Sunday, September 30, 2007
He said... she said... they said, and then back to he said. Oh, it's so darn hard to remember all the details; like names! No wonder they are having such a tough time of it in Afghanistan. How can you do the 'right' thing when you forgot who the enemy was?
From the Economist. “Around 700m Asians, mostly men, cannot get through the day without puffing on a cigarette.” That’s more men than there are men, women and children in the US of A. And approximately 2.3 million of those men will die of smoking related causes this year. I wonder what the death rate is from the use of other drugs?
Oddly enough, most Asian countries act almost the same as the US of A in regards to smoking. Officially condemning it but propping up the industry with subsidies. The one thing that the Asian countries haven’t done is to increase the taxes on cigarettes. (I can hear the Republicans applauding! China good, no taxes. Sweden bad. Taxes.)
Looking at the chart, you can see that women in
This is it. There is no more. The last day of the month and with the passing of September, all possible links to summer are gone. It ain’t coming back, folks! Not this year.
The ceiling fans were inspected and cleaned yesterday and then I set them to spin in reverse of their summer settings, in preparation for the day when I have to use them to circulate a little heat from the wood stove. The other fans were put away in the attic, not to be seen (or heard) again till sometime in
I certainly don’t miss the roar of the fans. I set them up to blast out the warm and stale overnight air and bring in the fresh, cool air of morning. I would start them early and they would run for about 3 hours or until I no longer saw the interior temperature dropping. Then I would shut off the fans and close the windows. Our barrier against the heat and high power bills.
I’ve always been a fan of open windows, and summers make that option close to impossible, but fall will allow me to keep some windows open during the day. Especially here in the study, where the combined electronics can raise the temperature. In the morning, when I first come in the room, I see little green and blue lights everywhere! Indicators that power is on to the computers (2), printers (2), monitors (2), hubs, scanner, switches, routers, etc, etc.
This brings to mind the feature, Where We Blog on Time Goes By. There aren’t a lot of photos posted yet, but I’m already seeing a trend. Flat screen monitors are everywhere. Laptops are in the majority. And I can already spot a
It would be interesting to find out who in this group of bloggers is using Apple, versus PC. And who is using
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I just love data. And odd data is best. For instance; 24,116. That’s the number of man hours expended by Americans as they removed the Bush/Cheney bumper stickers from their vehicles during the past two years. Usually done with the garage door down. 17.3. Tons of decal debris from those same bumper stickers. Of course it’s true! Would I lie?
Time Goes By is providing some space for a feature entitled, Where We Blog and it features photos of the workspaces of fellow bloggers and those who comment. So, at 5 in the morning, I’m taking pictures of my workspace. And regretting it. I had no idea that dust would show up in a photo as if it were a solid object. And wires are everywhere! OK, I live in the country and dust is simply part of life. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
But, I did come up with a helpful tool for housecleaning. The digital camera. Just take photos of each room and then review them. Use a flash. You don’t want to miss anything. If you already own a camera, there is really no cost for this great tool. And you don’t have to print the photos, just set them up as a slide show and then you can return to your monitor any time at all to refresh your memory as to where to clean next.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Oh, oh. This won't fly on Planet Orland. Most of the citizens in this galaxy are of the opinion that this is all natural. The fact that we burn about 80 million gallons of gasoline per day does not enter into the climate change argument. And the millions of acres of forest that we cut down each year...no problemo!
But what's really odd is the fact that Ms. Rice's puppet masters have her saying these words. Words that were once forbidden for a Republican to speak. What's going on?
This is what's going on... http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9890672
A little boy? Possibly a woman? Either one; all Marine.
And now skip on down to the article by Jaime O'Neill. It's a good one. It certainly brought back some childhood matinee memories... yes, the guy that sold the guns was always a bad guy! He usually had a thin moustache so you could be sure he was evil. But that was then, and now it seems to be another world that we live in.
I’m really not a good farmer or orchardist. (Is that a word? Well, it is now.)
I’m not sure why, but that made me think of ‘collage’. It’s an art form that I really love. And it’s because there is so much to discover in it. Primitive art. Altars and Shrines, I love that kind of artwork! Yet, I have a feeling that I wouldn’t be all that good at it. Because – as I constructed it, I would certainly enjoy the first glimpse of the pieces that go into it. I would love the selection process, but familiarity
would could soon turn the construction process into a chore. No, it’s not a given that I would become bored, it’s just a possibility.
Must think positively!
Surprise! The phone rang last night… no, it was this morning; 2:15, I believe, and it was our neighbor telling us that water was running alongside the house, nearest their bedroom window. Sure enough, a sprinkler line had broken and there was a mini-geyser spraying about 5’ into the air. The immediate fix was easy; turn off the system. But, today I will have to dig into the problem and fix it for good.
Odd, but I had been thinking about turning off the sprinklers because of the walnuts that are falling out in front, but I had forgotten to do it. Well, the sprinklers are off now and so it’s time for more walnuts to be gathered. The trees are loaded this year and it will be a hundred times more than I need. Out in back, I keep trying to imagine the view from our kitchen window without 2 large walnut trees on the immediate horizon. It wouldn't be pretty. I love the looks of the walnut tree. They look like they belong in the tropics. Yet, I find the trees to be messy and a real chore for maintenance. They have to be sprayed 3 times a year if you want perfect walnuts and if you don’t spray, you are rewarded with black hulls containing ugly, wet and shriveled walnuts. And nothing grows underneath them. Dust or mud is what you find beneath a walnut tree.
Maybe I should plant pecans in place of the walnuts. They are almost pest free and I love the nuts from them. They are a more fragile tree and need to be pruned to keep them from overextending their branches.
I’m re-thinking the whole orchard. The pears (2) can go. Fire Blight is a real problem with them and with the apples. I could let one of the two apples go with no problem. The persimmon tree is not one of my favorites and it could go as well. I would keep all of the apricots and the peaches. Pluots were a failure, but it was their first year. The prune tree had a good crop but sweetness was absent. The plum and the nectarine can stay. The two pomegranates are great and that’s more than enough fruit for two families.
So, what should I plant? I’m thinking that I need another fig tree. More cherries;
I found this article a few minutes ago, followed the link and took one test, the top one.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The hardest part of all the work involved in Karlee’s foot stool was the airbrushing. I just don’t get it! Wouldn’t it be great if artists would offer minor ‘apprenticeships’? Just a chance to observe and to try. I don’t think I need an entire course of instruction, and formal training has always been a problem for me; even in kindergarten!
All people learn differently. Sure, there are some broad categories that define how we learn, but schools can only do it one way. No Child Left Behind? Doomed to fail unless they teach for the test. Which they will do. They need the money. Giving us a generation or two of students who won’t have a clue once the teacher is no longer part of their daily life.
How did I get onto the subject of schools? Ah, yes! Airbrush. My project did turn out fine; not as good as it might have been, but certainly acceptable. The problem is the fact that I don’t really know how I did it. When I turned the compressor off and cleaned up the equipment, I was certain that I would have to
It’s complete. I have finally finished the foot stool for Karlee. And I like it.
I better get started soon if I ever want to get to the second series. I was taking a lot of verbal abuse ( J ) because I hadn’t finished the Karlee project; but it’s art! The design changed a half dozen times (in my head) and I had to stop every now and then to wait for inspiration. The finished piece is not at all as I saw it when I began. But it is definitely ‘Karlee’, and that was my goal.
A very realistic look at the economy.
I subscribe to the feed of Manhattan Beach Confidential for a couple of reasons. One, because we used to live there as children and I like the photos/addresses that remind me of those times. Two, because the real estate market in Manhattan Beach is like 'Alice in Wonderland', a fascinating tale!
While were growing up, Manhattan Beach was a haven for the low and middle class who didn't mind a long commute. But it changed in the late 50's and early 60's and prices began to creep upwards. When we married in 1963, we couldn't find a place to live in our hometown and had to rent an apartment in the industrial town of El Segundo. (Company town = Standard Oil) After a short time there, we joined the wanderer's of SoCal, moving to 6 different addresses in 3 different counties in the space of 14 years. We headed north in '77' and never looked back.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Stumbling. No, not the website. I was actually stumbling. This is irrigation day and so I grabbed my trusty flashlight and headed out to the orchard to open the floodgates in preparation for the water to come. Then it was a quick drive around the block to the path that leads to the main valve and then up to the canal. Except…my trusty flashlight was back in the garage. Sitting on the shelf next to where I park the car. Darn! There was full moon, so I decided to trust my memory to avoid the larger holes and hoped that my eyes would soon adjust to the darkness. And I had a shovel to wave around in front of me to ward off the larger spider webs.
As I made my way back to the house, I spotted some people walking along the highway, in the dark, and then I saw that there was an overturned truck just past Road P. No police had arrived yet but there was tow truck on the scene. Now, I’m listening to the scanner and it’s apparently an empty garbage truck and no one was hurt. But, they do need a bigger tow truck. The scanner isn’t telling me the whole story; I will probably need the local grapevine to get the details.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Yes, it was stupid for Columbia University to give the man a forum. He already had one in the UN; he didn't need a second one. But it's even worse for the columnist (in this case) to give him even more notice. Why isn't there a concerted effort in the news media to ignore him? In reality, the man is a failed politician at home and is being used by his own government as a 'lightning rod' for attacks against them. So why play their game?
Politicians are usually pretty slow on the uptake and the more 'local' they are - the slower they are. An Orland political blog might get 2 hits a day... the local newspaper consists of the police blotter reprinted. But, one can dream.
Liberal versus conservative. The conservative sees history as a model and the liberal sees it as a warning. The moderate sees it as educational. Yesterday, granddaughter
That thought caused me to shift gears slightly and think about flags and flag waving. The flag; now there’s a relic from the Middle Ages. From the days of kings and castles. The flag was the only way to tell which army was which and whose castle was whose. (sp?) It was a label. And do you know why they make flags from cloth? To make it more comfortable for the politicians when they wrap themselves in it.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The right wingnuts are certainly incensed about the MoveOn ad featuring
Anyway, the Phoenix cam is obviously focused on a golf course. (I saw a cart) But, which one? It reminds me of the course at a hotel where I stayed... but that was in Scottsdale. Or do all golf courses look alike?
Also, couldn't help but notice that one of the cams was located in 'Youngtown'. Is that a retirement community? Or is that an anti-aging community? Turn 65 and you're evicted!
I finished the book, Web of Deceit, by
So much of what we read, or are forced to read while in school is simply ‘pulp fiction’. My own moment of clarity came while taking a history class at
Of course you have to believe that this was an aberration and could never happen today. Right!
Perspective. I was having one of those ‘What’s the real meaning of life?’ moments yesterday as I was driving down from Susanville. I had just read the latest Wired magazine and they had an illustration of how important some blogs were and had demonstrated their findings by picturing them as ‘planets’ in a galaxy. If I remember correctly, BoingBoing was the largest planet. Oh well. Anyway, I put that thought together with how we (humans) relate to each other. Don’t we create galaxies of our own, with ourselves at the center? And then we revolve around another, larger object. This, in turn, is influenced by a much larger ‘planet’. Yet, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking consciously of these other relationships, we spend most of our lives concentrating on the ‘planets’ that revolve around us. From our perspective, those are the only things worth noting.
But, to make sense of it, we need to put on our astronomers hat and look outward to see the whole universe and how we are all connected.
I still don’t know the meaning of life, but I have a clearer image of the universe.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I had visited the Weather Underground a long time ago, but it has definitely changed, for the better. I'm a weather 'junkie' and it now has everything I've always wanted... it sure beats NOAA!
And one of the new things I really liked was the directory of state weather cams. Now I can take a look at Arizona and see the sun coming up in my sister's neighborhood. Well, not quite, they don't have a Scottsdale cam, but they do have one in Phoenix and that's close enough.
You can also view weather cams around the world... like Halikko, Finland. Or, Florianopolis, Brazil. Places I had never heard of.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
As a reminder of just how much has changed since retiring, I realized that it had been years since I had last driven in the dark while navigating deer country. Whoa! It's really dark out there.
Naturally I wanted a lot of light on the road, but the oncoming traffic kept me switching back to low beams every few seconds. That was when I decided that I really didn't like the steering column mounted switching device... what was wrong with the dimmer switch being mounted on the floor? My hands are busy enough; I don't need to be searching for the dimmer when I should be steering. And my left foot has absolutely nothing to do these days. It could be gainfully employed in headlight management. So who was responsible for moving the switch from the floor to the steering column? Let me guess; a government agency?
As it turned out, we never saw any jaywalking deer, probably because of the great number of hunters that were settling in for the weekend.
Friday, September 21, 2007
And away we go. We’re off to Susanville this evening. Going to see
On our way back, I suppose we could stop by and see our granddaughter,
We'll be without an internet connection for the weekend. Bad! But since there's not much chance of Congress or the Senate doing anything worthwhile over the weekend, I won't miss much. Heck, they don't do much during the week!
Some interesting (and disturbing) facts about the health care industry.
"...$776 billion in expenditures on private health insurance for this year. It’s also a big-time employer, paying what economist Paul Krugman has estimated two to three million people just (to) turn down claims."
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Just in case your paranoia level is low... just hang around here for a few minutes and you will be right back to your normal level of panic.
Get over it! The general is a big boy, and as long as he plays politics, he will be a target.
(Did anyone ask him how he felt about it?)
MoveOn ought to send a bill to the Senate for all of the publicity they cooked up for these bozos. Sound bites galore and all for free! Now... can you get back to work?
We made the mistake of going by
Naturally; both of our minds went into memory mode and we recalled the fact that our mothers, both of them, never drove. Never had licenses or cars. And they weren’t the only ones in their neighborhoods. Most moms’s walked. Most families only had one car. Honest. I know it sounds like a fable, but it’s true. My sisters were the first women in our family to drive a car. Pioneers.
And growing up in a one car family meant that I was a walker as well. (child walks...oh, the shame of it!) Think about all of the things that you do with children in your car. We didn’t.
One of my favorite subjects. I have declared and will always declare that there is no such thing as 'race'. We're all human. End of story. Don't bore me with an argument.
We do have genetic differences that make us appear to be different; black hair vs. blond. Brown skin vs. white. But what makes us human; our minds... we're all created the same way. Culture determines most of our behavior and our souls do the rest.
I can hardly wait till the next census. I'm checking every box!
I first heard the rumors yesterday. How could that possibly happen? Could it be true? My first instincts were right, it doesn't happen. No more than any other shoe and probably less.
OK. My collection of Croc's is safe. For a minute or two, I had a fear that some government agency would ban them. 'The Department of Escalator Security"???
I’m up early, but that’s nothing new. Six hours of sleep and that’s it. I’m wide awake and ready for the day. Or, until it’s time for me take a nap, of course.
We had good sleeping weather last night; it rained most of the day and the evening turned quite cool. Cool enough for me to search for and find my flannel pajamas. And those comfy pajamas quickly became a cat magnet last night; Boo made herself at home on my lap, making reading somewhat difficult, which resulted in some napping, which in turn resulted in my waking up early this morning. Cause and effect.
More on the New York Times; I read that not only are the columnists now free to be read by all, but the archives of the newspapers have been opened as well. And I heard an interview with a Times spokesperson who indicated that the paper had increased readership of their electronic version by some 100+%. The pay-per-read columnists had been bringing in $10 million per year but they feel they can recoup that amount in advertising fees.
Now is the time for local newspapers to look at the Times business model; learn something from it and stop depending on full page ads for chiropractors for revenue. Will that happen? Not a chance.
I guess I’m going to have to buy the book, Web of Deceit, by
I just finished reading about the run-up to the first Gulf war. To make their case for invasion, Bush 1/Baker had to show that the Arab states were allied with them and to do that they used money for leverage. They paid off Hosni Mubarak of
When we were watching the movie, The Prestige, the other night, I was irritated once again by the obnoxious anti-copy message, “You wouldn’t steal a purse…” a trailer that seems to be included on most
It really doesn’t make sense; the film industry is filled with bright people who know how to manipulate the general population. That’s what they do! So how did this trailer come to be made so poorly? They probably assigned it to a lawyer who was already working on a retainer and they assigned the project to a law clerk who then gave it their younger brother or sister to produce it because they owned a Mac. Voila!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Go ahead and scroll down to Tuesday, the 21st of August. I was going to post something about this poem when I heard it...a month ago. But things happened and I soon forgot; till this morning. So here it is.Which brings me to my question. What happens to old UPS trucks? Have you ever seen one?
I was a little surprised at how easily fatigued I became yesterday as I was moving the pots. I really need to get back in shape and weight lifting should be part of that regimen. I know that I’m (apparently) in better shape than about 75% of those that are my age, but it is something that can be lost very quickly.
And speaking of that; I was getting some new glasses at Lenscrafters yesterday and the salesman made the comment that he thought I looked quite young and fit for someone who was 67. Was he just trying to sell me more expensive frames? That had to be part of the reason. But, to be truthful, I think I do look younger than most men that are my age. OK, maybe half. Genetics has a lot to do with it, but attitude has something to do with it as well. You have to make sure you don’t get into a rut and you need to welcome changes. I’ve seen too many people that seem to ‘practice’ becoming old at an early age, as if it were a goal to be met.
Now that I read Time Goes By on a regular basis, I see more instances of age discrimination. I’m certainly more aware of it. What’s with that? Is it denial by the discriminators? We all age, but for those who practice age discrimination it can’t come soon enough!
Some good quotes…
“I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news. And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world.” --
I have to wonder how he makes it through the day?
And this one…
“In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.” - Fran Lebowitz
That’s something I always suspected when I was 14; now that I’m 67 I can tell you it is true.
Oh, oh. I’m sore this morning. Yesterday was the day that the order of very LARGE pots showed up at the Plant Barn and I got a chance to get up close and personal with them, moving them to the spots where they are best displayed. And these pots don’t come packaged individually; they are stacked with other smaller pots contained within them. It’s very much like the Russian dolls that contain many, successively smaller, dolls. The pots are stacked on pallets, right side up and upside down, each one filled with pots and more pots.
I took a look at the usual email this morning and then noticed that the New York Times seems to have abandoned their ‘pay to read’ scheme for their more popular columnists. It’s about time. I suppose it’s been about a year since I last clicked on a
On another note; after Monday and Tuesday’s internet connection fiasco, I was reading an article in the Economist, telling all about the broadband coverage in the state of
One of the downsides of aging (for me) is the fact that I’m both alive and old at the very beginning of the age of technology. I hate to think of all that I’m going to miss! And at the rate it’s happening, I’m going to miss the day that they deliver real broadband service to this address. In the meantime, an empty and useless fiber optic cable lies buried, just across the road from us. It’s been there for about 5 years.
I was reading last night…OK; I had my eyes closed as well. But I did have a book in my hand. I awoke and was startled to hear the scanner making a lot of noise so I went to see what was happening. Laurae had turned it up when she heard something about an ‘evacuation’ in Orland. We listened for awhile without learning much more and then I decided to continue my ‘reading’ in bed. I checked with the ER this morning and here is the story. I suppose it’s best we don’t think about the various chemicals that are being transported hourly/daily past where we live and work. I know that the town of
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Yesterday; I’ve been to the monthly torture session. A regularly scheduled meeting with the rest of the Board of Directors of the Glenn County Seniors, etc, etc. I don’t do well with meetings and I’m still not sure why I agreed to be on the board. My plan is to finish out this year and then ask to become an ex-officio member. I think that ex-officio means that I can do the volunteer work but I won’t have to go to any of the meetings.
The meeting took a little over 3 hours to accomplish what could have been done in less than an hour if we hadn’t followed those darn parliamentary rules. When it comes to meetings, we really need the ‘benevolent dictator’ model for running them. Suggestions will be entertained, but only briefly. All decisions by the ‘dictator’ are final and binding.
Today; once again, the door to the internet opens slowly. Very slowly. Curse you, Direcway/Hughes Net! I’m sure it was because of the downloaded files from yesterday’s link to Blogger images. If you exceed your limited amount of traffic, you can get your wrist slapped…without warning. But, if you wish to upgrade your service, you are told that you will lose your email address and must start all over again. Absolutely brilliant! They know you are using satellite service because you have no other options available and so they treat you accordingly.
I better hurry and post this before the door closes again.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Compelling. This is an 'instant' viewing of the photos that are being uploaded to Blogger, as it happens.
(they have an algorithm that filters out the bad stuff...hopefully)
Oops, forgot to tell you...click on the picture if you want to see where it came from. But, you have to be quick!
I have decided to post more often to my Working blog and that may be why I am wordless this morning; OK, semi-wordless. In fact, all of my blogs are calling to me. I do remember that I was out of memories for the family history blog and so that one may take me awhile to revive. I suppose if I were to take out a box of old family photos and start to catalog them… you know, that might do the trick!
"U.S. troops hold 23,600 Iraqis almost all of them without trial. The U.S. has promised to release 50 of them every day throughout Ramadan."
Now let me try and understand. You can release 50 a day? So why were they arrested and held to begin with? And if you can release 50, why not all?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Of course I have to look at the weather forecast first thing in the morning. Why? It’s going to be what it’s going to be and it will only vaguely resemble the forecast. I wonder if ancient man would spend as much time thinking about the weather as his descendants now do? OK, it’s going to be 83 today and sunny. Does it matter?
Summer continues. I am really looking forward to some rain and I don’t see any of that in the long range forecast. Rain would wash away the dust from the harvest and from the roads. We were following a truck loaded with almonds yesterday as we went into
The big news this weekend is all about the new Greenspan book.
The man who served for nearly two decades as chairman of the Federal Reserve in the
Greenspan Book Criticizes Bush And Republicans
Wall Street Journal -
By GREG IP and EMILY STEEL In a withering critique of his fellow Republicans, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says in his memoir that the ...
Greenspan: Interest rates need to go to double-digits
Does this mean that
Odd; I am listening to my small scanner radio that sits here by the telephone and I keep hearing reports of various crimes and misdemeanors around the valley. It’s 5:30 in the morning on a Sunday. What’s with that? I always thought the criminal element was in bed after 2 or 3 in the morning. Or do they set their alarms and get up early?
I don’t usually listen closely to the scanner, it’s just a noise that I know I can focus on if I want to… and I do hear some funny stuff on the scanner! Yesterday, there was a neighborhood argument involving several families and a rowdy rooster that required the services of a deputy. Oh, I know it’s all very serious to the parties concerned, but since I can’t see them, I get to laugh.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
It’s Saturday and it’s time to remember what it was like to work for a living. Today would be my day off. I was reading yesterday’s Time Goes By floggings and I could see myself in there, sort of. My days start earlier and I drink a little more coffee. We both play with the cat. And I’m certainly not one to get all dressed up anymore.
When I was working, I didn’t have one of those great jobs where you can hardly wait to get to work and then you stay late because you love it. No, I had a good job, but I had to travel a lot and I had to do things the ‘corporate’ way and not my way. So now, for me, the best part of retirement is the freedom. What a great feeling! But it’s also a curse. I’m a terrible procrastinator anyway and retirement has given me the license to do what I wish… and sometimes that is absolutely nothing. This brings on guilt. That doesn’t motivate me as it should, so now I’m a guilt ridden procrastinator. The worst kind! OK, time for more coffee and maybe play with the cat…
The cat can’t be seen at this early hour; being black and all…but I’m pretty sure she is sleeping on the purple cushion that she recently claimed as her own. Bad cat!
We had no time for procrastination yesterday; starting with my usual coffee and the news at Cal-Java and then on to some moving chores with
Once we got home, it was time to go into town; go to the library before it closed, get the mail and then a few things at the store; ice and orange marmalade. Those were the important items needed for my next project; the making of marmalade ice cream. Well, it wasn’t the most successful thing I’ve ever done. Despite 1-1/2 hours of rotation in a brine solution, the ice cream was barely frozen. Not enough salt? Anyway, I removed it and put it in the freezer. Time for bed.
While I was waiting for the ice cream to become ‘ice cream’, I began reading a book I had picked up at the library; Web of Deceit, by Barry Lando.
I’ve already read a lot of this history in books by other authors, but