Monday, June 30, 2008
Even if Obama won't...
And this..."today President Bush signed the GI Bill --which Senator Barack Obama has unstintingly supported . The bill will spend $63 billion over ten years for increased college aid for military service members and veterans who served after September 11, 2001. Good judgment? John McCain opposed it.
Not sad at all. Examine what the man said....
“I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”
That happens to be a true statement. He didn't impugn McCain's bravery or patriotism. And if McCain had been smart, he would have agreed with Clark and then pointed out some 'real' reasons as to why he was qualified. Perhaps the candidates could focus on something a little more substantial? Or will we have to listen to this kind of pettiness for the rest of the year?
All is quiet here. It’s one of those good news, bad news things. No twins asleep in the other room. No more swimming lessons. We miss them. Yet it’s nice to have the days all to ourselves and without responsibilities.
Speaking of good news; tomorrow is the first day that Californians will be safe from motorists holding cell phones to their ears while driving. Hurrah! Expect a dramatic decline in vehicle accidents. And I imagine that we can also expect a refund on our insurance premiums.
More good news; the smoke is no longer obvious in the morning sky. There is still a light haze to the east of us, but it doesn’t look threatening and the sky above us is blue.
Bad news? There’s always some. And the worst is the fact that
Time Goes By has a good posting on the Iran/Israel/U.S. dilemma. OK, I guess it’s not really a dilemma for Bush/Cheney; they will do whatever they feel like. It’s you and I that have the dilemma. We’re living in a country without anyone responsible in charge.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
This is exactly why the "Monster of Florence" sounded so familiar! It's the same kind of bungling and you suspect that Inspector Clouseau is behind it... Sadly, it's our Justice? Department that is responsible. And the Federal Bureau of Ineptitude.
I've been trying for quite awhile, but I just can't muster up any sympathy for U.S. automakers. They ignored my wishes for years and they ignored reality. (Not always the same)
"...it would take 23 GMs to equal the $148.8-billion valuation of Japanese rival Toyota Motor Co."
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee and I just happen to have some brewing right now. Ah! One cup filled with a mix of freshly brewed coffee and soy based artificial flavoring. That’s more like it.
This morning, the cat has come in from the garage and now sits in the window and contemplates the outside world. She is also contemplating running away if those darn twins and other assorted guests don’t leave her house!
And...I just finished reading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. I see by the publication date that the library got their copy almost right away! Anyway; it was a great read; finished in just two days. And what struck me most powerfully about the book was the behavior of the people of
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This is something we are well acquainted with at the Glenn County Seniors Centers...we have a plague of walkers and crutches. They are constantly being donated to us because they are 'surplus'. We have had reports of elders being forced to take another walker home with them after a hospital stay, because 'it came with the treatment' - and the bill! It's the same with crutches and canes. The fact that they already have one at home never registers with those in charge of the billings. You are over 65 and you have been in the hospital with a diagnosis of 'X' and so you are entitled to one of these items. And, by golly, you will take it home with you. Yes, we have taken them to the dump...
I was just reading the news that Obama has turned conservative in his opinions these days. So much for integrity. I was harboring a wishful thought that perhaps he was a man for real change. Not.
I’ve said in the past that
Here we are, only 5 months away from deciding on a leader for our country and we have nada, zip and zilch to choose from. Team
A house with grandchildren in it. That’s always nice! I wish there were more, but three (
According to elders I know here on the Planet Orland, they have never seen this much smoke and/or for so long a period. There are a great number of people wearing disposable air filtering masks these days and the local hospital (
Friday, June 27, 2008
Speaking of big surprises; the DJI is currently at 11,405. Oops! Closing at 11,346. OK, you know, I wasn’t on one side or the other of this impeachment buzz. After all, he was on his way out anyway and I thought it was a lost cause and would only cost the taxpayer…again. But now I’m thinking he needs to be punished. Even if it is only symbolic.
--George W. Bush
Explaining why high taxes on the rich are a failed strategy. I knew there was a good reason! And I suppose that those whose job it is to write tax laws and collect taxes aren't all that bright? Well, that's comforting.
What does this mean? It means that the Republican 'Hate' machine hasn't begun its work...it soon will. Stay tuned.
A better morning, I think. The moon is a lovely shade of light orange, which is better than the dark red moon we have been seeing. The air still reeks of smoke, but I do feel a light breeze coming in the window.
And after having a cortisone injection in my back yesterday, I’m feeling better this morning. The plantar fasciitis symptoms in my left foot are down to a pain level of 2 where they were at a 6 or 7 up to the time of the injection. The right hip pains have moderated as well. Isn’t that odd that arthritic compression around the nerves can cause pain of two different types and on opposite sides? Am I cured? Not yet. The cortisone was given to try and identify the nerve that was causing the problem. Another visit will be required to actually block the signal from that nerve.
So, why am I telling you any of this? Because I was accused of withholding this information from my eldest. Me?
I think this communication problem lies with the fact that I own a blog or two, plus an offline journal. (Go to my Blogger Profile to see which blogs I own.) If I wrote it…I said it. To someone. Reality sometimes escapes me. In the meantime I will try to solve the communication problem by placing all of my specific physical complaints and successes on my marathon blog, Short Laps.
And those that know me know I love the written word and dislike the telephone. Face to face conversations are best and the telephone is a poor substitute for that. Maybe this comes from the fact that I watched Flash Gordon serials in the
(Here is Flash choking Ming The Merciless or A.G. Bell...as he deserves to be!)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Supreme Court says Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history."
I can agree with that. What I cannot agree with is how easily an American can get a gun. If it were up to the NRA, you could buy them along with your groceries. That is if you could still afford one after paying for the eats.
It's happening everywhere.
Since the Planet Orland is in the grips of a single greedy marketer, we try and shop in Chico whenever possible. At least we have a choice there.
I don't have a good feeling about Raley's being able to survive this period of intense price warfare. I like their stores, but not the prices. And as much as I would like to be a loyal customer, I simply can't afford to.
"William F. Estes, who identified himself as a lawyer for Action Rags, said the company was shocked by the raid.
“We want to abide by the law, and we’re going to abide by the law,” Mr. Estes said. “If we have an illegal employee, we don’t know it. No way. Tell us what the law is, and we’ll obey it.”"
Laugh of the day! You might notice that they didn't show up with a bus to haul the employer away...
Windows are open, but I’m not getting the usual aroma of crispy landscape. Could it be that the skies are clear once more? I’ll have to wait an hour or so to see the skies for myself.(Later) Nope. The skies are still a dull brown color; the sun is an orange disk.
Imagine; this is only
And the cost of these fires; I wonder what the total will be? There are fire fighters from every part of the state up here, with their fuel hungry equipment. Plus all of the aerial support. What does it cost to fill up a dozer? A DC-10 tanker?
See? All you have to do is wait long enough. People forget.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Beautiful! But short (58") ... I still think a walking stick/staff should be 6' long. I want to be able to hold it with both hands held at shoulder height and just let it bear my weight for a minute or two when I stop... to think.
The book I saw was A Team of Rivals by Doris Goodwin. And it details how Lincoln (the last good Republican) chose his political rivals for cabinet posts. Brilliant.
Do you think we can get our current crop of politicians to read the book?
I have a few of the windows open this morning and I can smell the smoke from hundreds of northstate fires; smoke that will distort the coming sunrise and cause headaches and coughing all day. From what we were told, the Planet Orland does not have the severe smoke problem that affects those living in
I was searching the internet for quarterstaffs this morning; prompted by the Monday posting on Time Goes By and I came across this blog. It doesn’t tell me much about staffs, but it does reveal (once again) the fact that there are blogs for everyone and for every interest; even one for men who like to fight with sticks. Is there a women’s auxiliary? Or, in this enlightened age, are women expected to pummel you with a stick in a ‘manly’ fashion?
So, from what I can gather, I need hickory for my staff. An eastern hardwood. And it has to be a sapling, gathered in the wintertime. It sounds as if my hunt for the perfect quarterstaff is going to take longer that I expected.
The more I think about quarterstaffs, the more I like the idea of having one. One with personality of course. An all titanium high tech staff wouldn’t do. It should be all natural; wood, with twists and curves that attract the hands to places where a secure grip can be obtained. But, how do I transport the darn thing? The staff is supposed to be between 6’ and 9’ long. That’s not something you just toss in the backseat or trunk of the car. Although, our new car has a pass-through in the back seat that allows for the transport of ski equipment. I guess that would work…
Since today is the day I handle the irrigation chore for our small group of ag water users, I really wish I had a quarterstaff to ease my way up the path to the canal and to ward off any stray dogs.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"Tracy Russo (formerly of the Edwards campaign, with me in the photo) got into it with Mark Soohoo of the McCain campaign. Tracy wondered how someone who doesn't use a computer can be president of the United States.
Mark said that someone doesn't have to know how to use a computer in order to understand them. Tracy said most emphatically that you do, and that someone who is going to be expected to lead the country through the social, political, economic and communication upheavals that are happening as a result of the changes in computer and online technology very much needs to be able to use one."
President? You shouldn't even be elected to the post of 'Dog Catcher' without knowing how to use a computer.
And I’ve been skimming the news about the latest Pew Research study that shows (supposedly) that most Americans are religious and go to church…regularly. And, apparently, they also lie to researchers. Regularly. If we had to plan for all of those worshipers showing up on Sunday, we would have to double, even triple our seating capacity. And those same people (49%) said that ‘
Humans! We're really quite funny!
I just don't get it. Why on earth would you want to continue to spend money trying to develop a diminishing resource? Why wouldn't you spend the money needed to develop alternatives? Have these people lost their minds?
Oops! My mistake; it's all about votes isn't it? And apparently all of the voting will take place around the gas pumps this year. Brainless.
Rise and shine! Okay, I’m awake…trust me; nothing gets me out of bed as quickly as a leg cramp. Now, with a cup of coffee to complete the horizontal to vertical process, I’m ready to do a little cat wrestling to get those aching joints moving again.
Boo the cat seems to think she can best me this morning but I win the first three falls quite easily and she retires for the morning. I’m still undefeated.
Noted; one of the problems with leaving your computer off overnight is the fact that housekeeping chores like virus scanning and MS updates occur only after you turn the machine back on. It’s early and here I am; eager to see what is happening in the world, and my computer is trying to do three other things all at once. My request is put on the back burner. I guess I’ll get another cup of coffee and maybe the housekeeping will be completed when I get back. Number of items scanned; 117367. I didn’t know that I had that many ‘items’! And it’s still not finished.
With the windows open this morning, I can really smell the smoke from hundreds of northstate fires. And I just got an email from the cleanup crew and they won’t be coming to work in the garden/orchard today because of the air quality. The weather forecast calls it ‘haze’ but that is too benign a word for it. It’s smoke and it’s bad for you!
That's it...I'm closing the windows. I just stepped outside to see what kind of day we had in store for us and it looked like a foggy winter morning. The smoke is far too thick!
Monday, June 23, 2008
And what's with Firefox? I used to be able to drag and drop a post right from Word without a problem. Now Firefox tells me that I have all sorts of 'illegal html' and won't let me post here till I remove the first four lines of code that Microsoft puts in a Word document. And then the font is huge! Very weird.
You might want to re-think that trip to the beach after reading this...
Life in the slow lane. That’s what we have here on the Planet Orland. The days of summer are here and we take life easy until October. Sure. Easy for us to say, we’re not fighting any fires. That little bit of tropical air that sailed over us the other day had enough lightning strikes contained within it to overwhelm the fire fighting resources of the north state and now the air is smoky once again. On the plus side, the wind is minimal. (Link)
I was just reading an article about the use of ‘staff’s’ in lieu of canes. What a great idea! I don’t need either one right now, but if I did, I would have to go for the staff. In fact, I can start my search for just the right one starting now. I have already concluded that the
Sunday, June 22, 2008
And once again, with the 3.0 version, pages load much faster than IE7. There are a few quirky things I've seen but I can live them.
One oddity. When posting photos to my blog, Firefox won't let me drag the text to the top of the page...
Yikes! I wonder how far this place is from the site of our first home (1,000 square foot?) in Manhattan Beach (1945)? The home where you could see the sand under the house through the gaps in the flooring? This was in a town where everyone ran outside when the siren for the volunteer firemen wailed. It was great fun to watch the cars and trucks following the lone fire engine.
OK, I just looked it up and it was just 3 blocks away. Also nearby were some pigs in a backyard. Some chickens in front yards. Our next door neighbors on Pacific, the Kaiser's, raised rabbits for their fur and meat. And I can't forget the monkey at the end of the block; tethered to an old stump in their front yard.
I’m reading a lot of books these days. Here’s one that I’m finding to be quite interesting, Violence Over the Land by Ned Blackhawk. Since the author writes mainly of the Ute, Comanche, and Navajo tribes, the book is focused on northern
And a book I want to read is Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller. Fun stuff! The book is a spin-off from his lecture series of the same title.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Warm this morning. It’s 71° outside at this early hour. And Boo the cat doesn’t want to hang out with me this morning. She’s sitting in the window and contemplating how nice it would be if I were to let her out to do whatever cats do at this time of day. She turns toward me every few minutes and gives me a sad ‘meow’.
We experienced some food ‘sticker shock’ last night. The chicken recipe I was going to use called for the chicken to be marinated and chilled for 4 to 6 hours. I had started too late and that would have made dinner available about 8, a time when Grandma would be getting the twins ready for bed. So I made the decision to order some pizza at the new Round Table restaurant here on the Planet Orland. Since the twins are only 5 years old, they were not ready to eat from a common pizza. Abby wanted plain cheese while
If there had been a Papa Murphy’s available, we could have saved a little bit. But our Papa’s closed last year and the nearest one is now 15 miles away. 30 miles round trip. Does anyone remember the days when pizza was cheap food? That was when it was the food of choice for starving students. For $47 I could take us all to a sit-down restaurant and be served; twice.
Technically, I did something for my country. I joined the Navy and served my 6 years; active duty and reserve. But I was paid for it. I could have been proud, but only if I had served without pay. But I took the money and the benefits. So where’s the pride in that? (OK, I do have some pride; I survived boot camp. They don't pay you enough for that.)
I know a few things that do not make me proud of my country and one of them is the fact that we are now scared, once again, to have an opinion that doesn’t match the mainstream. Afraid of not being ‘patriotic’ enough. Afraid of not wearing our flag lapel pin. Doesn’t anyone remember ‘National Socialism’? At that time in world history, Americans vowed that they would never let something like that happen to them. Yet, within less than a decade, we were allowing and even celebrating the fact that a drunken Senator was using rumors of less than perfect patriotism to ruin the careers and lives of those he chose to pillory. Exactly the same thing as National Socialism. Fascism.
And last; let me return to Michelle Obama. Here is a woman that grew up being black in a nation where she was treated as a second class citizen because of her skin color and her gender. Yes, she was and yes, she still is. It doesn’t matter that discrimination is and was illegal. It happened then and it continues to happen today to anyone who isn’t lily white and a man. Yet we demand that she be proud of being an American. Why?
Friday, June 20, 2008
Interesting; from the article comes these facts. There are approximately 300 million English speaking Chinese. And by the year 2020, native English speakers (that's you and me) will make up only 15% of the estimated 2 billion people who will be using or learning the language.
So, when we 'insist' that people learn the English language and speak it to become good citizens, which English are we speaking of?
I've always found it fascinating that some Christians; the big 'C' Christians, believe that they must defend God. Why would God need defending? Or, could it be...they are really defending themselves?
It’s obvious that the quantity and quality of my daily writings will suffer while the twins are here. I’m in demand as a ‘grandpa’ or ‘poppa’ almost all day, and as the twins are 5 years old, there’s a lot of their ‘why’ questions for me to answer. There’s really no time for my own ‘why’ questions.
I have the windows open and the fans going this morning, trying to get some of that 65° outside air into our 78° house. At 4 in the morning.
The cat, no fan of little children, is asleep nearby. Safe for now. She has found a corner here in our study where she can curl up and not be noticed by little eyes. Being black, she can tuck herself right into a shadow. She will make her exit about ten this morning and the twins will be none the wiser.
Speaking of ‘why’, I should mention that answering questions, for anyone, is a real test for my personality type. I’m an Intuitive type versus a Sensing type. ‘Sensing Types’ are those who use their 5 senses and depend on a logic created by what they can experience; touching, seeing, hearing, etc. Intuitives use a logic created by weird ‘equations’ within their minds and not based on anything that can be seen. Intuitives are the ones you hated when you were in school and taking timed tests, because they were the ones that finished first. Yes, Intuitives are simply better guessers than most. And the majority of educators report as being Intuitives which explains why there are so many timed tests. There is a built-in bias against Sensing Types in our education system. They are often described as being ‘slow’, when, in fact, it’s the fault of the Intuitive instructors who can’t or won’t recognize any other Type.
Remember the teachers that would tell you to just move on if you couldn’t get the answer for a test question? ‘Come back to it later’ they would say. But ‘Sensing Types’ can’t do that. They have to finish each question in its turn. Intuitives have already done that. Moved on. Twice. Which reminds me; that’s how I do crossword puzzles. And it really irritates my ‘Sensing’ wife! I scan the puzzle and cherry pick the answers. She completes the puzzles in an orderly fashion. And when I was traveling, I would carry a couple of those crossword puzzle books to while away the flying hours; each one filled with unfinished puzzles. I'm sure my fellow passengers thought me weird as I flipped through the pages and inserted a word here and there.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Now take a moment to remember these words. Write them down. Then check those gas prices after the drilling has begun. Read those words again. Sucker!
"Forty years ago, Haiti was self-sufficient in rice. Now it imports most of its rice from the United States – all of it heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. Many families, in desperation, risked death to cross 258 kilometres of ocean, often in rickety boats, to get to Miami, the port that gives American rice its Haitian nickname – “Miami Rice.” From a country with a population of eight million, as many as two million Haitians now live in the U.S. In this tragic saga, though, it's not enough that the U.S. subsidizes rice production, making it half as expensive as Haitian rice used to cost. Now the Haitian government will subsidize American rice again, using meagre state funds to reduce the retail price by 16 per cent. It will also impose controls on the retail price. The price controls will inevitably reduce the supply. Haiti's rice crisis will almost certainly worsen."
Rice is the big crop around here. From Glenn County to Sacramento, it's rice fields everywhere. And all subsidized. It's a standing joke around here, the stories of the 'poor rice farmer' who has to drive last years pickup.
Not a joke; Haitians will sometimes bake clay and eat it, just to fill their stomachs.
Vulnerable? Yes, the fact that he is 'McBush' would make it so. And Bush isn't helping him. It seems that
Yes, I'm having a bad political day...
There is plenty of ‘stuff’ to think about in the last few posts on Time Goes By. For instance, the fact that as we age, we are more easily distracted. Interests wax and wane almost by the minute. That is why I usually have three or more books being read at the same time. And then there is the tendency to drop certain words from a typed sentence; the small words such as ‘an’ or ‘a’. It’s always a small word that exists somewhere in the middle of the sentence; or did until I tried typing it. Or the one I like the most, my mind filling in that space between the first and last letters of a word with an entirely inappropriate set of letters and making a word that has no logical place in the sentence. I come up with some great ones!
While my handwriting was poor, my grandmother, ‘Nana’ and her brother, our ‘Uncle Len’ were skilled at Spencerian Script. They were both born in
OK; my mind has wandered enough. Back to the news…
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Liar, Liar...pants on fire. Buying Boeing is not 'Buying American'. Just ask a Boeing worker how many of their current crop of planes are 100% made in America. This is just a scheme to help Boeing stockholders. Stockholders from all over the world. And since there is now a chance that the Air Force will have to buy the more expensive plane, the taxpayers will finance the whole thing.
I’m getting a divorce. From telephones. I’m going to rid myself of my home phone number. It’s the cell phone only for the rest of my life. That way everything can go to voicemail. Any number that doesn’t allow caller ID is ignored. It may take awhile to rid myself of that ‘landline’ but I’m starting now.
I used to think that I was alone in my dislike of telephones, but it turns out that there are millions of us that are unwilling slaves to that infernal invention. A slave no longer!
There! I feel so much better...
Comment ‘bots’ are alive and well on Blogger. I just posted a couple of photos to the swimming lessons blog and in less than 10 minutes I had these 5 comments posted. All from the same source…’philippine lotto’.
1. Probably I can say with this blog make, more some interesting topics.
2. If im in the situation of the owner of this blog. I dont know how to post this kind of topic. he has a nice idea.
3. wala pulos imo blog.
4. I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.
5. Concentrate to the things that could give information to the people.
Yet, this is the only blog that gets the bots attention. Why?