; it’s guaranteed. And once again the electorate will be faced with a choice of tweedledum or tweedledee in 2008. They say that the ‘cream’ will naturally rise to the top…but that doesn’t happen in politics.
And something that caught my eye the other day.
Something else. Who’s paying for the corn based ethanol? We are and we’re paying for it in the most unlikely of places. Since corn is replacing soy as the crop of choice in the
Of course sugar cane grows best in the tropics and we don’t have a lot of that kind of climate in