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?

Coffin Nails

Warning. Reading about disgusting smoking facts and figures can be irritating… to a smoker.

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 China have a long way to go become equal to men, i.e.; dead.

Making it simply complicated

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 June.

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 New England bloggers haven by the darker woods and the dignified look of the room.

It would be interesting to find out who in this group of bloggers is using Apple, versus PC. And who is using Vista. I’ve already been warned by my sister that Vista is a bad choice if you are a serious computer user, and she is. I understand it’s like XP Home, only dumbed down. I always try to use the ‘professional’ version of any Microsoft system, but I haven’t heard that there is one for Vista? I’m really stuck between two worlds here. I loved the DOS world where I could create and run batch files and make the computer do what I wanted. But I love the ‘gee whiz’ features of the latest and greatest from Microsoft. It’s simple. I want them both.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wht U thnk?

OK, just wondering; is this a 'solid' walnut table or only a veneer? A couple more hours of wind and I will have enough for 4 'walnut' chairs to go with it...

All work and no play

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?

I. Must. Dust

I’m having one of those odd mornings, where I don’t get much accomplished. My first goal was to read all of my RSS feeds before they refreshed and gave me more to read. That didn’t work. And then I got bogged down trying to connect with any Boris Artzbasheff page that displayed his artistry. He was an illustrator/artist of the 40’s and 50’s, and I really enjoyed his work. No connections worked and so I moved on. To photographing the spot where I sit. And blog.

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

Hit & Run

Nixon said: Tally the Jews at BJS; Free Hess!

This is the reason you don't trust presidents. Any president.

Do you know any that were trustworthy? Inquiring minds want to know.

For Karlee

OK, here it is... delivered today.
Beads and coins, strung on wire. Hearts are polymer clay with a 'Glossy' paint.
Acrylic (removable) mirror behind the beads...
Airbrushed 'Splat!"

Say what?

“We come together today because we agree that climate change is a real problem -- and that human beings are contributing to it,’’ Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said..."

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 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...

Thanks, Kitty.

Chico Beat

A most disturbing photo

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.

As If I Didn't Know

I’m really not a good farmer or orchardist. (Is that a word? Well, it is now.) Denise has all of that talent and I don’t know where she inherited it from. Not from her dad. I appreciate plants and I love to garden when I want to garden, but the everyday maintenance chores aren’t for me. I think it’s because I have far too many things on my mind. I can’t imagine having only one thought or focus for more than half an hour. That’s probably why I love to read; the story is constantly evolving. And when I am stuck with any chore that takes a long time, I’m the daydreamer! Or the 'Avoider'.

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; Rainier’s. And definitely another Mandarin orange! Sounds like I better order a catalog. And get a couple of bids to remove the walnuts.

Project Implicit®

Who knew?

I found this article a few minutes ago, followed the link and took one test, the top one.
I'm not sure that I like the results...
"Despite our best intentions, our minds construct expectations about the world and then perceive it accordingly,"
Best intentions, indeed! I'm almost afraid to take another test...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

End of the Line

- Foreign Policy Magazine

Amazing photos and far too many social issues to even begin to discuss...


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 sand the paint off and start over. I was prepared to do that. But I let the paint dry and then took off the masking. Looked good to me!

Below is the image titled 'Splat' - I used that as my model.


It’s complete. I have finally finished the foot stool for Karlee. And I like it. Kyle’s foot stool was the first and now I have to decide where I go next for inspiration. Do I build one for Meghan, or Steven, or Abby, or Shannon, or Zack? The grandchildren’s foot stools. A series. (Photos to follow) And then there has to be the second series… great grandchild, Colum.

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.

Boom Gone?

- In Praise of the Housing Bust

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

The 4 Boneheaded

Biases of Stupid Voters

I've read this many times before and they're still valid. All 4.

Good Stuff

Eavesdrop Writer

Have I already told you about this site? I may have, but there's no reason I can't do it again. Bookmark it; put it on your Feeds.

Lot's of Books

Here's an interesting new social network; just for booklovers.


Unbelievable. The usual critics are all over the Columbia University/Ahmadinajad debacle. Columbia needs to be punished, according to the rightwing nuts! Take away any federal funds! (Ignoring freedom of speech) And not surprisingly, this kind of talk has given Mr. Ahmadinejad a boost in popularity at home in Iran. Exactly what we didn’t want. He was on a downhill slide, but now he is seen as some sort of hero because of the furor he raised. He was setting these people up. He should have been ignored! But no… the nutjobs had to pursue their own agenda. Were they blind and dumb? Don’t politicians have to learn basic psychology to do their job well? Or, maybe I have it all wrong… the politicians are using psychology; playing to the voters, as this is what the voters expect; jingoism at its finest.

In the dark

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.

OK. Mission accomplished; and with only a little bit of stumbling. But, I really need to keep a flashlight in that car.

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, I'm still upset and still looking for speed! I want some before I die...

Even the 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' have 3 times the average speed that is available here.

Thanks, AT&T...

Crocodile tears

for Petraeus, but no idea who's actually dying

Of course. It's that darn ad! This embarrassing moment wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for that ad... Curse you, MoveOn!

For further clarity... click here


Don't help propagandist

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?

Local Politics

Pepped up by Bloggers

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.

Whole Cloth

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 Shannon made the comment that the New York Times was a ‘liberal’ paper and I thought not. They really don’t have the moral courage to be liberal. And of course that got me into thinking about the whole labeling business that we seem to love. Everyone and everything must be labeled. Accurately! And that’s exactly why I left political parties behind; where they belong. We will have evolved if we can ever form a society that doesn’t need labels.

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

graffiti archaeology

You like Flash? And Graffiti?

It all comes together here.

Fighting Mad?

The right wingnuts are certainly incensed about the MoveOn ad featuring General Petraeus. Such limited and selective memories! If anyone who wears a uniform is immune from criticism, then we are in dangerous waters indeed! Petraeus was acting as a politician for two days and he deserves anything he gets in the way of criticism. And not surprisingly, no one has reported on what the General’s reaction was. Will he ask for a Purple Heart? This whole event is political and has never been about patriotism.

Phoenix, or?

I was visiting the Weather Underground weather cams and checking in to see if the sun was up in Arizona. (good morning, sister!)

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!

Business, as usual

I finished the book, Web of Deceit, by Barry Lando. It was a good read from beginning to end and should be required reading in history classes, beginning in high school.

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 Moorpark Junior College and the instructor told us about the history of California and the railroad. It seems that California was underwriting the construction of the railroad by paying x number of dollars for each mile of rail completed on level ground and xx number of dollars for rail built on mountainous terrain. The rail barons, Crocker, Stanford, Huntington etc, saw an opportunity in that and went to key legislators and were able to have the state constitution amended to declare that the entire state was mountainous… from end to end. Not a single mile of flat ground was to be found. And you won’t find that in your school history books.

Of course you have to believe that this was an aberration and could never happen today. Right!

And it means?

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'm really enjoying the fast internet connection that my son has. Here he is, surrounded by forest, the closest small town is 12 miles away and he has super fast DSL. I live within 20 minutes of a major university and I get crawling dial-up or slow satellite. Something is wrong with this picture.

As long as I am connected, I guess I should share a few pictures of the twins.


Interesting. It's still dark here, about 12 miles north of Susanville. And there's a small rainstorm moving through, knocking pine cones onto the metal roof. Bang! And how do I know it's a small rain storm? Unable to sleep any longer, I googled the local weather and came up with the Weather Underground site. And a very local reporting site (Milford) plus some radar views showed me the extent of the storm. Very cool! (The storm should be gone by 6)

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

High Beams

We made it safely to Susanville late last night, arriving about 8:30. The only danger we faced was the possibility of hitting a deer or two along the way. We had stopped in Chester to have a burger and in that short time, darkness fell just as we were about to enter prime deer migration areas...

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

ComplimentBot 4000

Refresh for more love

Feeling a little down? Hit the F5 key and feel good again!


And away we go. We’re off to Susanville this evening. Going to see Bill and the twins. And now it looks like we might have picked the wrong weekend as rain is definitely in the forecast for Saturday. Snow? I know that the higher elevations got some snow the other day and there’s always the chance that it could happen again.

On our way back, I suppose we could stop by and see our granddaughter, Shannon. If only we knew where she lived? We do know that she lives near some golf course; the 16th hole. Does she have a new phone number to go along with her new address?

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!

We Have Seen the Enemy —

And Surrendered

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

Global Incident Map

Displaying Terrorist Acts, Suspicious Activity, and General Terrorism News

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.

Senate Votes

to Condemn MoveOn for Ad Attacking General Petraeus - Politics as usual from the Republican Party and other wimps.

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?


Morning Cuppa Moral Lessons

Yes, it's all about being 'human'. And getting our lessons.


Crown 7 electric cigarette

OK, the subject is drug addiction. Now tell me again why nicotine shouldn't be considered a drug and controlled like all the others?

Smoke a cigarette...go to jail!

Blue Ridge

Bonding over coyote urine...

I have a feeling this could be a big seller at the Plant Barn. And I think Bill has a coyote call?

Drive, she said...

We made the mistake of going by Shasta School the other day, right around 2:30. That is the hour that school is over with for the day and the parents descend upon the school to pick up the students. Then we noted an odd thing. There are no homes anywhere near this school. It’s in an industrial zone. What’s with that? There were school buses; there were hundreds of cars; I would not exaggerate. But no walkers.

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.


politics - Los Angeles Times

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!

Croc-chewing escalators

spread alarm - Los Angeles Times

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"???

Trivial Thoughts

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 Barry Lando. The library wouldn’t appreciate my highlighting or underlining and this is a book that practically begs you to mark it up.

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 Egypt with $$$billions and he quickly switched sides. They even invited Syria to join them, paying them to send 18,000 troops. Those troops stayed in Saudi Arabia for the duration of the war. Every Arab state that turned on Saddam was paid to do so.

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 DVD’s these days. By the time that thing has finished playing; I’m ready to find something to steal, just to spite them! The film industry needs to learn some basic human psychology if they want to be effective. Maybe they could film clips of prisoners being tortured, whipped and beaten while chained in dungeon; while a voice-over warns, “Copying a DVD? Don’t even think about it. This could be you!” I’m sure that would work as a deterrent.

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!

State dept

won't say why UK music scholar is barred from US

Stunning story... paranoia rules! Or; never trust a woman who speaks Welsh.

Link here to the NY Times story with even more detail.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Writer's Almanac

from American Public Media

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?

Getting Old or Getting Better

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!

Always the truth

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.” --George W. Bush Washington, DC 09/21/2003

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.

Pass the Ben-Gay

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 Bob Herbert column. Now the Times will have to try and regain the readers they lost with that ill advised plan.

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 Kentucky. The goal is to have service for 98% of the population by the end of the year. And they are on schedule. Kentucky versus California. I don’t get it?

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 Chico is especially at risk because the railroad cuts right through the residential areas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Open and Closed

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

Blogger Play

Seen this?

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 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!

Residual Troops

- Still Crickets

"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?


I seem to be out of words this morning. What does that mean? I’ve read all of my overnight e-mail and I’ve gone through all of my RSS feeds, but not a word has been found. Aha! Ennui. There’s a word.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bill - For President

This is why I hope the dumbocrats will go with Bill. He's smart, he has a plan and he has been honest about his failings. But that isn't going to happen. The public wants what the news media wants; a polished image. Lots of clever sound bites and photo ops that sell. It is about money; isn't it? The sheep win every time.


Bloom County's Berkeley Breathed

Now this is ART!

Clear or Cloudy?

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 Chico and the almonds were dropping off the truck on a regular basis, along with the dirt that goes with them.

The big news this weekend is all about the new Greenspan book. Mr. Greenspan has a best seller on his hands! I will watch for it at the library. And here are some of the headlines…

Bush's spending 'out of control': Greenspan

ABC Online, Australia - Sep 15, 2007

The man who served for nearly two decades as chairman of the Federal Reserve in the United States, Alan Greenspan, has delivered a scathing attack on US ...

Greenspan says GOP "deserved to lose"

Chicago Tribune, United States - Sep 15, 2007

By William Neikirk Alan Greenspan's new memoir is tough on Republicans and President Bush and it could be turned into a campaign manifesto for Democrats in ...

Greenspan Book Criticizes Bush And Republicans
Wall Street Journal - Sep 14, 2007
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
USA Today - Sep 14, 2007
By Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY WASHINGTON — Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan predicts in a new book out Monday that the Fed will have to raise interest ...

Greenspan Comes Clean: Iraq Invasion Was About Oil

Does this mean that Alan won’t be invited to any barbecues at the ranch in Crawford? To be honest, I don’t see Alan as a barbecue kind of guy anyway.

Mr. Greenspan’s book would go well with the book I am currently reading, Web of Deceit, by Barry Lando. Now that’s a book that everyone should read.

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

Alan Greenspan

claims Iraq war was really for oil -

No! Tell me it's not true? I NEVER would have guessed such a thing. (Heeheehee...)

Oh, Alan, you big kidder you!

The Web

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 Denise. After that, we went to a mini-celebration of Karlee’s birthday at Marie Callendar’s (Karlee’s choice). Then a trip over to the Cal-State Chico Agriculture department. The Meats lab to be exact. This is where the Ag students learn butchering and meat processing; selling the resulting products to the public. We bought some Andouille sausage, pastrami and 3 Tri tip roasts and all at a great price. It’s all freezer wrapped and deeply frozen. This store is only open on Thursdays and Fridays and you have to be early for some products, such as lamb or pork ribs.

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. Mr. Lando is a former 60 Minutes producer and has a good writing style. It’s quite easy to get into the book and his end notes are complete. A well documented book. Which is a shame; as when you read it, you can only hope that it’s fiction. No such luck; it’s history. (Scroll down and read the first review)

I’ve already read a lot of this history in books by other authors, but Mr. Lando adds to my knowledge. And it’s this fact; that the history of Iraq is well known, which makes the actions of this administration so reprehensible. They couldn’t possibly have had their heads stuck in the sand. They knew!