Sunday, August 31, 2008

From the Oil Watchdog

Gustav, Republicans and gas prices

How does $5 a gallon sound? Sounds like a few more votes for Obama.

This Morning

I’ve taken the time to listen to the acceptance speech of Senator Obama. And I will do the same for Senator McCain. And right now, I’m thinking that the Democrats have a winner, although I’m not ready to rejoin the party; I’m not stupid! I just happen to be one of the cynics that the Senator mentions in his speech. Also, I have decided to support the Obama candidacy with some cash. Something I haven’t done in years!

The speech, to be critical, was all politics and filled with promises that no candidate can keep. He has a style that most politicians would die for, a natural ‘believability’, he actually sounds as if he means what he says. And it’s a pleasant voice. I’m already looking forward to a new year, 2009, without that terrible droning noise coming from Bush/Cheney and Co. Even McCain’s whining is better than the Yale/Crawford drawl.

And the new year will also mean that the book that I’ve been reading, such as The Dark Side by Jane Mayer, will be less and less relevant. They will become history books and no longer be current affairs. Not that these books shouldn’t be valued; no, they should be read to make certain we don’t go down those same roads again.

ABC News

Will Hurricane Gustav Rain on GOP Parade?

I think it's a message...from Heaven! John has made a serious mistake.

(I can't believe I'm having so much fun with this...thanks, Senator McSame!)

Better education

through innovation -

Facts are... education costs money and we're not willing to spend it there. We would rather give it to the Pentagon. And we will be a third rate country until we change that mindset.


The wind machine has been turned on once again. (Wasn’t that something from Laugh-In?) And we’re supposed to see a 20 degree drop in the temperatures from the ones we have been enjoying. So, not an enjoyable weather day ahead of us.

But…we’re not in Louisiana. They’ve got weather! Storm of the Century was one headline. Hard to tell until it’s over. The storm and the century.

And this right on top of the Republican Party convention. What a shame. I don’t know if America can take two disasters in the same week.

I understand that McSame and Palin will be traveling together and that is a good thing. Sarah gets a chance to actually see the United States with an ‘experienced’ traveler by her side and that will be helpful in case she is asked any tough geographic questions; like ‘Do you know where you are?’ Yes, experience is a good thing. John says so.


opinions, part 2

Good stuff from Pew and beyond

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sciencedebate 2008

Finally! Some answers...

And how will the Palin/McSame team answer #2?


- On God


Palin Speaks


"She doubts global warming stems from human activity, and she considers herself both a fiscal and social conservative."

Well, now we know...she's not just another pretty face. She's stupid as well. That's true equality.

That's Hot

That was nice. Sleeping in for some obscure reason; or no reason at all. That’s even better. In fact, that was a subject during our dinner conversation. We were talking about this being the weekend for the ‘tuber’s’ to descend upon the Sacramento River and to float while partying. This always attracts a large crowd of law enforcement types, both on the river and on the highway. Being there to cheer them on of course. And Laurae noted that she hadn’t seen anyone in the river when we crossed it about noon. I replied that most of the students were still asleep at that hour. ‘Tube’ing’ would take place at a later hour.

Whew! What is my point? I’m really digressing here! I guess it’s one of those incredibly boring ‘back in my days’ stories and I was going to say that sleeping in was not allowed back in my day. And when I did sleep late, I felt terrible. I had lost those hours forever!

OK. Enough of that. There really was no point to my rambling and it’s time for another cup of coffee. Obviously.

So, how about that Governor Palin? That seems to be the hot topic for the day, the week and possibly the rest of the campaign. My eldest granddaughter got it right; he had to select a woman. I can only imagine how that conversation went as John McCain argued, futilely, with Karl Rove. But I can see why John might be unhappy. Sarah Palin is eclipsing him as ‘the candidate’. She doesn’t have to say a thing and she draws more coverage than John could ever hope for. He has to fear that people will be voting for Sarah and hoping for his quick demise or forced retirement, due to old age of course. Yes, I can see the bumper stickers already; ‘Vote Palin/McCain 2008’.

Friday, August 29, 2008


More about perceptions once again. I just read that Governor Palin of Alaska will be the Republican VP nominee. The perception is this…all politicians in Alaska are in the pocket of ‘Big Oil’. Fact.



Why am I feeding it? Crazy!

Tropical Storm

Hurricane tracking

Good one!

Love that XM!

I was enjoying the folk music from our new XM radio yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of an old favorite of mine; Buffy Sainte Marie. Love her voice! But what I really enjoyed was the song she was singing, Welcome, welcome Emigrante. Listen to the words.

Peter Levine

attitudes by generation:

"Everyone is becoming more tolerant, regardless of age."

Something I picked up on when visiting Time Goes By this morning.

And the author makes it quite clear that conservatism equals intolerance. Always has and always will.


Doctors! Can’t live with them and can’t live without them. Yesterday’s scenario was most irritating. I had an appointment for 3:45 and I finally was ushered in to see the doctor at 5:30. And at that time and only after I asked… was I told the reason for the delay. But for almost two hours, ourselves and others were kept in the dark as to the reason for the delay. Doors and windows to the office area remained firmly shut. What would it have taken for someone to come out and simply explain what was happening? Idiots! More on my visit is posted on my racewalking blog.

(This demonstrates a good reason to have a blog. I can complain and feel better afterwords. I have no idea as to whether or not the doctor and his staff will ever read it; it really doesn't matter. I have said it.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Posts

On my other blogs...

I Am Not

A Paper Cup

Can you imagine how many of these get mistake? (At $20 a copy)

News Flash

From the Conventions


Just another day. Still, there is some promise to it. I do have an appointment this afternoon to consult with a neurosurgeon and that may (or may not) represent a solution, a cure, for the painful condition of spinal stenosis. Yes, it’s another old folk’s problem!

It’s also another day with fierce hot winds and that is scary these days. Fire is on everyone’s mind, especially as some of the northstate fires are only contained and not officially ‘out’. A wind like this can revive embers that have been lying dormant under a thin blanket of dirt for a week or so.

Despite the wind, I was outside and looking at the stars this morning. Delightful! Apparently, the revolving beacon at Haight Field, the local airport, has been turned off and the sky is fully black…except for that pesky sliver of the moon. And that should be gone tomorrow night.

Of course there was a ‘big surprise’ in the news yesterday. Senator Obama was declared the official presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. I’m sure that there will be more big news from Minnesota when Senator McCain is declared the winner on the Republican side. Amazing stuff. It doesn’t get any more exciting than this, folks! And that’s sort of sad.

I’m still waiting for that unknown candidate that will turn in an application for the job of POTUS and under the heading, Party Affiliation, it will be stated, None. Now that’s my kind of candidate! But, I dream…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gas prices

Back then - 1957

Flamed out

Yes, we did...

I remember the great controversy when incinerators were banned. And we had one. Everyone did...

The Daily Mirror

The Price of Food 51 Years Ago...

Same old

Minor excitement. As I was browsing, I did run across some oil facts. The oil fields off the Santa Barbara coast contain 5.7 billion barrels of oil, enough to supply the U.S. for 9 months. If we have to share it with the world; only 66 days worth. But that’s only if we had any refineries to process it. Which we don’t. Although these facts have been stated many times, it still amazes me that no one is really listening.

That's it?

Here we go again. And that’s a good thing; it’s always nice to wake up. So much nicer than the alternative. And yesterday’s minor wind storm has brought us some warmer morning temperatures. Also good. I do love summer!

Now, just like yesterday, I’m stuck for a subject to rant about. The conventions are made for the media and not real people, and all that comes from them is canned news. Predictable events. Boring. So far, the only excitement this week has been the weather. Maybe later...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Refuses to Lay Off Workers -

It's obvious that these people don't know a thing about running a business...

Red Sky in the Morning

sailors take warning...

Angry Democrats

Distracted DNC Attendees in Denver

I presume that if you have an IQ into the triple digits, that you're not allowed to be a delegate. For either party. That would be considered 'elitist' and would make the other delegates feel bad.

No One

Should Have to Stand in Line for 10 Hours to Vote - Editorial -

Something I noticed this morning; as I scanned the headlines I ran across a couple of news stories that mentioned Ohio. Not this story. But what I noted was the fact that as soon as I saw the word ‘Ohio’ I thought of the words, ‘vote fraud’. Same thing happens when I think of ‘Florida’. I don’t think of ‘Epcot’. Perceptions are powerful.

A Game

And because perceptions are our own reality, recite the list of states and see what kind of perceptions you have for each one. Now try countries. Is it reality? No. Perceptions just keep the truth from us. Perceptions are comfortable because they require no thought.

Enough, already

There’s just a sliver of a moon left and it’s about 45 degrees above the northeastern horizon and rising. Looking good. And Boo the cat is silhouetted in the window as she looks out over the orchard. Also looking good. Hmm? What’s happening out there? And what’s that noise? I keep feeling little gusts of wind coming in the window and I noticed that the trees out front had turned on the lights with their motion.

According to the weather folks, we’re experiencing high pressure building (wind) and by this afternoon, we will be experiencing a ‘heat episode’. So much nicer than a ‘heat wave’.

Ennui. A word I’ve always enjoyed writing. Not saying the word; just typing it out as I experience it. And although ‘boredom’ is one of the synonyms, I would prefer 'languor'. Another great word. And check out the synonyms for that one! Torpor! Indolence! Whatever… it is what I’m experiencing right now. I can’t get excited about any of the news I’ve read this morning. I think I’ll go read a book and enjoy my ‘lassitude’.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Need to Know

#1 on a list of things that I desperately need to know. What, exactly, is the ‘Presidential’ experience that McCain has that Obama doesn’t have? Waiting.

Makes you think...

What will America look like in two years?



Right down there at the bottom of the page...Lola Ireland, Maiden of Glenn County. I wonder where she is today and who was the eventual winner in the Maid of California contest?


of encyclopedias; do they still publish and sell them? Apparently the World Book Encyclopedia is still going strong. And still available in print form. I Googled ‘encyclopedia’ and found a gazillion on-line encyclopedias. That’s all well and good, but if you want to fascinate and stimulate a young mind, an encyclopedia that can be opened and held is the best choice.

Logic will tell you that a printed encyclopedia is a waste of money and paper, as the information is so quickly outdated, but if that heavy book of facts and photos stimulates a young mind to want to know more and to love reading, well that’s money well spent.

My parent’s bought the Britannica and I loved every volume in it. If I couldn’t play outside for some reason, I only had to open a random volume to be transported to some fascinating locale. A = Amazon! B = Belize! C = China!

So why didn’t we, as young parents, do the same as our parents and buy a set? I guess we thought we were too modern for that old stuff like encyclopedias.

The End and Escape

Back in July, I commented on the film, End of Suburbia and ended my little review with a request for an updated film on the same subject. Apparently there is one. Escape From Suburbia. Thanks, Greg. I’ll see if Netflix has it. (I’m sure they do.)


I’ve finished Books by Larry McMurtry. It was sort of a silly little book, but entertaining. It read more like a journal or an interview. A recounting of days past. Gossip. And as I mentioned before, some parallels with my own past; especially when he writes of his extreme dislike for the Readers Digest Condensed books. Amen! And his early love for encyclopedias. Another Amen!

Some facts from the book. He uses a typewriter. (Why?) And there are close to 400,000 books contained within 6 different building in his bookstore, Booked Up, in Archer City, Texas.

All About Choices

Party time! And we’re not invited. As usual. Yes, the Democrat’s are going to Denver to wear silly hats and drink too much. And then do all of the expected things that drunks in silly hats do. All too predictable.

And then, shortly after the Democrats make fools of themselves, the Republican’s will throw their own party. With silly hats as well. The only major difference between the two parties will be the fact that the Republican drunks will be mostly old white men. Still predictable.

It’s at this point that I really value my status as an independent voter. I’m not called upon to be ‘faithful’ to the party line. And I will have no responsibility for the embarrassing planks in the party platforms. I have a choice. OK, I agree. It’s not much of a choice. But I do have one!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Booked Up

Building Breakdown

After spending some fun time, reading Mr. McMurtry's new book, Books...I had to visit the webpage. I particularly like the Q and A at the bottom of the page.

Art Blog

Geo/Metric at MoMA

Scary! But very good...

Scary because this is what the instructor in my first ever design class (El Camino - JC - 1959) was trying to teach us, or was it just 'me'? Either way, I resisted.

Breaking News

Orland fire

The sun is almost up. The sky is a lovely silver color and I don’t see any smoke on the eastern horizon. We had a lot of smoke yesterday and that was unexpected. Where did it come from? Well, I just found out…


Once again...

For those who don’t remember them… one of my favorites,

Carperpetuation (kar' pur pet u a shun) - n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

I Owe Who?

The morning browsing brought me some news about the so-called ‘documentary’ I.O.U.S.A and its creator/backer, Pete Peterson. What I find interesting of course is the fact that the only ‘normal’ people associated with the making of this film were the workers behind the cameras. All of the ‘stars’ are billionaires. But not to worry, you can be assured that they are only thinking of you and your welfare. That is why they call themselves by folksy names, like Pete and Dave. Warren? Well, Warren is simply ‘Warren’. Your pals. (Try going to Pete’s office and calling him ‘Pete’…hah!)

What’s the story about entitlements anyway? My take is that we elect representatives to do our business before the nation. They are supposedly learned men and women and they have our interests at heart. After all, they promised, in their campaigns, to do just that. And so I assumed that they took all possibilities into consideration when they drafted laws and subjected them to debate. Votes were taken and measures put in place. None of this was a secret. But… now we’re expected to believe that it was all a mistake. How can that be? And if I can’t believe those who crafted the entitlements; why should I believe those who would remove them? Can you say, 'Agenda'?

For more, click here

I.O.U.S.A.- The Truth Please!

Fiscal Fortitude or Trojan Horse?

"Many of Peterson’s reform ideas will sound familiar because they were also a part of the President’s privatization plan. Among them, raising the retirement age (Peterson suggests to 73), means testing, and massive benefit cuts. Peterson has called the current cost of living increases in Social Security, which provide adjustments of roughly 3% a year, “one of the greatest fiscal tragedies of American history”

And then there is this... "At the same time, he steadfastly defends a controversial private equity tax break that benefits America’s wealthiest investors"'

It should always be remembered that Peter Peterson was Nixon’s Commerce Secretary. You do remember Nixon don’t you? (Birds of a feather…etc, etc)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Death in El Segundo

The Daily Mirror | Los Angeles Times

I definitely remember this one... I was 16 and lived in Manhattan Beach. Rosecrans was the street that divided us from El Segundo.


I was reading Time Goes By this morning and Ronni mentioned Fast Dial. Great little tool for those of us that are using Firefox 3.0 (You aren’t? Why not?)


I love this little gadget! I think every house should have one. It’s actually an energy saver as we no longer heat a tea kettle full of water to make one cup. But… Danger! I finally did what I was afraid I would do someday. I stuck my hand under the tap as if I were going to wash my hands. Under this tap. Wrong!

Some brands of these under the sink water heaters come with RED knobs to warn you of the danger within, but as you can see, mine is a plain black knob with little tiny white letters to tell me that the water is at 190°. Okay, a hand full of ice cubes and I was fine, no scars. But I must come up with a RED knob for the darn thing!

Finding them

L.A.'s hidden homeless -

My sister sent me this link yesterday and sure enough, I found a purpose for it this morning. Can you imagine? 73,000 homeless in the city? Shame on us. And I hear, quite often, the question; ‘Where are they? I don’t see them.’ Here’s a way to see them!

No Kidding

I am lazy. That’s not a revelation. I’ve known it for years. And because of that I have either grown facial hair or I have not. My favorite form of hirsute laziness used to be a full beard. Not a razor in sight. I modified that to a goatee for awhile, but that required some careful trimming; that’s work. So it’s all off once again. The razor never stops in its travels across the furrows and plains of my face. Until the day I realize that I can avoid that work as well by growing a full beard once again. And I will.

But, hey! It’s only hair. Absence or fullness. It doesn’t mean a thing. It makes no statements. It’s only for my enjoyment. Like my old Navy tattoo and my more recent earring. And I’m thinking of getting more of those; tattoos and earrings. And some rings. I like rings. I only have two and my right hand looks sort of bare. I do have a bracelet; a silver one that I found in Taos and I really like it. Perhaps I should get another one?