Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I was looking through my desk drawer last night and ran across my blue wrist band from the
Well, that didn’t take long at all and that’s a bother. It looks like the month of July will soon be gone; less than 24 hours and it’s history, and that also means that we have less than three weeks left to enjoy downtown
I learned something about local demographics at dinner last night. With ten adults present and seven of them being ‘seniors’, the name of the movie, Sicko, came up. (It was part one of a two part answer to an NPR radio quiz…) among the ‘seniors’, Laurae and I were the only ones that had heard of the movie. Everyone else professed ignorance. And these are people that subscribe to the local newspaper. Huh? Please don’t let this happen to me!
More about the demographics… I’m pestered quite often by some of these same seniors to join them in a game of pinochle or bridge. I always to say no to that. So last night I volunteered that I would be glad to play a game of chess… silence.
And what would I read in the local paper if I were a subscriber? Not much. ‘Red’ counties, like
Now speaking of papers. It looks like the Wall Street Journal will soon be available in your local supermarket; right next to the Star and the Enquirer. Apparently,
Yeah, I'm feeling kind of 'culturally deprived' this morning. I'll get over it.
So how about this link to cheer up with? I love this kind of stuff!
Monday, July 30, 2007
Telling the truth about the NCLB.
You would think that the man would be ashamed, wouldn't you?
A subject dear to my heart...
And now I know more than I should.
A few minutes ago I wrote “Now what will I do with a food mill after the last tomato has been picked? Will it grow dusty and forgotten in the back of a cupboard?”
That brings me to the story of the lost nutcrackers. Last winter I went looking for a nutcracker and couldn’t find either one. I had a plain and simple one and then a much nicer one ($$), but they weren’t to be found anywhere! So I did what I had to do and bought another one. Also a very nice one. ($$) Then, last week,
One in particular, Against the Day by
I’m a sucker for great written language. Umberto Eco is a favorite author as is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Maybe it’s because I was raised on the books of Richard Halliburton. I read them all. And I remember them as ‘large’ books, filled with ‘language’. Were they really large books, or was I really small?
Funny; I was reading the Wikipedia entry for
On a different note; we bought a food mill to process the many Sweet 100’s tomatoes that are ripening. But no instructions came with the darn thing. No matter, I can always Google it and come up with something. I did try it out of course and came up with about a quart of skinless tomato sauce. I will add to that amount and then cook it up with fresh spices and ground turkey, for a winter time spaghetti sauce.
Now what will I do with a food mill after the last tomato has been picked? Will it grow dusty and forgotten in the back of a cupboard?
Sunday, July 29, 2007
"Phoenix police said Saturday that a man whom patrol cars chased may be held responsible for a crash of two news helicopters that collided over the scene Friday, killing all four people aboard."
OK, why? I don't have much sympathy for the guy who was being chased, but to charge him with responsibility for the crash of the helicopters is logic convoluted to the max.
I was trying to find the correct pronunciation for the word 'meme' which is often seen but rarely heard. I found a clue and learned that it sounds similar to 'gene'...but is that correct?
Oh, I know I can find this;
But it would be so much easier if I could just hear someone say it...
Let's see now, Wal*Mart lets you park your own motor home "FREE", in their parking lot...
Workers are told to shape up or pay up
By Daniel Costello
“To hold down medical costs, some firms are penalizing workers who are overweight or don't meet health guidelines.”
But, to be fair…they need to be told of the guidelines when hired; not 6 months down the road. And just think; retirement would have a whole new meaning for us!
An experiment. At this early hour I decided to see if turning the fans around and blowing warm air out would work better than blowing cool air in.
And another experiment. Although I hooked up the TV to an antenna to watch a PBS special on the 24th; that was the last time it was turned on. Are we cured? Hallelujah! OK, maybe it wasn’t a fair test; watching TV on a tiny screen does have some drawbacks. What if I were to hook up the antenna to the big screen? Now that would be a test.
Quote: Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.
An interesting and fairly accurate quotation. But – we don’t get what we want on television. We get what someone else thinks we want. We’re not given a lot of choices; even with a gazillion channels, as each one is trying to give us the same thing, because they think that’s what we want.
And that’s why the internet is so much more fascinating than ‘
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Blue skies and the air temp is just right. I love the feel of the fresh air coming in the windows; drawn in by the fans. Summertime is the best! Even with the late day heat, it’s so much better than the dismal chill of winter. Lazy days? You bet!
After checking to see if my daughters/granddaughter had posted to their blogs (They didn’t – what’s up with that?) I decided to do some Stumbling this morning and I ran across this old internet classic that appeals to the older generation. Of which I am a member. And I agree with all of it!
And I have revisited a favorite blog of mine, A Daily Dose of Imagery, a photo blog. You have to check out all of his photos. Stunning. He has a new camera, a larger format one, but he writes that he still likes to use his Canon Rebel.
And in the news…
Economy Springs Out of Rut and Grows at 3.4 Percent Pace, Best Showing in More Than a Year”
OK, sounds good, But, at the same time the DJIA fell over 600 points this week? How much good news can we take?
Friday, July 27, 2007
OK, mental health has been checked and found to be alright… for the moment. I can still do the daily Jigzone puzzle in less time than the average. On the physical side; good news! I went to the local blood drive yesterday and gave a pint. They had a ‘give a pint - get a pint’ reward for donors, giving us a
And speaking of cats as I was; the phlebotomist that was collecting my pint yesterday was the chatty type. I’m sure they are given instructions to keep the ‘customers’ engaged at all times; it helps to prevent fainting at the sight of that needle. Anyway, she mentioned that she had read a story about a cat that lives in a retirement home. This cat seems to have the ability to know when someone is going to die and comes to lay with them within just a few hours of their passing. Now that would be scary! To see the cat waiting at your front door? And I have to think of our own cat, Boo, who loves to lie upon me when I’m taking a nap. Should I be worried?
“In the United States, cats are the most popular house pet, with 90 million domesticated cats slinking around 34 percent of U.S homes.” I guess that number includes the lady in town that has 30 or more of them living in her front room.
The subject for discussion this morning is blogs and blogging. During the past few days I’ve been reading the blog As Time Goes By. There’s a lot to read on the site and most of it is quite interesting. And I couldn’t help but notice the nice looking ‘interior decorating’ on the pages. Everything is orderly. My own blog is getting cluttered and it’s starting to resemble the top of my desk. That’s a bad thing!
As I was reading some of the comments on her pages, I noticed that a lot of people have some discomfort with the word, ‘blog’. Many used the word, ‘log’ when complimenting her endeavors. And some used the word, ‘flog’. That’s one that I like, although it means, to sell when used in Britain, and do I want to be known as a salesman? I know I have said it before, the word, ‘blog’ feels clumsy to me and I’m always hoping that someone will come up with a better word.
So why do I blog, log or flog? That’s a question that I usually ask myself at least once every morning. This morning’s answer is… for my mental health. I think it’s good exercise for your brain. I suppose if I lived in an ideal physical world, where I could just step outside the door of my house and find myself engaged in bright and articulate conversation; where I could easily pick and choose from 100’s of news media outlets; where there was an art gallery on every corner and a great coffee house/bookstore in between… why, I wouldn’t need the internet at all. And I certainly wouldn’t waste my time blogging, logging or flogging.
OK, so it isn’t a perfect world and I have started the morning trying to remember just what it was that I wanted to comment upon in my blog this morning. As I was getting ready for bed last night, I thought of a Very Important Subject to write about. But, this morning finds me lost in the attic of my thoughts, finding nothing but old and dusty memories. Darn!
But now, after reading Crabby Old Lady’s blog, I have plenty on my mind. Who are these people? For starters, they have to be in denial. Age happens. And after reading some of those comments, it can’t happen fast enough to them!
OK, old people are sometimes irritating...now take away the word 'old' and use 'teenagers'. These are the same people that used to irritate you when you were in high school... true for every age.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
and this one...
Danger: Can be embarrassing!
So it was back to the garage and the holding tank. I knocked on the tank. (Echo…echo…echo) I looked all around for a reset button. Finally, I noticed a small box mounted on the wall nearby, with conduit leading into it. I opened it up and found a scary nest of wiring…but there were three old fashioned fuses lying on the bottom of the box. There must be a fuse holder in there as well; but where? With some careful prying apart of the wiring, I discovered a flexible rubber fuse holder and when I touched it, it flashed! Way scary! I removed that fuse and stuck in one the fuses I had found. That produced a ‘Click’ and I heard the tank beginning to fill again. Success. But now the question is, why?
On an entirely different subject; I am wondering if there are any plans for a Mira Costa class of 1958 reunion? I checked the Mira Costa website and found nothing useful. Google didn’t provide me any answers either. Too bad; 50 years is a suitable milestone for a class reunion and I would have gone. Sure, there’s still time, but it doesn’t look promising. And here’s a scary thought…what if there are only one or two of us left? Maybe that’s why there are no plans?
Everything was just fine. The coffee was made and the cat had made her entrance. It was time for that second cup of coffee and that was when it all changed. I usually add a cup of water to the coffeemaker at this time and when I turned on the faucet…nothing! At all. Nada. And since we have a well and not a city water system, I will have to deal with it; I have no one to call and lodge a complaint. But, it’s early and too dark for me to do much at all, so I won’t. Ah! Coffee!
And the news… plus some sarcasm.
“The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold
“A new report is a rebuttal of assertions by detainee advocates that the American naval station at
Hey! I have an idea; let's hold public trials and then we can all see who’s right. And I think it’s an old American custom to do that anyway…or it was.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
One of the most amazing reversals brought about by W.’s reign of error is this: He may have turned my sister into a Democrat.
Now that is a shame. Better that her sister were turned into a thinking person and had registered as an independent.
Don't bother with the link...it's to a pay per view page.
"No Exit Strategy With a veto-proof majority, Congress will have to tell President Bush that prolonging the Iraq war for another two years will not bring victory."
Don't you find it surprising that no one will tell you what 'victory' means? How will we know when we have won? Or is this another Orwellian phrase?
As usual. Grrrr! My satellite internet connection is a joke. Note; do not invest any time or money in a Direcway satellite system. I guess I’m stuck with it until AT&T decides that
How long has it been since we turned off the TV? Well, it’s on again…sort of. As an experiment, I took the small set, the 13” Toshiba and connected it to an antenna lead in our bedroom; the only connection that isn’t tied to the useless satellite. Behold! There was a picture and sound and we were able to watch PBS last night when they aired the special on the city of
It was just as I thought it would be. I wish that there had been some sort of revelation; but no, they showed the flawed prison system for just what it is. A bureaucratic nightmare. And they revealed how the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (from now on… known as ’The Department of Punishment’) had lied to the community. It’s obvious that the legislature and the state judicial system are flawed to the core and they are the ones that control the Department of Punishment.
I may not know much about prisons but I knew they were lying back in the 1980’s, when they said the prisons would benefit the community. Most of the disposable money coming from the staff payroll goes to
Well, here goes…I’ll try the internet connection again and see if I can get on-line. Slow and slower! I think I’ll go for a swim while I wait for the page to load.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I'm without a television...but I already know what they have done to this city and to Lassen County. When I lived up there I was against the proposal to build the prison, but the lure of easy money from the state caused most voters to approve it. It has been a disaster. And I don't think that most of the citizens even realize what they lost when they allowed the prisons to be built. And it's forever; you can't unbuild a prison...
It’s going to be tough to get the house temperature down this morning. Outside, it was 75° at and 82° inside. No amount of fans will overcome that kind of a head start. As usual, I look at the weather for
I’m going to be looking for a food mill in the next few days. With the great number of cherry tomatoes now ripening, I need to utilize them in sauces and paste. I would bet that I gave away 3 pounds of those tomatoes last night when we went out to dinner with friends. The Sweet 100’s tomato plants are like a machine…the tomatoes just keep coming!
I had one of those humbling moments yesterday. Every once in awhile I work for a couple of hours at the local food pantry where we give out boxes and bags of donated food. A guy came in yesterday and asked for some food and we talked for a little bit. It turns out that he normally lives under the bridge on old Highway 99, just north of town; where
OK; don’t tell me how he should clean up his act and get a job. What would his address be on his job application form? And maybe; just maybe – he’s mentally ill? Wouldn’t it be a ‘wonderful world’ if we were all perfect? Well, we aren’t and some of us need help. And helping one another…isn’t that what being human is all about?
Monday, July 23, 2007
Oh, oh…triple digit weather for the coming week and beyond. That ought to stress the tomatoes into full production. And that will move me into the pool on a more frequent basis.
I started reading the headline news from the networks (
The internet is redefining how news is spread and it makes for an interesting time for those of us that enjoy the news. And news and advertising go hand in hand. I had this thought the other day; the public is actually renegotiating their contract with newspaper publishers. We want our news to be free. It’s time for the advertisers to pay us to view their ads. And they can do that by giving us the media. It’s the same story with music and other entertainment media; musical artists are making a move to sell directly to their fans and rid themselves of the middleman. If movies are using product placement in their content, we want lower prices. We are renegotiating our contract!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I do wonder about the feasibility of a photo blog? Recently, there have been all sorts of stories about photographers being hassled by the ‘natives’ whenever they appear to be photographing something sensitive… like a bridge or a shopping center.
On Friday of last week, I saw a photographer along the highway (32) and I would bet that he gets bothered all of the time; he was shooting something? and using an old glass plate camera, on a wooden tripod and complete with a cloth hood for the photographer to hide under. Very suspicious! Especially so when at least 75% of the population has never even seen a camera like that.
The morning arrives. On time, and whether I want it to or not... OK, I’m ready.
And what’s new? Yesterday morning I made my way up to Home Depot in Red Bluff via old Historic Highway 99. It’s not a particularly scenic route but it’s ‘different’ and every once in awhile I like to get off of I-5 and see something different.
In the back of my mind is a plan for a photo blog and 99 has plenty of unique photo opportunities. Scenic is not the same as unique and most of the things I have seen along this stretch of road would not qualify for inclusion in Sunset magazine. Let’s put it this way; every time I drive this stretch of road I am reminded of Lady Bird Johnson and her self appointed task of beautifying
On another note; yesterday we were discussing the fact that during the two weeks that the twins were here, the television was on only once for their entertainment and that was only for 10 minutes. They wanted to see Chicken Run (
So what did they do for entertainment? Besides the usual routine of playing with the stash of toys found under the bookshelf, they persuaded their grandmother to read books to them. 3 or 4 times a day. Grandpa wasn’t called upon for this duty, except for one morning when I was tasked with reading If You Give a Pig a Pancake. I’ve read it before…many times. And it really is my favorite children’s book. In fact, I’m not sure there is an age limit for this book. It’s funny!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
A random thought; we were driving through
Friday, July 20, 2007
It’s far too early, but I’m unable to sleep. Too much napping? Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to have the twins napping with me in the ‘BIG’ chair in the living room.
And Boo has joined me this morning, requesting and gaining entry in her usual manner. (Through the window) Now she is asleep in the other chair and will remain there until about 7; then she is off to her hiding place for another 4 or 5 hours.
I guess you can say “Mission Accomplished”. As you can see by the photos I’ve posted here recently, the twins have learned to enjoy the water. No, they aren’t real swimmers yet…but they are getting close. I imagine that by the end of the lessons next year they will be swimming. And today is their last lesson; culminating in a jump off of the low diving board and into the deeper waters, where their instructors will be waiting and coaxing them. The kids have been talking for days about how far they are going to jump, so all is positive...film at 11.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
We had some fun yesterday when Karlee and
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Surprise! I went to open the patio door earlier this morning and I was greeted by the sound of heavy rainfall on the patio cover and the mewing of a wet cat. ‘Let me in!’ OK, the forecast did say that we had a 40% chance of rain for today, but I was skeptical.
This will help the garden of course. And the orchard. And since today is orchard irrigation day; it might seem a little odd to be trudging up to the canal to open the flood gates in the rain.
Here’s something I read yesterday;
“Nearly a quarter of Americans are offline, with no experience of the internet, a survey has found.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project studied the ever-shifting internet population in one of the world’s most wired nations. It found that the digital divide is likely to remain in place as the number of people dropping offline equals the number of new users adopting net technology. The share of the
23%! That’s a whole bunch of people. We interact with those people on a daily basis. Sometimes, they make decisions that affect us. And they aren’t playing with the same number of cards in the deck that you and I have. They’re guessing when they should be dealing with written facts. They’re using their ‘gut’ feelings. Shouldn’t we be doing something to change those statistics?
And, speaking of reading…
The saying "Getting there is half the fun" became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines. - Henry J. Tillman
It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree. - Charles Baudelaire
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy. - Charles Peters
You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men. - Max Beerbohm
I especially like the last quote. So true!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...
The ‘bird cannons’ are firing early this morning. Either that or the wind is bringing the sound to me. And there are dark clouds on the horizon; what’s the forecast? Darn! Wind and rain are forecast for tonight and tomorrow… well, the pool was clean.
The kids and I have been harvesting Sweet 100’s, the cherry tomato. It’s perfect for little fingers and they really enjoy trying to figure out which ones are ‘red’. These tomatoes have just reached the stage where you think you might have a handle on the harvest; you can gather as many as are ripe. But, lurking beneath the leaves are dozens more and they will reveal themselves very soon. Then you won’t be able to keep up. The ground will be littered with abandoned tomatoes despite your appetite for the juicy morsels.
I was reading the latest issue of the Economist and it seems that it could be the last issue I read. They have decided to put the entire magazine into an audio format on the net. You can listen to the whole magazine if you wish. They hired ‘professional’ readers and even with pro’s doing the reading…it takes 5 or 6 hours to hear the entire magazine. Oh, yes, they still send you the magazine if you want to read it yourself. Of course I have to try it; just to find out what accent the readers have. It’s a
Monday, July 16, 2007
Honest...she was not unhappy. Bad timing on the photographers part.
Allergies. It has to be allergies that make me feel this way. I was almost convinced that I had developed a summer cold, but the symptoms went away later in the day and have only returned this morning; same as yesterday. Very depressing. I haven’t been bothered by allergies in years!
But, as I was typing that last sentence, I looked up at the screen just as I created the word ‘been’ and saw the word, ‘bee’, which made me think of honey… and honey is supposed to be good ammunition in the fight against allergies. It has to be local honey, not your everyday honey packaged in a plastic bear. That sort of makes sense. Local bees, local flowers, local pollen. And the honey contains small amounts of the local allergens. It’s sort of like having a vaccination. OK. More honey!
It looks like it’s going to be a pleasant week with temperatures that we can easily bear; all in the low 90’s. Next Sunday will return us to
And as I read the news stories this morning, I am struck by the ones that tell of crackdowns on internet use and access. Most of the stories are about governments in Africa and
A very short time ago… 80 something years ago. Those same kinds of people pushed their agenda onto this nation with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution; the Volstead Act, or ‘Prohibition’. It was only after the fact that the population decided that the law went too far. But it was too late. The ‘fundamentalists’ had done their job and the nation suffered immense damage from it. All because the citizens had abdicated their responsibility to watch over their representatives.
Most people love the concept of democracy but hate the reality of it. “It (democracy) should be based on my morality and on my concept of what is right and wrong. Why should we even allow these other ideas?”
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I’m definitely feeling weird this morning. Physically weird. Mentally weird is normal for me. Nose is all stuffed up and my throat feels raw. Is it a summer cold or too much time in the pool? I have a feeling it’s the pool time that has me down. Or? Second thought; could it be allergies?
The good news from the pool is the fact that
I was just looking at the Web Zen site and rummaging through the “Paint By Numbers” section and found this memorable piece of data…
“Surveys in the 1950s confirmed that many Americans regarded abstract designs with suspicion, except for the patterns that embellished floor tile or Formica”
I have a feeling that you could take the same survey today and come up with the same results.
The Web Zen site deserves a thorough inspection…I found this by looking through the archives.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Sure, it's all fun and games in grandpa's pool. The real test will be on Monday when they return to class. So I guess we better practice again tomorrow.
It rarely gets better than this...the world's finest architect.
I have worked on a lot of building projects and some I am quite proud of, but I would have worked on any of his projects for no pay, none!... just to have been a part of it would have been payment enough.
I suppose it’s time for a rant about the internet. I was reading the latest from
It’s the typo’s that have figured into my decision to not subscribe to the local newspapers. Surprisingly, the alternative press does a better job of editing.
And I am going to comment on the ‘comments’ that are found on most web sites. Who are these people? Most won’t use their real names and I suppose that’s because they are, or should be, ashamed of the garbage they write. Yes; ‘Anonymous’ bothers me. Most newspapers won’t allow anonymous letters and for good reason. Of course the local rag, the ER, allows it. Another reason not to subscribe.
Another interesting day ahead of us. Today, and tomorrow, we will be the swim instructors for the twins. The regular class will begin again on Monday. Luckily, for us, the twins are never reluctant to get in the water, so there is a good chance we can make some progress over the weekend.
News: Odd, but the Antelope Complex fire is now ‘old’ news. I can rarely find any updates on it. I guess that’s a good thing.
Oops! There she is.
Besides the swimming, which is a given, I have plenty of other things to do today. The remodel of the Senior Thrift Store continues and I need more paint on Karlee’s step stool. Plus I have to clean up the compost pile and mow the orchard once again.
I was working on trimming some of the squash plants that were spilling out of the compost pile and I was quickly reminded of how that plant protects itself against intruders. I had to hurry back inside and wash my hands, arms and legs where I had come into contact with the leaves. The itching is terrible! This morning I can still feel it on my fingers despite the soap and water.
I knew it…lots of giggles are coming from the pile of blankets and pillows behind me. It won’t be much longer and they will be up and running.