Friday, November 30, 2007

Mail Voters Rule!

Good news... I was reading the Bee and found that a new Field Poll shows that 4.2 million voters in California vote by mail. That's 27.2% of the registered voters. And in the 2006 Primary, 47% of the votes cast were mailed in.

Now all we need to do is convince the lawmakers to go to all mail voting as is practiced in Oregon.

Our day is coming!

Sudan protesters

seek Briton's execution -

How do you talk sensibly with idiots? This is beyond comprehension.

Changing Aging

You said, what?

And with the privatization of Social Security, you can expect these things to happen hundreds of times a day...

President Bush's

travel entourage -

Can anyone tell me what this works out to as a cost per mile? Just curious.


Food for thought

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” - Henry Ford

And learning means change...

(Henry Ford was not a role model for anyone...but he was right about this.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dark Roasted Blend

Liquid Art & Droplet Photography

You have some extra bandwidth that you don't know what to do with? Use it up here.

Buy n Large

Buy n Large is now my favorite website!

Don't worry...I know it looks a little scary, but just check out their privacy policies and EULA's at the bottom of the page.

Fed Lawyers

Did Fed Lawyer Use Geeks-on-Call to Erase Gov't Computer Evidence?

Nah! I'm sure he was just trying to get rid of those pesky virii. But... wouldn't he have had an anti-virus program on his government owned computer?

Odds and Ends

And here’s some links that I found. All sounded interesting.

For the first time in more than 25 years, Americans aren't getting any fatter

By Karen Kaplan and Denise Gellene

The percentage of overweight adults has stayed the same recently, but it's still at an all-time high. 'You can only get so fat,' one physiologist says.

I’m afraid it will have to stay that way. Weight reduction would cause a dramatic drop in cotton sales worldwide. Farmers would default on their loans. Cotton pickers would have to go on welfare. A million Chinese workers laid off. A tragedy!

FDA contemplating crackdown on salt

By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar

The AMA, which says Americans should consume 50% less sodium, has joined consumer groups asking for government intervention.

It’s about time. I’ve seen people putting salt on pizza. What are they thinking? People; we’re our own worst enemy.

And then I was thinking about John Adams. Yes, that John Adams; the great patriot. He was the one who pushed the Alien & Sedition Act into law. With an administration like the one we are enduring right now, you have to think about history…a little bit. And so I searched and found this commentary from 2003.

And then there are the quotes to look at.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed. - Herman Melville

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart. - Fred Allen

His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy. - Woody Allen

Fools rush in where fools have been before. - Unknown

Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science. - Henri Poincare

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
Will Rogers

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either. - Jack Benny

On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time. - George Orwell

Who did it?

We were at the Glenn County Seniors Thrift Store the other night for the 'Grand Opening' when we spotted this casserole pot in the window. It was only $6.50 so we took it home with us. Not because we needed a casserole dish, but because we really liked the looks of it. We'll use it for something.

And while inspecting it, I turned it over and found the word, 'Cherokee' and the date 12/5/1977 stamped on the bottom. I've done a Google search for 'cherokee pottery' without success. It really doesn't have a Native American look and so I'm thinking that it has some other origin.


So far it’s pretty much a typical day. Read the mail. Drink the coffee. Check the weather. Read the feeds. Drink the coffee. Open the journal. Go back to the feeds. Read some more. Type.

Somewhere in that litany above I have also looked for the cat; she couldn’t be found? And I haven’t heard a peep from the scanner this morning, so the police can eat their donuts in peace for a little while.

But yesterday the scanner was filled with the story of a car chase from Highway 32 in Chico to the eventual capture of the suspects near the intersection of Meridian and Highway 32. Oh, yeah! The policeman chasing the gold Trans Am was reporting the speed as he drove. 90 mph. Passing Glenwood. 100 mph. Passing Muir. Traffic moderate. What? And then it was over. Scary to think that anyone, good guy or bad guy was going 100 mph on that stretch of suburban road. I guess I should look at the ER website and see if there’s anything to read about it. And more.

And while I was reading the feeds, specifically the Time Goes By blog, I found a neat reference to Boomer 411, a service for the newly aging ‘boomers’. And the blog has a great interview with Ronni Bennett, the proprietor of Time Goes By. I guess I better add this one to my list of feeds.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fragments From Floyd

Have I mentioned it before?

Always one of my favorites.

(Also, new posts on Working and Short laps)

Time Goes By -

The Thought Crime Bill

Definitely worth reading. And she's right. Those of us who are older do remember the assaults on our liberty (HUAC) in the past. But no one wants to hear it anymore. In many cultures, age and the wisdom that go along with it are valued...but not in this one.

We're Back...

OK, that’s enough. I’m not pursuing any goals today. It’s far too disappointing when goals aren’t met. I will just do what has to be done and let it go at that. And enjoy!

I don’t know where that previous comment came from. It just sort of spilled out of my fingertips. I must have been feeling guilty about something… but, even so, I like the thought!

The wind is really blowing this morning. And the cat was eager to come in. I can imagine her senses are bombarded with ‘warnings’ in a wind like this. It must be tiring.

Although I have received email, the internet is unavailable to me this morning. I checked my RSS feeds and they were last updated around 5 PM yesterday. Curse you, Direcway!

So, I’m reading my email and I come across this headline,U.S. not up to speed on broadband By Jim Puzzanghera

Lawmakers want to know where availability is low to help the nation keep up internationally.” And of course I raised my hand. Me! Pick me!

And there was this headline, Many shows could take weeks to roll after the walkout ends By Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller

If the writers strike ended today, Hollywood would not immediately return to its regularly scheduled programming.” I thought; how would anyone know when it had? Is there a difference?

OK, I’ve rebooted and here comes the feeds. Including the weather, this tells me that it’s windy. Duh!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I’ve just been wandering about this morning. Browsing is the perfect word. And I ran across the Mother Jones magazine website; a locale I haven’t to in a long time. I used to subscribe to the print edition, but the subscription ran out and I simply forgot to renew it. And yes, there really is was a Mother Jones at one time. A genuine heroine.

I have recipe on my desk here and I guess I better type it out and get it onto my ‘food’ blog. It’s for a sticky bun Bundt cake type breakfast roll. And it’s good! In fact, it could be too good…

For Mom

I don't usually do YouTube links, but this is pretty good.


Can't Bill Richardson Catch Fire?

Exactly. It's probably because he says what he means. Ask him a question and you get an answer. What kind of politician is that?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Five Questions

for Mark Schapiro

A good article but it could lead you to believe that 'phthalates', the chemical in question, is only found in cosmetics... but, in Mr. Shapiro's interview on Fresh Air, he points out that this chemical is found in almost every plastic made in this country. Any plastic or vinyl that needs to be soft, contains phthalates. Your childrens' toys, the dash on your car and even the plastic tubing for IV meds.

Don't worry about the lead in the paint, you have to deliberately ingest that to suffer any harm. But this is something you need to worry about, it's all around you and it's in the air as well.

The people involved in making the chemical deny that there is any safety hazard. As expected.

And then there is this news from Arnie...

(Yes, Shannon...this is the stuff we were talking about that gets all over the inside of your windshield. And once it's all gone...poof! into the air you're breathing, your dash becomes brittle and breaks.)


Exposing a Toxic U.S. Policy

Apparently we aren't as smart as the EU... where these chemicals are banned. Good story to listen to.

The Swamp

Bush opens Oval Office to Gore

Please, Al! Do the right thing! Don't show up... Tell him you have something better to do. Maybe you have a grandchild in a tap dance recital today? Or, you're all out of creamer and need to get to the store?

Lies My Teacher Told Me:

Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

You know I have to read this book!


What else is new? Well, I will soon be off and walking this morning. Getting in a few more miles of fitness. All very necessary of course. I was just reading a blog that I used to read daily and then stopped reading, maybe a few months ago. And, Roger…one of the bloggers, has developed some health problems in that short span of time. He’s about my age and so I am mindful, once again, of just how precious your good health is. No, the walking won’t cure me of any hidden diseases or conditions that I might already be harboring. But… it might prevent some new ones from occurring. And that’s good. And, as Dave Barry says, “We Americans live in a nation where the medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe 25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in seconds if we felt like it.”



I read about this a few weeks ago, but just got around to looking it up... what a great idea!

Say, hunh?

My day is complete. Laughter. “Confronting an enormous fund-raising gap with Democrats, Republican Party officials say they are recruiting wealthy candidates who can spend millions of their own money to finance their Congressional races.” And the ‘rich’ are like all of the rest of us, how?

Good example. When Emperor Bush the 1st was running against Clinton, a deciding moment in the electorates minds came when George was confronted by a laser scanner at the supermarket and he thought that was the greatest thing he had ever seen! A miracle! It was obvious at that point that the man had never shopped for anything during his privileged life.

The Usual?

I began the morning in my usual way and read the incoming email and then forwarded one item. A request to create a pdf file and return a document; just the usual morning stuff. And then I stared at the monitor. Got some coffee and stared some more. Going nowhere fast. Cat’s in my lap. That’s going to make it hard to get that second cup. Weather. Boring.

So I moved on and read Time Goes By and the article about Senate Bill S.1959, The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism and Prevention Act of 2007. Now I don’t know about you, but that name, alone, makes me very suspicious of the sponsors’ intentions. And as you read further, you can see that it’s really an assault on our First Amendment rights as American citizens and is cloaked in the usual ‘anti-terrorism’ fabric to make it look good.

Why do we let this happen? How did this bill get this far? Have we all forgotten what it means to be free? Really free? Despite my teachers, I did learn the real meaning of the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” I simply can’t imagine a world without that freedom. But, unfortunately, there are plenty of people in high places that will not be satisfied until we are all thinking alike. ‘The right way’. Dissent of any kind simply disturbs their view of an orderly world.

The majority of people that believe in bills, like HR.1955/S.1959, are not necessarily evil. They are the type of people who cannot imagine a world where people would have any view that differed from theirs. And any differing view must be silenced because, in their view, it’s simply wrong! They usually believe they’re good citizens, when, in fact, they are the exact opposite.

And here's the kicker in this bill...“(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

That, alone, makes the bill very dangerous. Can you think of anything else the internet has done? How about providing free speech for everyone? And who should decide what we can read or write? The Decider? Your Senator? Your police? Your neighbor?

Time Goes By has the information needed to contact your representatives...

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I was doing some web surfing this morning; research, as I looked for some information about a trail riding association that I used to work for in the 1980’s. That was the De Anza Trail Caballeros of Riverside, California. And I found some information! I had looked on the internet in previous years but without any success, but this year I got lucky.

As you can see from their website, they are getting ready for their 70th ride, and I began working as a wrangler for them in 1978 and I gave it up in 1988, after their 50th Anniversary ride. And looking at the photos, I was able to spot a couple of faces I knew from those days.

There will be more on my Working blog

underneath that gray mustache, I believe is Dave Shepherd, our fellow wrangler and farrier.


Amazing! I was just reading an article in the Economist about Mike Huckabee, the latest Republican to catch the eye of the party hopeful. Ya know what? We have to read everything these people say! We have to become informed! We have to be INTELLIGENT voters this time! Right now these candidates are telling you anything you want to hear. Anything. It’s scary…

For instance; Huckabee can give you hours and hours of 10 second sound bites that will make you think he’s the answer to your Republican dreams. He’s folksy, he’s fit and he even plays rock and roll on his own guitar! He’s a Baptist minister and so he can be as pious as anyone. More! He even sweats ‘family values’. You wish he lived next door to you! I could go on and on, but I won’t. Huckabee is a huckster. He doesn’t have a clue as to how the real world operates and he isn’t interested in learning either.

…He rouses nativist crowds by fretting that America cannot be secure unless it is self-sufficient in food, energy and military hardware. “I don't want to see our food come from China, our oil come from Saudi Arabia and our manufacturing come from Europe and Asia,” he says. “There is so much foolishness in that one sentence it is hard to unpack,” comments Rich Lowry, a conservative columnist. America hardly imports any food from China. Mr Huckabee's promise of energy independence within 10 years is impossible. And cheap imports benefit precisely the cash-strapped folk Mr Huckabee purports to champion.”

We couldn’t do any of those things 50 years ago and we certainly can’t do them today. And we need candidates that know that. Please.

Eavesdrop Writer

Giving Before Receiving

Another excellent story...

I do the same thing here on the Planet Orland, but at Christmas time. You can't help but wonder at the stories behind the faces you see in line. And I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to carry out the food boxes and found the men? of the family sitting in the car. What's even sadder... men and boys will be in the car, waiting. Women and girls come inside to get the food. And so it perpetuates through the generations.

Life of the Uninsured Intrudes -

- New York Times

Another sad story about health care... but I couldn't help but wonder; why can't Senators push their own elevator buttons? Are elevator operators employed anywhere else in the USA? Anywhere? A perfect illustration of the disconnect between 'them' and 'us'.

The Pond

Weather is on my mind this morning. And not much else. Weather? How very boring. I can’t get my brain engaged for some reason. Is it because we’re near the end of the year and I’ve used up all of the thoughts allotted to me for the year? (I’m really stretching here.) Or, it could be that I’m out of great books to read and that fact has caused a vacuum to form in my brain. Or not.

I have a suspicion that it’s politics that are causing this ennui. He said and she said. They all said. Will any candidate rise out of the scum filled pond that they are all wading in? (And they just got started!)

And then I just read that New Hampshire will most likely be the site for the showdown among the candidates and the ‘peoples choice’ will emerge from that tiny primary. The state holds ½ of 1 percent of the population of the United States. Do you see anything wrong with that picture? With a system like this we are bound to get the president we deserve!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bush Ally

John Howard Loses Big In Australia couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

New posts

on Working! and on Good Eats.

Not Surprised

I have been reading the rail travel adventures on the Day Trippers blog. And it has brought back memories of our trips to downtown Los Angeles and Union station to pick up Grandma Dot whenever she traveled to see us during the holidays. I remember that there were two trains; the Daylight and the Starlight, which would make the trip between Seattle and Los Angeles. And when I saw them, in the 1940’s, they were steam trains. Huge black machines that seemed restless and eager to move, even when in the station; great bursts of excess steam and water would pour out from beneath the engine and scatter any crowd that had come too close.

I have traveled all of the way across the country by rail; furlough coach class. An experience I wouldn’t want to repeat. But I did look up the cost of a trip from Chico to Tacoma; a trip we would be likely to take if we were to visit our friends on Vashon Island. OK, the Amtrak website is less than friendly, but I found that a trip in a Superliner roomette? would cost us $239 each one way. So, that makes it a thousand dollars for us to go round trip. Pricey!


The return to normalcy has begun. Our own bed. So comfortable! All of the expected things are in their expected places about the house. And the cat seems to have forgiven us; though she is very clingy this morning. Sitting in my lap and reaching out to grab my wrist when I begin the tap, tap, tap of typing. “Hey! Forget the keyboard. Scratch my head. Rub my belly.”

It’s back to the park for me this morning. I need to get back into marathon training mode. OK, no marathon until next fall, but I do have some 5K’s to walk and possibly the Bidwell ½ marathon. This time of year has always been the most difficult when training. The holidays and the cold weather combine to tempt you to stay inside and snack on tempting desserts.

So it’s off to the park to walk, and then over to the Plant Barn to make sure the heater stayed lit and warmed the Poinsettia House. Then I have to stop at the Chico Library and pick up another load of books for the Friends of the Library here on the Planet Orland. Maybe I can find something to read?

I finished most of my books over the holiday and had hoped to find the Orland library open on Friday, but no such luck. I guess I will get a library card for the Chico Library; after all, I’m over there at least twice a week in my role as book collector for the Friends.

My chore list above reminds me that I should take some photos of the poinsettias for the Plant Barn blog. Poinsettias en masse, are always spectacular and this year, just as the last, some of the grandchildren will be posed among the hundreds of colorful plants as their parents take Christmas card photos.

And more chores. I also have to move 2 cords of dry almond firewood from here to there; a distance of about 40 feet. After that I can contemplate building a fire for us. And for the cat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Military Asks

Wounded Soldiers To Return Portions Of Signing Bonuses

Hey! A contract is a contract. And besides, we need to balance a budget here.

Only Fear Itself

I guess I had forgotten... as an 'unaffiliated voter' I have to decide on a ballot for a specific party if I want to vote on 'partisan' offices in the February primary. (Since any of the candidates might end up representing ALL of the people...I don't see any partisanship here, but that's another story.) So I have a postcard from the County Clerk's office asking if I wish to have a ballot for the American Independent Party or the California Democratic Party? Those are the only two parties that are courting the independent voter. Republicans? What are they afraid of?

I have hopes that someday we will see truly independent voting in this country and political parties will fade away to the obscurity they deserve. Hey! Everyone should dream! Join me and un-join yourself from a political party...

No Bugs

Trash day. It used to be irrigation day but that’s over and done with until next year. And today is also the day that the load of firewood arrives. Two cords of almond wood. Which will be dumped in front and which will have to be transported to the back. One wheel barrow load at a time. And we have the chimney sweep coming soon. I think it sounds like winter is almost here. No, I’m not a fan of wood fires; I hate the mess and the fact that you’re tied to feeding the woodstove on a regular basis. Don’t let it go out! But Laurae and the cat love the fire… what can I do?

Apropos of nothing at all… I was using WipeOut a second ago and wondered if I had ever mentioned this great little utility? I’ve been using it for years and on 3 different computers. It let’s you grab the edge of the current window or windows and drag them away briefly to see your desktop. You can configure it to allow 1, 2, 3 or 4 sides of the screen to be dragged (drug?) and you can choose a highlight color (right click) to make the edge easier to see and grab. I know there’s other ways of doing the same thing, but this was always my favorite. I wonder if it’s still available? Ah, there it is… and still the same version number. By the way, it’s bug free.


Kindle to E-Book Readers of Yesterday and Tomorrow

Sounds like the 'waiting game' is the game to play.

My perfect reader? The one that gives me my choice of over 100 newspapers and 50 magazines and is delivered by wifi... the LG Philips model looks like a nice one to read the paper on.

If I were a newspaper publisher, I would be pushing for something like this to save my business.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hype. Hype. Hype.

Kindle. Kindle. Kindle. That’s all I see in the news today. And what a great idea! I love it! But… here’s my fear. I buy it and it doesn’t do everything quite as well as it has been hyped. Close. Sure! But, not the whole enchilada. I don’t want to be disappointed, I want to be delighted. And when you see this kind of promotion, and if you buy into it…all the way; there’s a good chance that you will be disappointed. OK, so I’m a cynic. And I will wait for my sister to review it!

Books would be nice to read on Kindle, but I was more excited about reading the newspapers with it. Sitting in the coffee shop (the old railroad car next to the Chico Art Center) with a pot of Jamaican Red tea and the latest New York Times. How could it get any better than that?

And yesterday, while I was waiting for Laurae to get her hair cut, I sat down with a cup of coffee and the Sacramento Bee. All was fine until I noticed that I was reading a USED copy! I paid my money and took the second paper down from the top and I still ended up with a USED paper! Maddening… but if I had a Kindle, my electronic paper would be fresh and complete. And it wouldn’t turn my fingers black.

And speaking of books, I was in Chico today for my usual library run and I picked up a box of books to put in the truck, and right there, on top, was the book, Treason, by Ann Coulter. So what should I do? Toss it into the shrubs over there by the door? There were a couple of trash cans nearby as well. Was anyone watching? OK, I know I should have, but I couldn’t. Even when the author is an idiot, it’s a free country and she should be free to practice her idiocy. Although she doesn’t need much more practice… she’s got it down!

What's with that?

I can’t help but notice that one Republican candidate seems to be leading in all of the polls; Romney. The others are still making noise, but the clear leader is ‘Mitt’. (I’m sorry, but what kind of name is that, ‘Mitt’?) And what scares me about this guy is the fact that he is so very slick. Polished. You’ve seen the Mormon missionaries that come to your door, and most have the ability to look slightly past you while they speak; No eye contact. Only the message. And the fact that he has reversed himself on dozens of important issues seems to have been forgotten by his rabid followers; and the press.


This should be interesting. I have a new Palm TX and it came barebones. No manual. It does have a power supply, a cradle and a case, plus a CD for the software. But…it was about $30 cheaper than anywhere else. OK, the manual is found on-line…sort of. All I have to do now is figure it out. I was hoping that I could use Explorer to see the file structure of the Palm and simply add what I want by Drag and Drop. Of course not. It’s never that simple. Just like my daughter’s new Shuffle; you would think that Drag and Drop would be the ‘bomb’, but no! Apple has to do whatever they do in some mysterious fashion. This ought to keep me busy for awhile, but it’s probably a good mental exercise and I shouldn’t complain.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cancer Sticks

Distilling the Tar From Two Cartons of Cigarettes

If I had seen this 50 years ago...I wonder if I would have done anything differently? One would hope!

The Use

and Misuse of Vets -

Jaime does it again. A good and thoughtful posting. Sad but true...

Taco Bell's

Five Ingredients Combined In Totally New Way

Wow! I'm having one for breakfast!

Karl Who?

And then there is this… “the unpopularity of Congressional Democrats:

“There’s a reason they’ve become unpopular,” said Karl Rove, who recently stepped down as deputy White House chief of staff. “They’ve taken stands that make them look churlish, small, petty and more interested in scoring political points than in doing good things for the country.”

Who would believe that I think Karl is ‘right on’ with his comments? Sad. But, on the bright side, those same comments can be applied to the Republicans as well!

All Over Again

I couldn’t help but have a moment of déjà vu as I read these headlines.

U.S. Hopes to Arm Pakistani Tribes Against Al Qaeda
By Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Carlotta Gall
The new proposal is modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Iraq’s Anbar Province that has been hailed as a success in fighting foreign insurgents.

That is exactly what we did in the 1980’s, supplying arms to the Taliban during the Soviet/Afghanistan War. The same weapons that were then used against us. How stupid are we? (Let me count the ways…)

I keep forgetting that we are not for peace, we’re the world’s largest arms dealer and business is what we’re all about. This is one marketplace where the Chinese don’t have a chance! And besides, peace is just plain old bad for business.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It Takes a Team

to Fight Generics - Press Release

Yay, Teamwork! Brand Names Rule!

Politics in the Zeros

A lot of good stuff here...

Always worth reading and thinking...


Dr. Catherine Wilkerson

Is this the part of America that we should be proud of? Just wondering...

Amazing! Arrested two months after the fact...

And, yes, I signed the petition.

Repeating Myself

The CN&R has another controversial column by Mr. Porter. I can hardly wait to read the reactions to it. I wonder if there is a blog for his work? I suppose I could look… Ok, no blog but he does have a web page full of links.

In that column, he makes this observation, “…my being born in Chicago at the end of 1945 was pure chance as far as I'm concerned.” Now that is another thing that Mr. Porter and I agree on. Being born in America does not give us any right to be proud of that fact. Pride is something you can legitimately feel only when you have a part in the action that causes the pride. Do well on a test? Sure, you can be proud. The team you played on finished in first place? Feel the pride! You’re not a member of that team? Get outta here!

It’s the same with citizens. Born here? You did nothing at all to make yourself proud about that. But, did you emigrate and then take a citizenship test after many years of waiting? You can be proud!

Yes, when it comes to America and patriotism… I can only tell you that I’m darn lucky to have been born here. Blessed beyond belief. But ‘proud’ of it? Not.

I can tell you that I'm proud of the time I spent in the Navy. I did that. I'm proud of the fact that I've never missed voting in an election. I did that.

I (Don't) believe!

The United Nations report on global warming is out so it’s important that we all do the right thing. First; do not read it. Second; attack it as some sort of ‘voodoo’ science. Third; go about your life as if you had never heard of this report. I know that there is no logic to my suggestions or to the order of their importance. But; why should logic play any part in this?

Luckily, for ourselves, ‘global warming’ doesn’t occur on the Planet Orland and so we will never have to worry about it.

I believe!

Life goes on. Yesterday morning I felt like retreating from life, but a walk in the park helped with that attitude. And then I made a platter full of my now World Famous Lemon Bars for the Soup & Sandwich supper at church last night. Thanks to my niece, Erin, I have a never fail recipe that always delights the residents of the Planet Orland. And after supper, while others took a turn at decorating and creating Christmas wreaths for the local assisted living center, I laid on the couch in the church library and read. I wish I could remember the title of the book I was reading, but it was a true account of one ‘teacher’ in the Los Angeles area school district of Compton. She was a member of TFA, an organization dedicated to solving the many problems of our educational system at the classroom level by working and not talking.

OK. I found the book! And I found a new service of Google as well. Well, it’s new to me. You can read some excerpts. Here’s a book that that should be read by every member of every school board in America. Not just Los Angeles… every school board. And they should have to write a book report afterwards. 2 pages.

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
Clarence Darrow

Speaking of reading; go here and type in the URL of your favorite blog and see how it stacks up for level of reading ability. I made it to Junior High with mine. So I’m fairly plebian in my style of writing… though I will admit that I’m using the word ‘plebian’ in an attempt to raise it to ‘High school’.

What else is new? Well, I'm working on 4 projects at the same time... a sure recipe for failure at one of them. Must. Relax.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Dark Roasted Blend

This is one of my favorite RSS feeds but I'm always hesitant to click on it. The images just keep coming and coming...until I'm out of memory!

Check out the funny animal pages... if you have enough memory.

Just My View

Everybody loves a fight! But they don’t care much for debates… or so it appears. The Debate in Las Vegas didn’t even try to appear as a serious forum for serious people to debate serious subjects. It was scripted to be like a schoolyard yelling match; a verbal fight on the playgrounds, where the candidates said serious things, like, “Did so!” which generated reasoned responses such as, “Did not!”… Apparently this is what their handlers think we, the people, love to watch. Hmmm? If this is true, how mature are we?

And the candidates; is this it? Doesn’t anything of value come from the minds and lips of these people? How mature are they?

I probably would have voted for the candidate who walked off of the stage after the first few minutes; the one that realized it wasn’t a debate at all! But, they all stayed to the bitter end. Did not! Did so!

Fried Okra


What is it with the 'Capital C Christians'?

Don't they know how to read? The Bible?

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Onion says...

Couldn't have said it better!

Cabela's --

-- Reno!

Oh, it makes the 'sportsman's' heart pound! In just a few hours a new Cabela's Temple of Excess will open in Verdi, Nevada. (For you who might wonder... VUR-DYE is how you pronounce that name)

ps...just 36.7 miles south (as the crow flies) is the town of Genoa. Pronounced JUH-NOAH.

Will it stay?

I will admit that we didn’t gather around the little television set last night; the one that has an antenna, and watch the debates… “LIVE! From Fabulous Las Vegas!” I like to think that I’m smarter than that. And the prospect of having to listen to Wolf Blitzer for more than 15 minutes was scary! I will get my political wisdom from the written words of the candidates. That and the unscripted moments where an interviewer, maybe even the public, has a chance to ask a probing and difficult question. These debates are ‘made for the media’ moments and are about as valid as yesterday’s newspaper. Think about it; wasn’t Las Vegas the perfect place to hold the debates? Isn’t there a saying, ‘What happens in Vegas… stays in Vegas’? If only!

How Odd?

It’s oddly warm this morning. I even had to turn the thermostat down. Oh, oh! Global Warming! No? OK then, just local warming. And welcome of course.

I was reading the Bee yesterday morning and they had a short story on Gray Davis’ visit to Sacramento the other day. And in the story he noted how different it was now, not living in ‘the bubble’. He said that while living in ‘the bubble’ his life consisted of press conferences and meetings. He had no idea as to how the ordinary people of California lived their lives. Yes, he admitted what we all know to be true. Politicians don’t have a clue. Never have. Never will.

Despite his many failures as governor, I remember the fact that Mr. Davis would always fly Southwest Airlines and I give him some points for that. I’m sure he didn’t have to hurry to get in line for an ‘A’ pass, but that’s understandable. But, he did have to endure the corny jokes and eat peanuts with the rest of us.

All of which brings back a memory I have of having to fly south on a Friday afternoon and I was in the Southwest boarding area at the Sacramento Airport. This was odd in itself as I was generally flying to Sacramento on Fridays, not from, Anyway, there was a large crowd of well suited men and a couple of women standing and chatting nearby. I couldn’t help but overhear them and after awhile I figured out that they were lawmakers on their way home for the weekend. And their conversation? It was like listening to alien beings. Men from Mars? I can’t remember the specifics of it, it was simply weird!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


How Do You Answer Experience Question?

Experience? Since when does experience matter when it comes to presidential candidates? MONEY. $$$$. It's the only thing that counts. It wasn't always that way, but it certainly is now.

Let's see... bush's former position as the ceremonial governor of Texas? Yes, ceremonial, as the legislators only work part time in Texas. The real political power in Texas is vested in their Speaker. The governor only gets to open new malls and deny clemency to prisoners scheduled for execution.

Oh, yes...part owner of baseball team. Valuable training!

Oil business failure?

So where is the experience? On the job, of course. Maybe, after he leaves office, he can get a job as dictator for some small country bent on on committing national suicide.

And the plan is?

Earlier, I wrote about China, “With a population of well over a billion, it requires a lot of juggling to keep them all happy.” Taking that into account and then looking at these population numbers, Asia accounts for over 60% of the world population with almost 3.8 billion people. China and India alone comprise 20% and 16% respectively. Africa follows with 840 million people, 12% of the world population. Europe's 710 million people make up 11% of the world's population. North America is home to 514 million (8%), South America to 371 million (5.3%), and Australia 21 million.” I would say that we’re going to be seeing a lot more juggling by all nations in the years ahead. Tribalism has to end if we’re going to survive.


We Can Work It Out

Let's see now if you don't have a job you probably don't have the money for the fine so that means you will have to go to jail and that means that they will have to build more jails which will provide more jobs but since everyone is in jail they won't be built and and and and ....

It all sounds very educational.

Basic Instructions

He's always funny!

It's only once a week, but I do look forward to it!

Just thinking

This week’s edition of the Economist has a special article on technology in both India and China. Timely subject. China has a satellite orbiting the moon right now, in preparation for a manned landing next year or? And India has the same sort of plans, with a moon orbiting satellite launch very soon. China has already become a commercial launcher of satellites, supplying the vehicles and the expertise for those countries that need such services.

We’re fooling ourselves if we continue to think of these two countries as being backwards. China does far more than simply fill orders for Wal*Mart and India doesn’t use all of its manpower answering the Help Desk phones for Dell.

From the article, China’s government does not have the luxury of choosing between progress and stability; it cannot enjoy social peace without economic advance.” With a population of well over a billion, it requires a lot of juggling to keep them all happy. And this, “By 2015 its research scientists and engineers may outnumber those of any other country.” That’s only seven years from now. And it’s the same story in India.

But at the same time, there is a sector where we (The USA) make a lot of money by importing goods to China. Semiconductors. Internally, the Chinese can only supply about $3.1 billion worth of chips for their industry which has a demand for $62 billion per year. A $59 billion shortfall which Intel and others are eager to help with. But, new chip foundries are being built in China all of the time and I doubt that the market will remain lucrative for long. Yes, Intel is building those foundries.

Memory: Back in the day, when I was working for PCI, we were told that Intel had plans for a new wafer Fab in China. Some excitement ensued. After all, it was a Fab and we loved building them! But… among all of the project engineers that I knew, not one wanted to be on the crew that would have to go and build it. No thanks. And that was about 5 years ago. I wonder what the thoughts are now?

Sticking to it

What to write? What, indeed. After reading the two Times (NY and LA) daily email updates, I’m really not interested in the news this morning. How can people be that stupid? (Not the readers, but the people making the headlines) I know it’s only temporary and that I will soon be reading it all again with fervor. But not this morning.

We were in Target the other day and in the $1 bargain section Laurae spotted some DVD’s of old TV shows. Why not? For only a dollar and each DVD contains 6 episodes of an old favorite. Also; and here’s a new and relevant thought, we’re supporting the strikers in Hollywood by watching this stuff. Sure, we are. Anyway, we decided to watch some of the Dick Van Dyke show, one that we had always enjoyed back… when? After watching just two episodes, it was apparent that our tastes have changed. This was pretty mindless fare and worth just about… a dollar. Sometimes memories are better left alone, to remain as memories.

Of course that brings up thoughts of history, both ancient and modern. And it doesn’t take much thought to realize that the ‘good old days’ really weren’t. Sure, there were some bright spots in the past, and despite the gloom of the past 7 years, brought about by this president, life is still better than it was in the 50’s or the 60’s. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it! For today…