Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Roger Ailes

His Office Protects Him from Gay Terrorists - Gawker

Oh, the weird stuff you run across while surfing the intertubes!

Considering how Fox News is run, this story really does make sense. And it certainly tells you a whole lot about the intelligence level at NewsCorp...starting with Sir Rupert, who hired this creep.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

StoryPeople?

The story for today is:Golf

When I first read about the Story People, I was interested enough to visit the website. But I was less than thrilled by what I read there. Since the site had good recommendations I decided to sign up for the daily 'Story' to be delivered to my inbox. Truthfully, I would have to say that the first few 'Stories' were just so-so. Then they began to get my attention. Now they're like Cheetos but without the orange crud...

"The first time I played golf, I had the most fun throwing bread to the goldfish in the pro shop. It made as much sense as anything else."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let Them Eat Tanks

From Sojourners Magazine/June 2011:

You may have to do a 'free' one time registration to see the article (so dumb!) Anyway, what is not shown in the on-line article are the various graphs that indicate where the tax money goes AFTER the Pentagon takes 58% of our annual budget for discretionary spending. And then the article questions why we spend this un-Godly amount of money on war and not on defense. If it is for defense, who are we defending ourselves against? It's not China; they are our largest trading partner. We will never go to war against China. Terrorists? A RAND Corporation study showed that military force was the least effective means to address terrorism. Politics, at 43%, was the 'best' method. The Pentagon does to the taxpayer what Bernie Maddoff did to his investors...except the Pentagon will never go to jail as they should.

Ben Cohen, of Ben&Jerry fame, uses the article to explain this thievery with a couple of boxes of Oreo's...

"Wallis: Tell me about the Oreo demonstration.

Cohen: That's a demonstration I developed on my own. It makes it easier to understand the federal budget. One Oreo represents $10 billion. The $700 billion Pentagon budget is just a stack of 70 Oreos -- you can understand 70 Oreos. In comparison to that, the federal government spends just four-and-a-half Oreos on education, just one-half an Oreo on alternative energy, and a fraction of an Oreo on Head Start. If you take just seven Oreos off the Pentagon budget, you could provide health care for all the kids who currently don't have it. You could provide Head Start for all the kids who need it. You could eliminate our need for Mideast oil through energy efficiency. You could change our country into one that cares about people, eliminates poverty, and helps people climb their way out, through education."

If you don't have any Oreo's, any cracker will do if you want to see what this looks like on your kitchen table. And once you've seen that, consider the fact that not one of our elected representatives or the President has seriously considered doing something about this abomination. Consider it? They won't even talk about!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Joe Bageant (1946 - 2011)

Bageant’s Frustration: Extreme Isolation

He was one of my 'heroes' as he always spoke his mind. I didn't always agree with him but I probably did about 90% of the time.Order one of his books at your library...

Friday, May 20, 2011

"The Rant"

by Tom Degan: The Disenfranchised States of America

Just as described in Tom's piece, the students in the 'Big City' of Chico are being targeted for disenfranchisement. The local knuckleheads of the GOP have obtained enough signatures to get on the ballot with their idea of a perfect democracy. A democracy without student participation. Since students normally go home during the summer months, their proposal (Measure A) is to move the City Council elections in the city from November to June. It doesn't matter to the GOP that most of the students are residents, physically, for 3/4 of the year. I would believe that would qualify them to be full time residents in a legal sense as well. After all, if you're a rich Republican and decide to take a world cruise, do you lose your residency status?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MonkeyLectric

LED Bike Wheel Light

Might save a life...but will the police want to ban them as 'distracting'?

Life

Life goes on. And I'm still in the thick of it. Thank goodness! I'm awake at an early hour every day and browsing the internet via my Google Reader links. I usually start with my Art links and download images of all the art that strikes me as 'good'. I'm up to 3,500 or more images in that collection, all of which help me satisfy my Aspbergian desire to collect things. The internet has become a great tool for that and I have a separate 1.5 Terabyte hard drive that is becoming choked with my odd image collections. Before the internet, 'collecting' was so much more difficult! Hmmm? I just noticed that my large scrapbook filled with business cards is sitting out again. A physical collection as opposed to a digital one.

Moving? We're still at the same address and interest in the house is low. We've had two lookers since January. Two! We've reduced the price and we are ready to lower it again, this time to below the price we paid for it. That's something we had never planned on…We have to console ourselves with the fact that this would be the first time for this to happen in our long history of buying and selling our homes. We started out by purchasing a 3Br/2Bath house in Newbury Park, CA for $21,000. Now we're dealing with hundreds of thousands. We also keep saying that we don't have to move and we can wait for the market to turn around. That's true but almost unbearable to think about. We are very tired of making the thirty minute trip to Chico at least six times a week.

Speaking of Chico, we were there yesterday for a trip to the Farmer's Market and Costco. That's shopping at the opposite ends on the marketing scale. We bought strawberries and sugar peas at the market and enjoyed a long discussion with the seller about the various types of strawberries (Avoid the Chandler!) and how to deal with customers, a topic that the seller had pursued at college while he lived in Minnesota. He happens to be a Hmong and our community is being blessed with their presence these days as more of them move here and get involved in the local ag businesses. They are great farmers. I have no idea as to why so many of the Hmong's were originally sent to Minnesota as that is about as far as you can get from Vietnam – climatewise.

Now, about Costco…it's the cheapest place in town for gas as it's always ten to fifteen cents cheaper than anywhere else in town. Yesterday was the wrong time to go as we had forgotten about the crowds that would be stocking up for graduation parties this coming weekend. Cal State Chico, the local university will be graduating the class of 2011 on all three days of the weekend. Anywho…we made our way around the store and bought/ground our supply of coffee and we also bought one of the hot rotisserie chickens. Our daughter had raved about them and so we had to try it. It was only $5 and we have discovered that we can have three meals from it and still have chicken left over for salads. Of course, being Costco, we also bought things we shouldn't have. I lose all willpower when I'm there and come out poorer at the end.

I'm still waiting to meet with the surgeon that will do the implant of the Spinal Cord Stimulation device. Just one more week! And at the meeting he will discuss what he is going to do (I already know!) and then he will send me on my way with a promise that the hospital will call – sometime - and give me a date for the surgery. Maybe, after the surgery, I will be able to reduce the amount of pain meds I'm ingesting. Which varies. Yesterday was 4 Norco day and the day before that was 6 Norco day. Oddly enough; I really want consistency. If it's going to be pain, give it to me all of the time. Don't give me pain and then, mysteriously, relieve it for an hour, two hours or a day before returning me to the pain. All or nothing, please! I'm sure that doesn't make sense to the average person but that's how it is…for me.

I'm reading the Koran, or Qur'an these days. Just half a dozen pages a day as it's not easy reading. It's somewhat like reading Leviticus or Deuteronomy in the Bible. And it makes just as much sense. There are lots of contradictions in it; very much like the Bible in that respect. We attended a seminar at our church on Islam. The speaker was Jon Armajani of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint Johns' University. He was a fascinating speaker, being of Iranian descent, a Princeton Seminary Presbyterian pastor and teaching Islamic Studies at a Catholic university. So I'm reading the Koran as interpreted by N.J. Dawood, that was Jon's recommendation.

I've been quite surprised by the all of the references to Moses, David, Mary and her father, to Jesus and Apostles. In the Koran, Christians and Jews are lumped together as the People of the Book. That 'Book' being the Old Testament or Torah. In the Koran, the People of the Book are respected…as long as they behave exactly as the 'Book' orders them to. Impossible.

My art projects have come to a halt, all except for the most minor ones. I'm sure it's the drugs that have robbed me. I have half a dozen large and blank canvases in the garage and spider webs are growing around tubes of paint. Sigh.

Well, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and it's time to do something else. I've sat here too long!

Woof!

An interview with John Elder Robison, Living Boldly as a “Free-Range Aspergian”

Good stuff here!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mom

Memories of my Mother. Such a complex person! So I’m just going to post her picture and tell you that I loved her very much. And I miss her. 

My Nana

 I was reading Mature Landscaping the other morning and Nance’s topic, her grandmother, immediately made me think of my Nana. Eava (or Eva) Seymour was born in the Iron Range town of Tower, Minnesota in 1890. When I look at her school picture I have to admit that she was funny looking little kid. Time moves on and she grew up tall (for those times) probably 5’7 or 5’8. She would have been considered a beauty; petite women were considered ‘pretty’ in those days and she was tall. A classical beauty. She was wooed and won by a handsome Scot, an immigrant and a scoundrel. He was also my grandfather, William B Dunn. She soon had two children, my Aunt Jessie and my father, another William B. Then, in the early 1920’s, the scoundrel came up with the idea of taking the family to California to live. Which he did and then promptly disappeared, going back to Minnesota and another woman, leaving his small family alone and broke in San Francisco. Nana had to get a job if they were going to survive and she found it almost impossible to find work in those days, but they did survive. Dad told me of stealing bread and fruit during the leanest of times. Eventually they made it to Los Angeles and that is where Dad finished school, graduating from John Marshall High School. She didn’t like to talk about the past so I only received bits and pieces of her story as I was growing up. I remember my dad always referred to her as ‘Tilly’, short for “Tilly the Toiler’, a popular comic strip character from the 1920’s that was described as a ‘Stylish working girl…’. I do know that she worked for J.W. Robinson Co., a high class department store in downtown Los Angeles. For years she worked as a saleslady on the 7th floor, in the  Lamp Department. Sadly, she made a mistake when she went to work for them because she listed her age as being 10 years younger. I think she was afraid of age discrimination. All was well until it was time for retirement and then she had to continue working until she was 75 if she wanted the pension. Of course she did.  And she worked till the day she died…    
My favorite memory of Nana was a day when my younger sister and I had taken our red wagon out to find bottles to collect for their redemption value. We lived near the beach and discarded bottles were hard to find. I was 6 years old at the time and my sister just 3. We had been lucky and after a long day had found enough bottles to cover the bottom of the wagon. We were right in front of our house when three older kids came walking up and demanded that we give them the bottles. We protested of course and just as tensions reached a peak, the screen door of the house flew open and Nana came to our rescue. I had never seen her with her hair down before and I was quite startled to see her magnificent cloud of gray hair flying into the air behind her as she grabbed the hose, turned the water on and raced toward us, directing the spray at our tormentors. “Shoo!’ she yelled. “Shoo, you kids and don’t come back!” Well, they shooed all right and we were saved! It was the one and only time I can remember her raising her voice. Our hero! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

From Mature Landscaping:

She Never Had Nothing

This is some classic material from Nance...what a great writing voice!

Of course I couldn't help but think of my Nana, my most loved grandmother. During the next 24 or so hours I have to come up with a post of my own about my Mother and my Nana. I have already shared their photos with the family, via Facebook and I can use those here tomorrow as well.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The High Cost

of Low Teacher Salaries - NYTimes.com

I read this yesterday in the Times and said 'Yes!' to myself. This is what I've been saying for years and I was quite happy to see that someone with writing talent was bringing these thoughts to the pages of the NYT. A good one!

Makers

Download for Free

Cory Doctorow and I have the same thoughts regarding copyrights but he is able to do something positive about it while I can only cheer him on.
I read a review of this book a little while ago and then downloaded the html version. Three pages later I'm hooked. I'm actually looking at some of the URL's and thinking about following them with a cut and paste...but wait, this is fiction!
Warning! I read in the review that there are a few x-rated sections in the book. Do what you wish with that information. I'm taking the risk because I love geek books. I love technology. And I love an author who dares to speak the the truth about copyrights. (no, the book is not about copyrights...only the author is!) By the way, you can even buy the book if so inclined.