Monday, March 31, 2008

From the Web Teacher

Picnik, FotoFlexer and Photoshop Express

I just ran across this critique of some photo editing software. Notice the Photoshop Express review...typical Adobe product. Software designed by programmers and not by designers.

From cab drollery

Back In The News

Speaking of Civil I was earlier this morning.

"Mr. McCain said Friday at a stop in Las Vegas. “I think it’s going to be a tough fight. We know that these militias are well entrenched there. I hope they will succeed and succeed quickly.”

Define success, Senator.

Civil wars , by their very nature are never over. In Europe, some civil wars are many hundreds of years old. I can show you places in our own country where the "War of Northern Aggression" is still simmering. Shameful, but true.

Deep in the jungle

Of course I started my day with a visit to Time Goes By where Crabby Old Lady was venting about copyrights. What a complicated subject! And without a lot of history to it. I doubt that there was much copyright law being debated 200 years ago. And the internet has made it into a whole new ballgame. For instance, every image you see on your screen has been loaded onto your hard drive. For a little while, it’s in your possession. If you disconnect from the internet and search the internet cache files, there they are; the photos and the songs that some web page downloaded to your hard drive. And without some disclaimer in evidence, how does the law handle that? Seeking something out to copy it for your own financial gain, would and should be illegal. But what do you do when someone gives you that song or image?

Yes, it’s a copyright jungle out there! I can lend you my books, my CD’s and my videos. Or I can go to the library and take them home from there. Where is that line that defines ‘illegal’? I’m probably not the right one to discuss this subject; I’m of the opinion that entertainers of any kind, including sports entertainers, should be looking for day jobs.

In the meantime, I still try to link everything and give credit where due. Though I must admit that not every image gets credited. Most, but not all.

History of War

It’s a new week and a new book. This Republic of Suffering, by Drew Galpin Faust. It’s a fascinating book that may reveal more about the Civil War than you ever wanted to know. Such as; using a percentage of the population as the basis for understanding the ferocity of this terrible war; the 620,000 soldiers that lost their lives by the end of that war would translate to 6 million soldiers today. Terrible.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Little Hokum Rag

The Hundred Year Old Blog

Oh, great! Like Shorpy really needs another gazillion hits! could be a good thing. Maybe someone will find
this old photo of grandpa Ray and tell me more about it.

Rice says:

President a `disgrace' -

I couldn't agree more! Oh? It's a different president? Hmm? Apparently they are all alike.

Repeating itself

I just mentioned the veteran’s hunger strike in 1981 and so I better look that up. Yes, there it is… Amazing isn’t it? I guess we didn’t use those cute magnetic ribbons to indicate our support for veterans back then. And once our soldiers are home from Iraq, we will ignore them as well. Believe me, it’s historic!


I was going to drop my Facebook account after a day of irritation with it. I was trying to change my Group from Chico to Orland. Couldn’t do that and when I tried to return to Chico, I was told that I would have to wait 60 days! Are these people nuts? Of course that made me think of why they shouldn’t use programmers to design websites. Use designers! Programmers have completely different skill sets, yet companies like to save money by combining the two talents…which results in many a bad website.

But, back to Facebook. I now have 6 ‘Friends’, (with photos) including Zack and Michelle, so I guess I will stick around for awhile. Now if only my other ‘friends’ would post their photos.

And apropos of nothing at all, here's a link to a photo of UCLA in 1929. Imagine owning some of that land back in the day!

LA Library

That was fun. Yesterday, I found a link to old photos of Los Angeles and collected half a dozen interesting ones from the Los Angeles library site. They use a database retrieval system that’s very similar to the one in the Denver Public library and it’s quite easy to use. Wouldn’t it be great if all libraries, everywhere, could be the repositories for our historic images?

I like to use the images in my journals; illustrating the story of my life. So the libraries (and the internet) are a great resource for the early images. But you do have to be careful and not let the added images create Word files that are too large to open without taking up all of your available memory. It’s easy to do.

And this morning I decided to look for images of the old Queen of Angels hospital, where I was born in 1940. I typed ‘hospital into the keyword section and was rewarded with 40 pages of pictorial history. Great stuff! Veteran’s hunger strike in 1981, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, earthquakes, Mickey Cohen and Barbara Graham. All sorts of history could be found with that one simple word. But no Queen of Angels. I had to use Google to come up with this very recent color photo of the building. The building hadn’t changed; just the cars in the parking lot had.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Full Record

Here's the source

I located the source for all of those seemingly abandoned photos I mentioned earlier.

Here is a photo of J.W. Robinson's Department store in 1951. Very exclusive and our Nana worked in the lamp department. 3rd floor?

Lower left reveals a city policeman directing traffic. They were at almost every major intersection in those days. And look at the pedestrian and the car near the lower right. It looks as if they are in disagreement about the 'right of way'.

You can create any kind of search...

Rebate check

hinges on tax return --

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

Mine's going in the bank. Someone else is going to have to stimulate the economy...

Index of /pics03

What are these?

I was wandering, as I often do, and I ran across this large collection of images. This particular page appears to have a postcard collection from early Los Angeles on it. You can click on the 'parent directory' and it will take you back just one jump to another index. I can't find the 'Home' for this site at all.

This page seems to have a photo of the booking document from the Barbara Graham murder case... There are even more photos of police? witnesses? procecutors?

All very odd? Where did they come from?

He's Too Old

He may be...he may not be.

But will we ever know? Until it's too late?

"We expect full assessments from every doctor except, well, neurologists. If airline pilots, some judges, and people in other occupations are subject to cognitive tests, why not presidential candidates?"

If we had cognitive testing in prior years, would we have been subjected to the likes of Reagan and Bush?

Now, I'm just 3 years younger than McCain and so I don't feel that he's is too old; except...he thinks old! He doesn't embrace change. And I only say that because it's a common failing among elders. (And Republicans) I wish it weren't so. What's his stand on science? He doesn't have one.

More theatre stuff

Here's some URL's to old theatre info...

And I did find a photo of the La Mar...with two movies of the early 40's shown on the marquee.

Just to the right of the theatre was Joe's Candy Cottage (Spelling? Was it Jo or Joe?)
And I found this photo on the Denver Public Library site...

Oh, rats!

What a letdown. The rain consisted of 34,873 drops. That was it. And the forecast for today is partly cloudy. No help there.

We decided to watch something light last night, so we played the movie, Ratatouille, by Pixar/Disney. Good show! Of course it was the CGI that fascinated me the most. It seems to get better each year. (Duh!) And for some reason, the whole exercise of watching a cartoon brought back memories of Saturday afternoon matinees. We would walk a mile downtown to the La Mar theatre and pay our 25 cents for an entire afternoon of cartoons and serials. And when the matinee was over, we had a long and creepy walk home in the dark and the fog. What was that noise? There were plenty of other theatres to go to in the area, but they were further away and required a driver, (dad) to take us and to pick us up later. The Strand, in Redondo, was a favorite. It seemed like it was a much classier place to watch a cartoon! While the Redondo theatre was definitely low class and avoided most of the time.


and Wonderful Products

Sure, run the numbers and it makes no sense at all. But imagine the fun you could have with this!

(I think I would buy it for $120)

Friday, March 28, 2008


bush says... Iraq faces a 'defining moment'

Defining moment? Didn't we already have one of those? "Mission Accomplished!"


McCain on the Housing Crisis: Quick, Do Nothing!

Compassionate Conservatism again? I'm really quite surprised that he didn't say, "Let them eat cake!"


An Archive of Strange and Wonderful Products

Wow! Sister sent me this link... and I'm going to think of it as one gigantic Christmas Wish List.
Where do I begin? How about the Kitty Wigs? (C'mere Boo! I've got something to show you...)


Casa Benavides b&b

We've been talking about a family reunion lately. Just talking and throwing out ideas; or is that throwing 'in' ideas? Anyway, that got me to thinking about places weve been and places I would like to go...again.

We wandered through this hotel one day while visiting Taos and I can still imagine a great weekend here. No, we didn't stay in this hotel, just wandered through the lobby and into the courtyard. Didn't even look at a room. But, still...

cab drollery

We're Finally Getting To The Good Part

"I suspect that all three candidates have been speaking to the issues all along, albeit in not very comprehensive ways, but you'd never know it from the press coverage. And that's the problem. The campaigns have essentially been press-directed, rather than the coverage being driven by the campaigns."

I noticed the same thing yesterday and thought about commenting...didn't get around to it. And as long as the 'press' is directing the debates, we'll never hear a valid question being asked of the candidates.

Time Goes By

Guest Blogger: Linda Burnham

A well thought out and very well written article on Sexism/Racism in the current race for the Whitehouse...


We’re adjusting our schedules today. Sometime; don’t know when…we will be getting a new water heater. The water heater that serves the bathrooms and showers gave out after 19 years. But AHS will be taking care of it, minus the $55 service fee. And AHS makes it easy to use; I simply log-on to their website and choose my current ‘disaster’. I fill out a few text boxes and an appointment is made for that day or the next. No phone calls! No press #2 for English. So far, we’re ahead in this insurance game and we hope to keep it that way.

No, I’m not a salesman for AHS and a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have considered this kind of insurance. But now I’m all for it. I’m not spending my day shopping for a new water heater; getting a permit. Don’t forget the seismic straps and the insulation kit! And then there’s the removal and disposal of the old heater. Unless you want to turn that old tank into a barbecue, as I did one time, long ago. (Split the tank sideways, add some hinges and you have a glass lined barbecue)

Here’s some headlines that caught my attention.

AP - Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a full inventory of all nuclear weapons and related materials after the mistaken delivery of ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan, the Pentagon said Thursday.

One would assume that inventories of nuclear weapons would ALWAYS be current. But that’s the problem with ‘assuming’ when the government is in charge.

Governor's inconsistencies may overshadow his accomplishments

By Michael Rothfeld

Schwarzenegger prides himself on striking compromises to get things done. But some critics say his principles are getting lost in the process.

Principles? C’mon! He’s a politician. Would he recognize one if he saw it?

Head of University of Texas is hired as UC president

By Larry Gordon

Mark G. Yudof wins unanimous approval -- and annual compensation of $828,084, which triggers some protests.

I doubt that it was Mr. Yudof doing the protesting. But, hey! These are hard times and sacrifices must be made. We simply can’t pay him the million he deserves.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


- Made You Look.

Oh sure. Why not? I joined and will give it a try.

Smart marketing though. You have to know they will sell a bundle of the real deal Photoshop!

Basic Instructions

Please! Just tell!

A funny one...

Grass Roads

The Magic Bus

You want to know what's wrong with 'rapid transit' in our country? We simply have no imagination!

Granny Geek

World War II Photographs

As you may know, I do love old photos!

Pass the donuts

Things are looking up. A day off with lots of ibuprofen and I’m feeling much better this morning. I’ll simply do my stretches this morning and try to continue with this regimen of resting. Despite the good news, I hate losing a few weeks of training time.

Well, it’s my own fault. I have always been quick to get into training mode but without taking the time to stretch. Stretching is what other people did. I was ready to move fast as soon as I arrived at the track. And I got away with it for many years; despite being told more than a few times that it was hazardous to my health. Now I will have to retrain myself to include stretching time at the front end and the back end of each training session. My personality says no, but my body says yes.

And then, on the other hand, there is that article in the Times (Below) that mentions the ‘toxic’ mood of the voters. I have to wonder if any of the candidates will bother to read that? I have this feeling that the article (and the voters) will simply be ignored and the candidates will blather on until November. You can trust the Democrats to lose an election by not focusing on the issues that concern the voters. What do ‘focus groups’ do anyway? Drink lots of coffee and eat donuts while convincing themselves that they know what’s up?


foul mood runs deep and wide - Los Angeles Times

This is not a surprise. And the legislators yawn; they're safe, or so they think. Let's surprise them!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

outside the box:

Vote em all out!

Yes, it's simplistic. No, it will never change. But there is that element of 'Truth' in it that makes it fun to read...and dream.

Barack Obama


Hey! I got a better idea...the Senator won't have to donate a dime and he can have dinner with us. Intimate dinner for 3. Afterwards, we can talk.

Food prices

rising across the world -

And in the 'Fast Food Nation'? Imagine fighting and dying over a Big Mac? Gives a whole new meaning to 'food fight'.

I know it makes very little difference, but I can't help but think of the amount of food that is wasted every day.

Just Thinking

What else is new? Well, it seems like we have seen a rash of crane accidents lately. Which made me think of the number of crane accidents I had seen during my construction career; four. All potentially deadly, but in each case, only the cranes and the buildings suffered any damage. Cranes are mechanical; they will fail. We were taught from the very beginning to never walk under a load while hoisting and to avoid being under the boom at any time. And tower cranes are at their most vulnerable when they are being raised. Most tower cranes are self-climbing; they use jacks to lift and raise the heavy rotating assembly off of the tower portion. Then, the crane lifts another tower section up under the cab and ironworkers bolt it into place before the jacks are lowered and the crane is solidly in place and a little taller. And when the job is over, they reverse the process to take the crane down. Once the tower crane has reached a height that a conventional heavy crane can reach, they then use that crane to finish the disassembly process. As you can see, from the description, the whole process is inheritantly dangerous. And the way I remember it, the entire area around the crane was secured and no one was allowed in, except for the ironworkers involved in taking it down.

Ouch Redux!

I hate to do it, but I’m going to have to curtail the exercise routines for at least two weeks. It’s obvious that I can’t be trusted alone in the park. Yesterday, I had planned a slow walk as a way of easing the symptoms of both the Piriformis Syndrome, and the Plantar Fasciitis that have been plaguing me lately, but competition tempted me; I fell for it and racewalked a 12 minute mile and now I’m paying for it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I have an Idea!

How about this...Senators Obama and Clinton will no longer talk about each other. Instead, they will tell us how THEY intend to govern. With details. They will talk about ISSUES; those things that concern the voters. And each will IGNORE the other. And if they don't STOP arguing, they can go to their rooms! (That's what we used to tell our children when they were arguing among used to work)

Getting to the Root of Rumors


This was an amazing show...what people will believe! And worse; if you debunk the rumor, that will convince even more people that it was true...when it never was!

Personal note: I never get 'forwarded' email any more. I was always sending it back with corrections and after awhile most forwarders just gave up on me. Try it!

And here's a new site (for me) for the truth about political rumors...

Pandora Revisited

Internet Radio

Ali Farka Toure...

If you enjoy the sounds of the Kora. (Think 21 string flamenco guitar)

I've been listening to his music for many years but I didn't know this.

Going Slow

Enough of that political stuff. Back to me; my favorite subject! And to my health. I am going to go to the park this morning and do 3 miles, slowly. The pain in my hip (Piriformis Syndrome?) is really bothering me now and I need to see if can do a simple and fast walk without the hip rotation necessary for a good racewalking stride and pace. (All those embarrassed by their fathers racewalking gait can now relax) I was certainly a fast walker many years ago, when I completed my first marathon. But, racewalking allowed me to increase my speed by at least 25%. It would be OK to be slower. I just have to keep telling myself that. New mantra...

The good news...The prognosis for most individuals with piriformis syndrome is good. Once symptoms of the disorder are addressed, individuals can usually resume their normal activities. In some cases, exercise regimens may need to be modified in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence or worsening.


We received our notice yesterday. The 2008 irrigating season is upon us; starting this week. I will have to clean the ditches of leaves and old walnuts and give the orchard its second mowing this week. Then, next Wednesday, in the dark, I will make the trek up to the canal and open the valves that will send us our first allotment of water for the season.

The association that directs the agricultural water usage here on the Planet Orland has been cleaning their canals for the past few weeks, using labor from the Salt Creek Conservation Camp…a minimum level prison camp. I wonder if they would clean my ditches as well, for a fee? Somehow, I doubt it.

But, enough about agriculture… I did well yesterday, not even opening the book, The Three Trillion Dollar War. I went to the library and loaded up on less than serious works for a change. But, there is no avoiding the Iraq war news. I thought about that as I walked in the park yesterday, listening to NPR. Every day brings more and more reporting on the failures of this administration. And what’s so irritating about that is the fact that the news media went along with these bozos in past. The news media were the cheerleaders for war. They allowed themselves to be ‘embedded’ with the troops without significant complaint. They repeated the words/lies of bush, cheney and rumsfeld without question. Sure, it’s nice to have our opinions validated, now…but it would have been nicer to have had some support for a second opinion 5 years ago. Instead, the news media helped to spread paranoia; you were less than ‘American’ if you didn’t agree with the Decider. If you didn’t agree with the war, somehow that was construed to mean that you didn’t support the troops. And now we find out that it was actually this administration that was undercutting the support for the troops. But, it’s so much easier to blame the dissidents! And the press went along with it…

Monday, March 24, 2008

For Wounded Veterans

and Their Families, a Journey Without Maps -

A little something I learned from The $3 Trillion Dollar War...the fact that a returning veteran must fill out a 23 page form before anything can be provided for him or her. And if it's filled out incorrectly, you lose!


Back to the news; there seems to be all sorts of newscaster panic over what has been said in some churches lately; starting with the sermons that Senator Obama heard while worshipping at his home church. Now I don’t know what kind of churches these broadcasters and pundits attend, but I do know that the reason I attend church is to worship. Worship; not the pastor, not the sermon, not the building and not the congregation. They are simply irrelevant to my purpose for being there. That’s actually how God intends it to happen. If you are hanging around a church, thinking that God speaks through a pastor, you are sadly mistaken and you’re not really listening for God’s voice.

Truth and Fiction

Life is good. It must be my mantra today. Otherwise I would go crazy after reading the headlines. 4 more soldiers killed in Iraq and 60 more civilians. That makes the total about 4,000 and a million, respectively, but who’s counting? Every day brings us closer to ‘winning’.

And I’m still reading The $3 Billion Dollar War. Could that be a prescription for depression? The facts and the numbers are sometimes overwhelming and I have to put the book down and read some light fiction instead.

And now, after reading Time Goes By, I’m wondering why in the world we don’t have a House Committee on Aging? Of course, how would we know that the committee had been dissolved? Its demise wouldn’t have made the 6 o’clock news. Or the front page of a newspaper. When did it happen?

I certainly remember Claude Pepper and remember being sad at his passing. I was only 49 at the time and elderhood wasn’t something I thought about a lot. I admired Pepper more for his willingness to fight against the established forces in Washington. Apparently, no one replaced him? Well, we need someone and soon.

A new post on my Working blog...

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Why Our Children Isn't Learning

Interesting article, but then, at the bottom of the article itself, there were these words...

"In October 2006, John Stossel walked reason readers through the Byzantine process of firing an incompetent public school teacher in New York."

And I started to think about it...You know what is even more Byzantine than that? Try getting rid of an incompetent president!

Who? Me?

More odd thoughts; Thomas Jefferson dreamed of the ‘yeoman farmer’ as being the perfect citizen of this new country. It’s just one more idea/dream/philosophy where I have to disagree with Jefferson. Unfortunately, that ‘yeoman’ exists today in the minds of the ill-informed citizens of our country and in the rhetoric of the politicians that wish to use them. And use them they do.

So why am I ‘citizen bashing’ today? Because of the headlines? Corn flakes? Because they deserve it? Probably. And as a confirmed cynic, I have to. By the way, being a cynic is not a bad thing at all. It’s the only way you can learn everything you need to know about any given subject. Those who decry cynicism are those who oppose thought.

Religion In American History

The lynching of Jeremiah Wright

Already have your mind made up? Don't want any additional input? Don't read this.

Pandora Radio

Listen to Free Internet Radio, Find New Music

I like the simple look and feel of this far, so good. I wanted to hear Laura Love, but they could only give me Laura 'wannabe's'. But they aren't bad.

A corn flake

shaped like Illinois auctions for $1,350 on EBay

Did I mention something about gullibility?

And we actually let these people vote.

Though I shouldn't complain too much, most forget to...

"Laura? Honey? Were we supposed to vote today?"

ABC News

Free by Error, Ex-Radical Back in Prison

"The clerical error that resulted in her release came from a failure to properly factor the Sacramento sentence into her parole calculations, Kernan said.
"This is an extremely unusual situation," said the department's general counsel, Alberto Roldan."

How gullible do they think we are? Error? I don't think so...!

But, 'we' are the public and so it's true...'we' are gullible.

How Many?

How are you supposed to MAKE coffee when you NEED coffee? How am I supposed to count the number of scoops when I’m still asleep? Was that #6 or was it #7?

I was sound asleep and dreaming a little while ago, and then it was all over. Poof! Just like that. Now I’m making coffee and trying to reassure the cat that we still love her and that no danger lurks in the bedroom where the twins are sleeping. Other than the twins themselves.

Odd dreams. I was an active Obama supporter. Very active. And the senator was present in my dream, while we were being attacked by a large crowd, verbally. Violence was threatened. The attackers were unknown and faceless. Of course it was all very convoluted as dreams often are and its memory is already evaporating, even as I try to recall the twists and turns of its ‘plot’. Maybe another round tonight?

Although I am currently a mild Obama supporter, my level of interest in his candidacy went up with the endorsement of Bill Richardson, my former favorite candidate. But…I’m almost afraid to declare any candidate my favorite for fear that will signal their doom. Like most INFP’s, I’m trying to avoid confrontations or situations that require that I favor one over another. But there is a caveat with that; “The face you show to the world is a perceptive one, and you'll show your judging characteristic only if someone should trespass on your feelings by challenging you—or someone or something that you really value. At that time, your perceptive openness and flexibility and adaptability cease. Then, you become immovable.”

It may be that my memory is failing, but I don’t remember political campaigns as being hate filled, as they are so often today. I’m probably wrong. And if they weren’t, I’m sure it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I think that our current communications technology allows for a greater level of hatred and manipulation. 30 seconds on YouTube can mean the end of a candidate. And the rising of another. No one bothers to verify the truth behind any video or audio clip. Photoshop. Hit and run.

Saturday, March 22, 2008



A different kind of search engine...

And it's sort of fun to string together the keywords for the most popular searches.

This time it was House Plans, About Life, Hotel Room, Music, World War II, Georgia State and Love. Can this be a haiku of sorts?

Ooops! I almost forgot...Standard Oil. Say what?

Barbara's Blog:

Hillary’s Nasty Pastorate

Speaking of religion and everyone seems to be.

Darn facts...again

So far, in this book, the most disturbing fact for me was the revelation that the Pentagon, the War Department uses a ‘cash’ accounting system. Money in and money out. Now, no one in business does this. In most cases it’s illegal. You have to use the accrual system of bookkeeping. But…if they used accrual, they wouldn’t have any funds for wars. They have to use an illegal bookkeeping system. So?

(I have to stop writing that...but it is such a temptation! OK, no more 'So?' for awhile)

Darn facts.

Some excerpted facts from The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.

Much was said about the fact that Kuwait and the Saudi’s paid a great deal of the cost of the Gulf War. (Remember that one? The ‘Free’ war.) What’s not reported is the fact that we have spent $4.3 billion a year ever since the end of that war in payments to veterans for pension, disability and compensation. We have already spent $50 billion in Gulf War disability benefits. “Nor does it even scratch the surface of the broader economic consequences, for instance, from the loss of income for up to 100,000 soldiers exposed to chemicals associated with so-called Gulf War syndrome, 40,000 of whom have long-term disabilities.”

Want to know more about how your tax dollars are spent? The National Priority Project has some answers. And for wishful thinking, there is a page devoted to ‘What if…’ and you can see what you spent locally in war taxes and what you could have bought instead of what the Decider bought for you. And this one really surprised me…I didn’t know that we had $34.9 million dollars to spare, here in Glenn County. Or, maybe we didn’t.

Power of Words

Who knew? I really thought that Dubya was the epitome of all things dumb, but his #1 man, the man that’s one heartbeat away from the presidency, has taken the lead in that race to the bottom. Or…maybe I’m wrong? Perhaps he was simply being honest when he professed his disdain for the opinion of the American people. (Could be!) I have to admit, this administration has come up with some really great quotes; such as ‘Mission Accomplished’ and “I’m the Decider”. There are websites filled with the utter(ed) nonsense of these two, and now we have, “So?” Just one word and it tells such a big story!

True Cost

Odd noises at this early hour. One of the twins, most likely Abby, has a talking doll in bed with her and whenever she moves, the doll speaks. They’re both asleep down the hall. In the meantime, Boo, the cat, frets. “Who are these people and why are they here?”

I got my package from Amazon yesterday and began reading, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. And as I began reading, I was soon tired. A dozen pages and I was exhausted. The facts are so overwhelming! But, one thought grew important to me; a vital question for each presidential candidate should be, “Did you read this book?” No other questions after that.

So why do I buy a book that simply rehashes the terrible mistakes made by this administration? It’s over, right? I wish! If we don’t learn from these things we are doomed to fail again and again. And maybe there will come a time when there won’t be another ‘again’. What then?

We’ve been lucky so far; a succession of crooks and opportunists in the Oval Office has not sunk us…yet. But, I shouldn’t point solely to the White House as the source for all of our ills; our direct representatives, congress and senate, are equally guilty. Most of them abandoned their principles to follow a party line. So?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pie in the Face


This was a memory jogger! Not 1923, but maybe 1948 and I was the winner in a berry pie eating contest at Live Oak Park, in Manhattan Beach.

Listen Carefully

Obama said...
... We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.We can do that.But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

And yet the 'conservatives' have disgraced themselves once again by doing exactly as he said, pouncing on the question, "whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words." He said NO. See if you can't wrap your brains around the word.

Arcadia Publishing

- local history books

I was visiting Amazon and up popped a recommendation to buy a book on the history of Hermosa Beach. (Awhile ago, I had bought one on the history of Manhattan Beach and so the web bot made the connection.) But I decided to look a little further and found the source for all of these books. Yes, they even have one for the Planet Orland and I know the author.

Keep On Trucking

I’m going to get in another good training walk this morning. Longer and slower for today. Then I have to help move some new pots and fountains at the Plant Barn. Denise received a big shipment the other day and they’re taking up all of the space in her Porte Cochere. Isn’t that a great word? So much better than ‘driveway’.

And of course I will have to stop by the Chico Library to pick up books for the Orland Friends of the Library. I’m always amazed at the number of books that we collect this way. I picked up 20 boxes on Tuesday of this week; about 400 books. I am sure that I will pick up another 5 boxes today and another 20 boxes next week. Ad infinitum. I better get started on advertising the Spring Book Sale on Craigslist.

I’m going to have to come up with a better plan for picking up those books. I should stop at the library every time we’re in town and pick up whatever is there. And at the next meeting of the Friends, I need to invite others to do the same. The current cost of diesel fuel makes driving the truck a little bit expensive! And if we can pick up a few boxes each day, we can eliminate the need for a special trip with the truck.

Be Careful

Here we are again. Same place and almost the same time. And as usual, I’ve spent an hour wandering through the news and the various blogs, looking for ways to jumpstart my brain; other than the usual cup of coffee.

And I was reading the Economist newsletter when I spotted their invitation to join Facebook and read Economist articles there. I looked at the Facebook/Economist site and it looked interesting, so I joined up. Freaky! Apparently, I need to stay within the safe confines of the Economist site. The rest of the Facebook network looks like a neighborhood that desperately needs an urban renewal program. I will have to explore it carefully.

Time Goes By

Quotable Age

As a lover of quotes, I have to give you this link...

I especially like the first one, "...unafraid of change..."

I think, deep inside, we're all afraid of change, but we must face our fears if we want to keep growing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Say it again

Did I mention this the other day? Ronni Bennett At Time Goes By has the list already prepared for whichever candidate has the courage to pick it up and do something with it…it needs doing.

· the Constitution has been trashed and must be restored

· the U.S. has supported and committed torture and it must end

· the economy has been wrecked by the power elite in both government and corporate America and that greed will stop, regulations will be enforced

· the Iraq War has been a disaster and we need a way out while acknowledging that we bear responsibility for bombing that country back to Ur

· universal healthcare is a human right and we’ll find a way to provide it

· our infrastructure - bridges, roads, water, sewer systems - will be fixed

· No Child Left Behind will be canceled and we’ll figure out how to improve our schools

· unwarranted searches and surveillance of citizens will stop

· there will be no more fooling around about the environment

· a fair solution will be found for immigration

· government ethics legislation will have real teeth

· separation of church and state will be restored

· every last political hack (thousands of them) appointed by the Bush administration to government agencies will be fired, replaced with non-partisan competents

· earmarks will disappear entirely from legislation – let them be properly legislated

· the wealthy elite have had it their way long enough, reaping collective trillions of dollars on the backs of the middle and lower classes and now it is their turn to pay it back

If I already mentioned this once before, that’s OK, it needs repeating.

The Associated Press

Libby Loses Law License

Don't you love those words? 'Moral Turpitude'. They just don't make words like that anymore. Oh, well...better late (8 years late) than never!

California, Ohio

secretaries of state win Profiles in Courage public service award

How weird! I wonder why Katherine didn't win one? I mean, she certainly went out of her way to defy common logic in 2000?

A surge

in Iraq gasbags - Los Angeles Times

I was wondering how you might know if you were 'winning'. Now I know. From the experts.

Simply Amazing, Again

Despite the terrible cost of war upon our society and the society of the Middle East, there is one small and bright note for me and only me to reflect upon. At least I didn’t vote for this bozo! And I said this would happen when he was ‘elected’. (Elected, my foot! He stole the election in 2000. It’s a fact and it’s time for the lying about it to end.)

It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency. -- George W. Bush 06/14/2001

(Speaking to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Perrson, unaware that a live television camera was still rolling.)

Sad. We will all have to pay for his retirement, plus his war.

Wally Says

I’m definitely having a problem getting my thoughts together this morning. Yes, I’ve had my usual dose of caffeine, but I’m still wandering around the internet, looking into all of the news sources for something good. Maybe that’s the problem! I’m looking for something ‘good’.

Speaking of news; I heard that the Chico Enterprise-Record has changed the size of their newspaper (as well as the size of the print). It’s supposed to be smaller now; I haven’t bought a copy, but I will, just to see how bad it is. This is usually the first step in newspaper failures, reducing what you offer without reducing the price. And I’ve seen it before. That’s one of the advantages of growing old; experience. (It may be the only advantage!)

And while looking at the ER website, I ran across this article detailing the very latest in "wally wisdom'. Does anyone hear an echo in here?

Bush says

'America can and must win' Iraq war - Los Angeles Times

I guess this is the part that drives me will we know that we won? How? No one ever addresses that question. Winning is some nebulous concept that politicians, such as bush, drone on about whenever they are face to face with the news media or their supporters. I'd like to get this guy to sit down in my front room and tell me exactly how he proposes to win this war and what does it mean?


§ Days since Mission Accomplished: 1786.

§ Direct cost per minute of the Iraq occupation: $278,000.

§ Days until Mister Bush departs the White House: 305

§ Direct cost of the Iraq occupation for the rest of Mister Bush's term: $122 billion.

§ Original estimate for cost of war. $50 billion.

§ Direct cost of war since 2003. $1.5 trillion

§ Cost of war for Chico. (Since 2003) $70,000,000

(Does not include any state or federal taxes. Does not include shipping. Does not include war in Afghanistan. No warranties expressed or implied. Your actual cost may vary.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Changing Aging


This explains a lot!

#90 Dinner Parties

Stuff White People Like

I believe I've been there and done that... I am so ashamed!

Here it is!

We received the notice in the mail; I’m sure that everyone in America received one…or will soon. The notice stated that we will soon, maybe, might, could, should, possibly, receive a tax refund. Brilliant! Now how much did that mailing cost and why was it sent? The mailing cost was a drop in the bucket, but the intent of the notice was to speed up the process of getting us, the saviors of the economy, into the spending mode. Let’s see…if we’re maybe, might be, could be, getting some money soon, we should just go out and shop now. We can pay the bill later! It's the American way!

A Difference

I noticed that once again my writing style has degraded to a ‘stream of consciousness’. I think it and I write it. It’s all part of the INFP Type. We (INFP’s) really can write well, but not when we are emotionally involved in a subject. The same thing happens when we speak about subjects that are near and dear to us. The words won’t come and we flounder.

Yes, we are all different. This brings up the subject of ‘Home Schooling’. I was listening to a story on this yesterday and a teacher brought up her experiences with home schooled children and they weren’t good. 3rd graders that didn’t know their ABC’s, etc. As she noted, children are all different and learn in different ways. And not all parents make good home school teachers. The same applies to credentialed teachers; not all are good ones. So why do we expect all home schooling parents to be different? What’s important here are the children. And if we don’t make the parents’ accountable, we have failed the children. If we are willing to demand that schools get rid of poor teachers, we need to be willing to do the same to the parents that are obviously unfit to teach their children. Parents who home school because their friends do it. Or because it’s easier than having to deal with a nagging school district.