Monday, March 31, 2008
Speaking of Civil War...as I was earlier this morning.
"Mr. McCain said Friday at a stop in Las Vegas. “I think it’s going to be a tough fight. We know that these militias are well entrenched there. I hope they will succeed and succeed quickly.”
Define success, Senator.
Civil wars , by their very nature are never over. In Europe, some civil wars are many hundreds of years old. I can show you places in our own country where the "War of Northern Aggression" is still simmering. Shameful, but true.
Of course I started my day with a visit to Time Goes By where Crabby Old Lady was venting about copyrights. What a complicated subject! And without a lot of history to it. I doubt that there was much copyright law being debated 200 years ago. And the internet has made it into a whole new ballgame. For instance, every image you see on your screen has been loaded onto your hard drive. For a little while, it’s in your possession. If you disconnect from the internet and search the internet cache files, there they are; the photos and the songs that some web page downloaded to your hard drive. And without some disclaimer in evidence, how does the law handle that? Seeking something out to copy it for your own financial gain, would and should be illegal. But what do you do when someone gives you that song or image?
Yes, it’s a copyright jungle out there! I can lend you my books, my CD’s and my videos. Or I can go to the library and take them home from there. Where is that line that defines ‘illegal’? I’m probably not the right one to discuss this subject; I’m of the opinion that entertainers of any kind, including sports entertainers, should be looking for day jobs.
In the meantime, I still try to link everything and give credit where due. Though I must admit that not every image gets credited. Most, but not all.
It’s a new week and a new book. This Republic of Suffering, by
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I just mentioned the veteran’s hunger strike in 1981 and so I better look that up. Yes, there it is… Amazing isn’t it? I guess we didn’t use those cute magnetic ribbons to indicate our support for veterans back then. And once our soldiers are home from
I was going to drop my Facebook account after a day of irritation with it. I was trying to change my Group from
But, back to Facebook. I now have 6 ‘Friends’, (with photos) including Zack and
And apropos of nothing at all, here's a link to a photo of UCLA in 1929. http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics46/00042712.jpg Imagine owning some of that land back in the day!
That was fun. Yesterday, I found a link to old photos of
I like to use the images in my journals; illustrating the story of my life. So the libraries (and the internet) are a great resource for the early images. But you do have to be careful and not let the added images create Word files that are too large to open without taking up all of your available memory. It’s easy to do.
And this morning I decided to look for images of the old Queen of Angels hospital, where I was born in 1940. I typed ‘hospital into the keyword section and was rewarded with 40 pages of pictorial history. Great stuff! Veteran’s hunger strike in 1981,
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I located the source for all of those seemingly abandoned photos I mentioned earlier.
Here is a photo of J.W. Robinson's Department store in 1951. Very exclusive and our Nana worked in the lamp department. 3rd floor?
Lower left reveals a city policeman directing traffic. They were at almost every major intersection in those days. And look at the pedestrian and the car near the lower right. It looks as if they are in disagreement about the 'right of way'.
You can create any kind of search...
I was wandering, as I often do, and I ran across this large collection of images. This particular page appears to have a postcard collection from early Los Angeles on it. You can click on the 'parent directory' and it will take you back just one jump to another index. I can't find the 'Home' for this site at all.
This page seems to have a photo of the booking document from the Barbara Graham murder case... There are even more photos of police? witnesses? procecutors?
All very odd? Where did they come from?
But will we ever know? Until it's too late?
"We expect full assessments from every doctor except, well, neurologists. If airline pilots, some judges, and people in other occupations are subject to cognitive tests, why not presidential candidates?"
If we had cognitive testing in prior years, would we have been subjected to the likes of Reagan and Bush?
Now, I'm just 3 years younger than McCain and so I don't feel that he's is too old; except...he thinks old! He doesn't embrace change. And I only say that because it's a common failing among elders. (And Republicans) I wish it weren't so. What's his stand on science? He doesn't have one.
Here's some URL's to old theatre info...
And I did find a photo of the La Mar...with two movies of the early 40's shown on the marquee.Just to the right of the theatre was Joe's Candy Cottage (Spelling? Was it Jo or Joe?)
What a letdown. The rain consisted of 34,873 drops. That was it. And the forecast for today is partly cloudy. No help there.
We decided to watch something light last night, so we played the movie, Ratatouille, by Pixar/Disney. Good show! Of course it was the
Friday, March 28, 2008
We've been talking about a family reunion lately. Just talking and throwing out ideas; or is that throwing 'in' ideas? Anyway, that got me to thinking about places weve been and places I would like to go...again.
We wandered through this hotel one day while visiting Taos and I can still imagine a great weekend here. No, we didn't stay in this hotel, just wandered through the lobby and into the courtyard. Didn't even look at a room. But, still...
"I suspect that all three candidates have been speaking to the issues all along, albeit in not very comprehensive ways, but you'd never know it from the press coverage. And that's the problem. The campaigns have essentially been press-directed, rather than the coverage being driven by the campaigns."
I noticed the same thing yesterday and thought about commenting...didn't get around to it. And as long as the 'press' is directing the debates, we'll never hear a valid question being asked of the candidates.
We’re adjusting our schedules today. Sometime; don’t know when…we will be getting a new water heater. The water heater that serves the bathrooms and showers gave out after 19 years. But AHS will be taking care of it, minus the $55 service fee. And AHS makes it easy to use; I simply log-on to their website and choose my current ‘disaster’. I fill out a few text boxes and an appointment is made for that day or the next. No phone calls! No press #2 for English. So far, we’re ahead in this insurance game and we hope to keep it that way.
No, I’m not a salesman for AHS and a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have considered this kind of insurance. But now I’m all for it. I’m not spending my day shopping for a new water heater; getting a permit. Don’t forget the seismic straps and the insulation kit! And then there’s the removal and disposal of the old heater. Unless you want to turn that old tank into a barbecue, as I did one time, long ago. (
Here’s some headlines that caught my attention.
AP - Defense Secretary
One would assume that inventories of nuclear weapons would ALWAYS be current. But that’s the problem with ‘assuming’ when the government is in charge.
Schwarzenegger prides himself on striking compromises to get things done. But some critics say his principles are getting lost in the process.
Principles? C’mon! He’s a politician. Would he recognize one if he saw it?
I doubt that it was
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Things are looking up. A day off with lots of ibuprofen and I’m feeling much better this morning. I’ll simply do my stretches this morning and try to continue with this regimen of resting. Despite the good news, I hate losing a few weeks of training time.
Well, it’s my own fault. I have always been quick to get into training mode but without taking the time to stretch. Stretching is what other people did. I was ready to move fast as soon as I arrived at the track. And I got away with it for many years; despite being told more than a few times that it was hazardous to my health. Now I will have to retrain myself to include stretching time at the front end and the back end of each training session. My personality says no, but my body says yes.
And then, on the other hand, there is that article in the Times (Below) that mentions the ‘toxic’ mood of the voters. I have to wonder if any of the candidates will bother to read that? I have this feeling that the article (and the voters) will simply be ignored and the candidates will blather on until November. You can trust the Democrats to lose an election by not focusing on the issues that concern the voters. What do ‘focus groups’ do anyway? Drink lots of coffee and eat donuts while convincing themselves that they know what’s up?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
And in the 'Fast Food Nation'? Imagine fighting and dying over a Big Mac? Gives a whole new meaning to 'food fight'.
I know it makes very little difference, but I can't help but think of the amount of food that is wasted every day.
What else is new? Well, it seems like we have seen a rash of crane accidents lately. Which made me think of the number of crane accidents I had seen during my construction career; four. All potentially deadly, but in each case, only the cranes and the buildings suffered any damage. Cranes are mechanical; they will fail. We were taught from the very beginning to never walk under a load while hoisting and to avoid being under the boom at any time. And tower cranes are at their most vulnerable when they are being raised. Most tower cranes are self-climbing; they use jacks to lift and raise the heavy rotating assembly off of the tower portion. Then, the crane lifts another tower section up under the cab and ironworkers bolt it into place before the jacks are lowered and the crane is solidly in place and a little taller. And when the job is over, they reverse the process to take the crane down. Once the tower crane has reached a height that a conventional heavy crane can reach, they then use that crane to finish the disassembly process. As you can see, from the description, the whole process is inheritantly dangerous. And the way I remember it, the entire area around the crane was secured and no one was allowed in, except for the ironworkers involved in taking it down.
I hate to do it, but I’m going to have to curtail the exercise routines for at least two weeks. It’s obvious that I can’t be trusted alone in the park. Yesterday, I had planned a slow walk as a way of easing the symptoms of both the Piriformis Syndrome, and the Plantar Fasciitis that have been plaguing me lately, but competition tempted me; I fell for it and racewalked a 12 minute mile and now I’m paying for it.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This was an amazing show...what people will believe! And worse; if you debunk the rumor, that will convince even more people that it was true...when it never was!
Personal note: I never get 'forwarded' email any more. I was always sending it back with corrections and after awhile most forwarders just gave up on me. Try it!
And here's a new site (for me) for the truth about political rumors... http://www.politifact.com/
Enough of that political stuff. Back to me; my favorite subject! And to my health. I am going to go to the park this morning and do 3 miles, slowly. The pain in my hip (Piriformis Syndrome?) is really bothering me now and I need to see if can do a simple and fast walk without the hip rotation necessary for a good racewalking stride and pace. (All those embarrassed by their fathers racewalking gait can now relax) I was certainly a fast walker many years ago, when I completed my first marathon. But, racewalking allowed me to increase my speed by at least 25%. It would be OK to be slower. I just have to keep telling myself that. New mantra...
The good news...The prognosis for most individuals with piriformis syndrome is good. Once symptoms of the disorder are addressed, individuals can usually resume their normal activities. In some cases, exercise regimens may need to be modified in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence or worsening.
We received our notice yesterday. The 2008 irrigating season is upon us; starting this week. I will have to clean the ditches of leaves and old walnuts and give the orchard its second mowing this week. Then, next Wednesday, in the dark, I will make the trek up to the canal and open the valves that will send us our first allotment of water for the season.
The association that directs the agricultural water usage here on the Planet Orland has been cleaning their canals for the past few weeks, using labor from the Salt Creek Conservation Camp…a minimum level prison camp. I wonder if they would clean my ditches as well, for a fee? Somehow, I doubt it.
But, enough about agriculture… I did well yesterday, not even opening the book, The Three Trillion Dollar War. I went to the library and loaded up on less than serious works for a change. But, there is no avoiding the
Monday, March 24, 2008
A little something I learned from The $3 Trillion Dollar War...the fact that a returning veteran must fill out a 23 page form before anything can be provided for him or her. And if it's filled out incorrectly, you lose!
Back to the news; there seems to be all sorts of newscaster panic over what has been said in some churches lately; starting with the sermons that
Life is good. It must be my mantra today. Otherwise I would go crazy after reading the headlines. 4 more soldiers killed in
And I’m still reading The $3 Billion Dollar War. Could that be a prescription for depression? The facts and the numbers are sometimes overwhelming and I have to put the book down and read some light fiction instead.
And now, after reading Time Goes By, I’m wondering why in the world we don’t have a House Committee on Aging? Of course, how would we know that the committee had been dissolved? Its demise wouldn’t have made the news. Or the front page of a newspaper. When did it happen?
I certainly remember Claude Pepper and remember being sad at his passing. I was only 49 at the time and elderhood wasn’t something I thought about a lot. I admired Pepper more for his willingness to fight against the established forces in
A new post on my Working blog...
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Interesting article, but then, at the bottom of the article itself, there were these words...
"In October 2006, John Stossel walked reason readers through the Byzantine process of firing an incompetent public school teacher in New York."
And I started to think about it...You know what is even more Byzantine than that? Try getting rid of an incompetent president!
More odd thoughts;
So why am I ‘citizen bashing’ today? Because of the headlines? Corn flakes? Because they deserve it? Probably. And as a confirmed cynic, I have to. By the way, being a cynic is not a bad thing at all. It’s the only way you can learn everything you need to know about any given subject. Those who decry cynicism are those who oppose thought.
"The clerical error that resulted in her release came from a failure to properly factor the Sacramento sentence into her parole calculations, Kernan said.
"This is an extremely unusual situation," said the department's general counsel, Alberto Roldan."
How gullible do they think we are? Error? I don't think so...!
But, 'we' are the public and so it's true...'we' are gullible.
How are you supposed to MAKE coffee when you NEED coffee? How am I supposed to count the number of scoops when I’m still asleep? Was that #6 or was it #7?
I was sound asleep and dreaming a little while ago, and then it was all over. Poof! Just like that. Now I’m making coffee and trying to reassure the cat that we still love her and that no danger lurks in the bedroom where the twins are sleeping. Other than the twins themselves.
Odd dreams. I was an active Obama supporter. Very active. And the senator was present in my dream, while we were being attacked by a large crowd, verbally. Violence was threatened. The attackers were unknown and faceless. Of course it was all very convoluted as dreams often are and its memory is already evaporating, even as I try to recall the twists and turns of its ‘plot’. Maybe another round tonight?
Although I am currently a mild Obama supporter, my level of interest in his candidacy went up with the endorsement of
It may be that my memory is failing, but I don’t remember political campaigns as being hate filled, as they are so often today. I’m probably wrong. And if they weren’t, I’m sure it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I think that our current communications technology allows for a greater level of hatred and manipulation. 30 seconds on YouTube can mean the end of a candidate. And the rising of another. No one bothers to verify the truth behind any video or audio clip. Photoshop. Hit and run.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
A different kind of search engine...
And it's sort of fun to string together the keywords for the most popular searches.
This time it was House Plans, About Life, Hotel Room, Music, World War II, Georgia State and Love. Can this be a haiku of sorts?
Ooops! I almost forgot...Standard Oil. Say what?
So far, in this book, the most disturbing fact for me was the revelation that the Pentagon, the War Department uses a ‘cash’ accounting system. Money in and money out. Now, no one in business does this. In most cases it’s illegal. You have to use the accrual system of bookkeeping. But…if they used accrual, they wouldn’t have any funds for wars. They have to use an illegal bookkeeping system. So?
(I have to stop writing that...but it is such a temptation! OK, no more 'So?' for awhile)
Much was said about the fact that
Want to know more about how your tax dollars are spent? The National Priority Project has some answers. And for wishful thinking, there is a page devoted to ‘What if…’ and you can see what you spent locally in war taxes and what you could have bought instead of what the Decider bought for you. And this one really surprised me…I didn’t know that we had $34.9 million dollars to spare, here in
Who knew? I really thought that Dubya was the epitome of all things dumb, but his #1 man, the man that’s one heartbeat away from the presidency, has taken the lead in that race to the bottom. Or…maybe I’m wrong? Perhaps he was simply being honest when he professed his disdain for the opinion of the American people. (Could be!) I have to admit, this administration has come up with some really great quotes; such as ‘Mission Accomplished’ and “I’m the Decider”. There are websites filled with the utter(
Odd noises at this early hour. One of the twins, most likely Abby, has a talking doll in bed with her and whenever she moves, the doll speaks. They’re both asleep down the hall. In the meantime, Boo, the cat, frets. “Who are these people and why are they here?”
I got my package from Amazon yesterday and began reading, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. And as I began reading, I was soon tired. A dozen pages and I was exhausted. The facts are so overwhelming! But, one thought grew important to me; a vital question for each presidential candidate should be, “Did you read this book?” No other questions after that.
So why do I buy a book that simply rehashes the terrible mistakes made by this administration? It’s over, right? I wish! If we don’t learn from these things we are doomed to fail again and again. And maybe there will come a time when there won’t be another ‘again’. What then?
We’ve been lucky so far; a succession of crooks and opportunists in the Oval Office has not sunk us…yet. But, I shouldn’t point solely to the White House as the source for all of our ills; our direct representatives, congress and senate, are equally guilty. Most of them abandoned their principles to follow a party line. So?
Friday, March 21, 2008
... We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.We can do that.But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.
And yet the 'conservatives' have disgraced themselves once again by doing exactly as he said, pouncing on the question, "whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words." He said NO. See if you can't wrap your brains around the word.
I was visiting Amazon and up popped a recommendation to buy a book on the history of Hermosa Beach. (Awhile ago, I had bought one on the history of Manhattan Beach and so the web bot made the connection.) But I decided to look a little further and found the source for all of these books. Yes, they even have one for the Planet Orland and I know the author.
I’m going to get in another good training walk this morning. Longer and slower for today. Then I have to help move some new pots and fountains at the Plant Barn.
And of course I will have to stop by the Chico Library to pick up books for the Orland Friends of the Library. I’m always amazed at the number of books that we collect this way. I picked up 20 boxes on Tuesday of this week; about 400 books. I am sure that I will pick up another 5 boxes today and another 20 boxes next week. Ad infinitum. I better get started on advertising the Spring Book Sale on Craigslist.
I’m going to have to come up with a better plan for picking up those books. I should stop at the library every time we’re in town and pick up whatever is there. And at the next meeting of the Friends, I need to invite others to do the same. The current cost of diesel fuel makes driving the truck a little bit expensive! And if we can pick up a few boxes each day, we can eliminate the need for a special trip with the truck.
Here we are again. Same place and almost the same time. And as usual, I’ve spent an hour wandering through the news and the various blogs, looking for ways to jumpstart my brain; other than the usual cup of coffee.
And I was reading the Economist newsletter when I spotted their invitation to join Facebook and read Economist articles there. I looked at the Facebook/Economist site and it looked interesting, so I joined up. Freaky! Apparently, I need to stay within the safe confines of the Economist site. The rest of the Facebook network looks like a neighborhood that desperately needs an urban renewal program. I will have to explore it carefully.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Did I mention this the other day?
· the Constitution has been trashed and must be restored
· the economy has been wrecked by the power elite in both government and corporate
· universal healthcare is a human right and we’ll find a way to provide it
· our infrastructure - bridges, roads, water, sewer systems - will be fixed
· No Child Left Behind will be canceled and we’ll figure out how to improve our schools
· unwarranted searches and surveillance of citizens will stop
· there will be no more fooling around about the environment
· a fair solution will be found for immigration
· government ethics legislation will have real teeth
· separation of church and state will be restored
· every last political hack (thousands of them) appointed by the Bush administration to government agencies will be fired, replaced with non-partisan competents
· earmarks will disappear entirely from legislation – let them be properly legislated
· the wealthy elite have had it their way long enough, reaping collective trillions of dollars on the backs of the middle and lower classes and now it is their turn to pay it back
If I already mentioned this once before, that’s OK, it needs repeating.
How weird! I wonder why Katherine didn't win one? I mean, she certainly went out of her way to defy common logic in 2000?
Despite the terrible cost of war upon our society and the society of the
It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency. --
Sad. We will all have to pay for his retirement, plus his war.
I’m definitely having a problem getting my thoughts together this morning. Yes, I’ve had my usual dose of caffeine, but I’m still wandering around the internet, looking into all of the news sources for something good. Maybe that’s the problem! I’m looking for something ‘good’.
Speaking of news; I heard that the Chico Enterprise-Record has changed the size of their newspaper (as well as the size of the print). It’s supposed to be smaller now; I haven’t bought a copy, but I will, just to see how bad it is. This is usually the first step in newspaper failures, reducing what you offer without reducing the price. And I’ve seen it before. That’s one of the advantages of growing old; experience. (It may be the only advantage!)
And while looking at the ER website, I ran across this article detailing the very latest in "wally wisdom'. Does anyone hear an echo in here?
I guess this is the part that drives me crazy...how will we know that we won? How? No one ever addresses that question. Winning is some nebulous concept that politicians, such as bush, drone on about whenever they are face to face with the news media or their supporters. I'd like to get this guy to sit down in my front room and tell me exactly how he proposes to win this war and what does it mean?
§ Days since
§ Direct cost per minute of the
§ Days until
§ Direct cost of the
§ Original estimate for cost of war. $50 billion.
§ Direct cost of war since 2003. $1.5 trillion
§ Cost of war for
(Does not include any state or federal taxes. Does not include shipping. Does not include war in Afghanistan. No warranties expressed or implied. Your actual cost may vary.)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
We received the notice in the mail; I’m sure that everyone in
I noticed that once again my writing style has degraded to a ‘stream of consciousness’. I think it and I write it. It’s all part of the INFP Type. We (INFP’s) really can write well, but not when we are emotionally involved in a subject. The same thing happens when we speak about subjects that are near and dear to us. The words won’t come and we flounder.
Yes, we are all different. This brings up the subject of ‘Home Schooling’. I was listening to a story on this yesterday and a teacher brought up her experiences with home schooled children and they weren’t good. 3rd graders that didn’t know their ABC’s, etc. As she noted, children are all different and learn in different ways. And not all parents make good home school teachers. The same applies to credentialed teachers; not all are good ones. So why do we expect all home schooling parents to be different? What’s important here are the children. And if we don’t make the parents’ accountable, we have failed the children. If we are willing to demand that schools get rid of poor teachers, we need to be willing to do the same to the parents that are obviously unfit to teach their children. Parents who home school because their friends do it. Or because it’s easier than having to deal with a nagging school district.