Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From Rainy day thoughts:

Do you start at the bottom or the top?

One Moment Please

Palin treads carefully

between fundamentalist beliefs and public policy -

Bill McAllister, Palin's chief spokesman as governor said this…

"The only bigotry that's still safe is against Christians who believe in their faith."

Sorry Bill, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Jesus said that we would suffer for our faith. So be quiet and suffer. It’s God’s will. And since the meek shall inherit the earth, you might try a little humility as well. (You really need to read your Bible more often, Bill.)

Maybe later...

I’m in denial today. Not going to think about our retirement account. Not going to think about the people who stole it from us. And I’m certainly not going to vote for them! “Fool me once…” Well I wasn’t fooled the first time, but too many were and then again in 2004. Now look at us.

For the rest of my years, the only criteria I will follow when voting will be incumbency. Vote the incumbent out! And McCain has 30+ years of incumbency. He needs retirement!

Just how monstrous is John McCain’s ego? Normal people with normal egos want to enjoy life as they age. But to actively seek out the kind of pressure that the presidency holds? You must be insane.

Normal’ has a wide range indeed. If you were so inclined it would be normal to start a new business at the age of 70. It would be normal to go back to school at age 70. But to seek the highest office in the world at that age? That’s demented.

Monday, September 29, 2008

(Sounds of crying)

Wow! 777.8 points have disappeared off of the DJIA. And billions of dollars from the pockets of ordinary citizens. We have an appointment with our financial planner in about two weeks. What will we talk about?

Is there a good side to any of this? Will these lost billions translate into Obama votes? One can only hope that some small amount of good will come from this debacle.


to McCain camp: Let Palin be Palin - CNN.com:

"she will travel Monday to McCain's Arizona cabin to cram for the debate in St. Louis, Missouri."

McCain's cabin? Would that be one of his 5 houses? Or is it 5 houses and a cabin? And is the cabin the place where John does his Abraham Lincoln imitations? Just wondering.

But I agree; I think that they should just let Sarah be herself.

Thanks, Dell!

Yikes! The whole order didn’t arrive. The keyboard/mouse order is missing. Hey! How important can that be? And my spare keyboard, the one I put in the dishwasher a few months ago? It’s all sparking clean now. But… wrong connector. It seems that the latest keyboards use a USB connector. Oh sure, I could go buy another keyboard to use until Dell finally unsnarls this mess, but do I need a spare keyboard? No. I’ve got one. It’s just the wrong kind.

So here I sit, all of the cardboard collected and stowed. The 131 black twist ties all neatly folded. All of the various pieces connected and everything ready to go do battle with Vista…except for a keyboard and mouse. Well, the computer makes a dandy footstool for now. Sob.

At Last

The saga has come to a close. OK, it was only my saga and not all that important in the grand scheme of things. My new computer arrived at the post office. Not exactly door to door service as promised by Dell; I had to go to the loading dock in the back of the post office and pack it in the car. But I considered myself lucky as the postal clerk told me that he recognized the name on the package and set it aside instead of the usual practice of sending it back to the sender. So, no thanks to Dell or DHL, and lots of thanks to a postal person, I do have the computer and I can begin setting it up. Hmmm? Vista? I hope I haven’t made a mistake…though it is the highest grade of Vista. Perhaps that will help.


Bancroft Library

Only those parts of the collection with a 'camera' icon have images. So far. Can you imagine what it will be like when all universities, everywhere, digitize their collections? This is why I love the internet!

From The Associated Press

Gas shortage wipes out weekend across the South

Being the kind of cynical guy that I am... is this happening only in 'swing' states?


Wall Street doesn't like the bailout bill in Congress... and I doubt we will either.

BBW 2008


Would this be fun to wear to a Palin/McCain rally? (Don't worry...they wouldn't get it)

Button Set

(5) Very nice...not as historic looking as mine and I'm not a real fan of purple, but...

From Don't Gel Too Soon


OK, this is what got me onto the subject in the post below...


I didn't know...

But I do now. How odd, I've been wearing my I Read Banned Books badge all week, but didn't even know about this...

The power

of the other candidates - Los Angeles Times

Yes! And I'm pushing all of my Republican friends to vote for Ron Paul...

The only thing wrong here is the fact that Ron Paul is a 'thinker' of sorts and that won't play well among the Red State's faithful... intellectuals need not apply

Debate This

Just a moment of my own personal insight; I was reading some of the comments by the various candidates and I had to wonder why they don’t appear to be more thoughtful in their answers? Why do some just blurt out verbal garbage as if the thought of silence terrifies them? What would be wrong with a candidate answering, “That’s a tough question and one that can’t be answered in just a minute or two. To be honest, I really should do some research on it before I give you a full answer. But here; let me give you my first take on it.”

Wouldn’t we want them to be thoughtful when they’re doing their job? For a change? Do we really expect our candidates to have all of the right answers at their fingertips? Why?


Wait! It can’t be the end of September already. 2 days left. Seriously, I’m not ready for it to be fall. And going outside right now convinces me that the season is premature. It’s 65° outside at this early hour. That’s not fall!

It feels like I’ve been very ‘wordy’ lately. I know my journal has increased in size dramatically. I usually try to write a page a day and even that is sometimes a stretch. But recently the output is more like 3 pages a day. And the same thing happens to the blog posts. My journal and the blog are not identical, though I do borrow from the journal frequently. And some paragraphs are lifted whole from the journal and posted on-line.

I’m looking forward to putting the journal onto the new computer. I have a feeling that it will speed things up. This year’s journal is already up to 342 pages and the processor has to work pretty hard to get it all, including photos, to open in a timely manner.

I’m surprised at times by the fact that not that many people write journals. With a computer at hand, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. I frequently leave my Word program open and add to the journal at various times during the day. A little here. A little there. And it’s a piece of cake to add images and quoted material to the journal… which probably accounts for some of the 342 pages.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stuff I find on the net...

“So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.”

Out of Touch

Out of touch? Yes, I think that describes McCain perfectly. With thirty years in the Senate, how else could he be described? Have you ever been around political types? You have to remember that they are all ego driven. It’s a rare bird indeed that goes into politics for the good of the country. Being what they are; political animals, they are always focused on themselves and rarely care about the voters except as potential votes to keep them in office. So how do they do that? Stay in office? Well, they don’t do it by working for the common good. That attracts too much attention from the special interests and they will attack if irritated. So they walk a narrow line between the various groups, trying to keep them all satisfied just enough to keep their support. The people in the middle? You and I? I don’t know about you, but I don’t belong to any group and so I’m voiceless. And I have never seen any of my political representatives. Ever. OK, I better take that back, I did see State Senator ‘Bizz’ Johnson once every year when we lived in Janesville. He would ride in a convertible down Main Street in Susanville when the Lassen County Fair opened.

Let’s say that you were lucky enough to live in a city big enough to attract a U.S. Senator to visit, would you ever actually see the Senator? Or would the Senator only be present at the Rotary luncheon or the Chamber of Commerce breakfast? Duh! Yes, he will be where the money is. And that doesn’t include stopping by your place to see how you’re doing.

Now how many houses does John McCain have? And he’s not sure of what it takes to be called ‘rich’? I would have to say he hasn’t been in your neighborhood recently.

I was just thinking of how the candidates try so hard to be just one of us. But it only happens while they are the ‘candidate’. And what kind of voters are we? We insist that the candidates appear to be ‘common’ although we seem quite happy (ignorant?) with the fact that they never really were and never will be. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Reminds me of Oz.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Not At My BBQ!

Intellectual – From the Free Dictionary

Noun intellectual - a person who uses the mind creatively

Adjective intellectual - of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind; "intellectual problems"; "the triumph of the rational over the animal side of man"

Adjective 1. scholarly, learned, academic, lettered, intelligent, rational, cerebral, erudite, scholastic, highbrow, well-read, studious, bookish


Noun 2. academic, expert, genius, thinker, master, brain (informal) mastermind, maestro, highbrow, rocket scientist (informal), chiefly U.S. egghead (informal) brainbox, bluestocking (usually disparaging) master-hand


For some reason, every time we have an election, the poor intellectuals are vilified by the Republican’s. The intellectuals and their ideas are the reason for all of society’s ills. So says Professor Karl Rove and all of his students.

And whenever I look at some of the comments on political blogs, there it is again; intellectuals being given the blame for everything, including the weather.

But wait…if we look at the definitions above; aren’t these the qualities we want for our children and, heaven forbid…ourselves? OK, maybe you don’t want to be known as a ‘rocket scientist’, but what’s wrong with being known as a ‘thinker’? And look at the opposite meanings; stupid and idiot. Doesn’t get much worse than that.

So does that mean that someone who opposes intellectualism is a…?


The methane time bomb -

Did this even make U.S. news? I don't remember it.

Paul Newman

1925-2008 | The Daily Mirror | Los Angeles Times

Some good stuff here...

From [daily dose of imagery]

red three wheeler

I'm pretty sure I want one...

That's It!

I’m going to try a new policy. No talking about politics allowed. If you want to discuss the issues or the candidates with me, you have to do it on-line. Typing out a comment or response takes time and thought. Blurting out what’s on your mind is far too easy and just as easily wrong. It’s for my own protection. Now if I can just stick to it.

Editorial - NYTimes.com

I’m Your Pastor, and I Approved This Ad

It's Sunday and I came to worship...and you're talking politics? I'm so out of here! I need to go find a church...

Last Word on the Debate...For Now

OK, here’s another thought. Remember how McCain was simply going to ‘cut spending’. That’s all. Just do it. That’s always been the Republican mantra. The no thought approach to budgets. Remember Arnold’s 10% across the board cuts suggestion here in California? Typical. It requires no brain power…which is a perfect fit. Obama said that he wanted to cut those things that needed cutting and spend more on those things that needed more. Thinking. Wow! What a concept!

From Patchwork Reflections

far out

I was wondering, just the other day, what Gary was doing for spending money. I wish he were just a little bit greedier... and would go back to drawing on a regular basis.


It’s terrible; becoming old. I had to read a few blogs this morning to remember some other vital points in the debate last night. How about the McCain $5,000 tax rebate to purchase health insurance for the family? You can get it that cheap? Where? That would be enough for 1 person and for 6 months. And when faced with an Obama statement about the importance of education…McCain skillfully chose to talk about funding the military. Instead. After all, he has to keep those ‘hawks’ satisfied and they require a red meat kind of talk. Education is for sissies. After all, if you let your kids go to school too long, they’ll turn into intellectuals. Yikes!


to Defy I.R.S. by Endorsing Candidates -

Forget the fact that it's a direct violation of the Constitution; how in the world can their congregations allow themselves to be treated as if they had no valid thoughts of their own? When it comes to politics, pastors have opinions...just like the rest of us. Pastors are supposed to be servants, not masters.

What Century is This?

We have a little 13” combo VCR/television set that is used for moments like last night, the presidential debates. Or it can be used for watching old tapes of the 3 Stooges. Same thing.

I knew from the beginning statements that it was not going to be a barn-burner evening when both candidates decried the rise of government spending and vowed that they would do something about it. I’m just old enough to be able to remember Harry Truman saying those very same words. And Eisenhower and Kennedy and Johnson and Nixon and… ad infinitum and nauseum. C'mon, give me a break!

If you were already a fan of either candidate there was nothing said last night that would have changed your mind. And if you were on the fence, you would have had to have been politically aware to have noticed all of the half truths that McCain was spouting. And I think that was where Obama made a mistake; he should have called out McCain for being a liar. He shouldn’t have been so nice to him.

The first instance of that was when McCain stated that American businesses face the second highest tax rate in the world; 35%. That is true. And that is why over 70% of all corporations pay no taxes at all. They know about the tax rate and they use every possible loophole to escape it. All quite successfully.

The company I used to work for did just that; becoming a Sub Chapter S corporation and no longer paying a $6 million yearly tax bill. Whoa! I wonder who ended up paying that bill?

On and on it went. McCain being smarmy and avoiding any direct confrontation on his statements. Obama should have tried harder to make him responsible for each lie. Should have pointed his finger at him and said, ‘John, that’s a lie.’

I had this thought about the whole evening; it really was the 21st century vs. the 20th. The same old politics vs. something different. Something filled with thoughts and not slogans. (I'm a fan of the 21st century.) And I remember looking at the split screen image of the two of them and wondering who looked ‘presidential’; who would best represent me in the world and it wasn’t the clown on the left.

Two more to go.


But wait…the funniest moment was when McCain stated that he was a ‘maverick’ and he almost named, but not quite, his VP candidate; noting that he had picked a ‘maverick’ for that role. (Odd? McCain never did say the words ‘Sarah Palin’, did he?)

Anyway, back to the governor; is there anyone who hasn’t seen the video of Palin being interviewed on CBS Evening News? That could be comical as well, but it was actually sad. And if Democrats were smart (no guarantees there!) they would focus on the fact that Palin is the ‘real’ presidential candidate. I know McCain would love to re-think that decision to pick her, but now that he has, he can’t be allowed to let her slip out of the spotlight. She is the presidential candidate!

Friday, September 26, 2008

From [daily dose of imagery]

65 in september

You know this guy is a 'pro'... if he was really poor he would be groveling. As he should.

(Sarcasm intended)

Just Because

Speaking of milk, as I was; you do know that there is price support for milk? That the feds prop up the price by buying the excess and paying the dairy the difference whenever market price fall below the established support price. (After all, we wouldn’t want to buy cheap milk would we?) But…you knew that! And you knew that we did the same for the tobacco farmer? Of course you did! Fact is... we all forget this stuff until the fed's give us a crisis; or two. So don’t you think it’s time for a change? Starting at the top.

I know; milk prices are insignificant in the Big Picture; we need to focus on more important issues. Such as winning the war. We don’t want to be the 10th nation in a row to fail in Afghanistan. We want to be the first and only nation to win that war! Someone once said that winning a war is like winning an earthquake…so we’ll just have to try harder.

From Rainy day thoughts

The 'We Deserve it Dividend'

Now that's American 'know-how' in action. You know, if we don't do it... we're crazy!

(OK. The math doesn't work out as well as expected...it never does. :-( Darn!)

Keating 5 ring a bell?

It should!

"That politician was John McCain, and his generous friend was Charles Keating, head of Lincoln Savings & Loan."

"Eventually, the government spent about $125 billion in taxpayer dollars..."

Simply history folks. Nothing to see here. Just move along.

Palin talks

and if she's lucky, few are listening - Los Angeles Times

"...where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh -- it's got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."


Having Fun?

(The Senate Finance Committee...don't they look great?)

Out of control. I guess that best describes yesterday. You read the news and you can easily feel powerless. I know I did. And the news is not much better today. More of the same? I hope not; I was really angry yesterday. I don’t need more of that!

The morning started off with more revelations about the financial cesspool that the current administration would like us to buy. Then it was more personal as I attempted to make sense of the DHL and Dell attempts to deliver my computer. The day finished with a quick trip in to Raley’s to buy some milk. The milk is more expensive than gasoline and Orowheat bread was on sale at $4.50 a loaf. No, Raley’s is not the cheapest store in town; it was simply handy.

I guess it’s time for some introspection. I can’t let events control me. It’s time to do that elder thing, where I look wise and utter simple but profound advice on how to live, based on my many years of experience. And then I'm supposed to follow my own advice. Be an example to others. Right.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where's Michael Dell

when you need him?

I’m having one of those bad days. I’ve been tracking my new Dell computer and it was last seen in Fresno…early Monday morning. Then I received no more updates from DHL? So I did the usual and sent an email to DHL asking for the status update on the order. Surprise! They don’t deliver to our area so they gave the package to USPS. Bad move. Because we have no mail delivery at our house and use a post office box, they will not deliver packages. Of course the packages have the physical address on them, not the PO Box. Because DHL was delivering them! Duh. And all of which means that the local post office will see the packages and send them back. How do I know? I've been through this scenario with other vendors that switch to USPS.

Being a unilateral decision on the part of DHL, no one was aware of this little problem until I contacted them. And then contacted Dell; in India.

Now here’s a simple question or two; if Dell is as ‘connected’ as they should be, why didn’t they know that DHL couldn’t deliver the packages and give UPS or FedEx the business? And why did DHL accept the packages, knowing full well that they could not deliver them? Inquiring minds are eager to know!

OK, I've vented and will be OK for a few hours.

From Rainy day thoughts

Did you think a maverick is good in a leader?:

"Is John McCain a pathological liar? Does he know when he lies? Can anybody trust anything he says?"

Hmmm? Sounds like a good question or two...certainly worth thinking about.

Help Needed

I must not forget to let you in on the Crabby Old Lady’s problem. She definitely needs help. Check out the story and the comments and add any good ideas you might have.

How Much longer?

I don’t know how much longer newspapers will last. Example; I just spent two very enjoyable hours reading all sorts of news from all over the world. Some was opinion and some was fact. I saw advertisements along the way. Almost like a ‘real’ newspaper. And while I was reading the news I was able to comment on what I had read. Immediately. To be truthful, I had more news than I could handle and had to quit and do my daily jigsaw puzzle, just to relax for a moment. Whew!

And then…when I read about newspapers that were distributing hate and lie filled DVD’s, (See posts below) I could only hope for the demise of those newspapers. It’s unbelievable that they would violate what trust they had left with their readers. And how do you calculate the damage they have done? I can forgive the newspapers for their allowing ads for chiropractors, but not for this…


- The Real Story behind the Obsession Hate DVD

I have a real problem understanding how any of these people can be believed for anymore than a minute, at the most.

From Obsessionwithhate.com

The Real Story behind the Obsession Hate DVD

Wow! It's a weird morning... all sorts of nastiness out there. And of course the DVD didn't make it to California; we're not a 'swing' state.

From the Michigan Messenge

Lose your house, lose your vote

You become 'invisible', just like all of the other homeless.

You may note that Republicans are trying to backpedal like crazy on this one, now that it's out. But they will come up with something just as reprehensible. Trust them.

Anyone Angry?

And as I have browsed the net this morning I have been seeing more and more indignation at what is being crammed down the throats of the taxpayers. The citizens. “They said providing health care for 9 million children, perhaps costing $6 billion a year, was too expensive, but there's evidently no sum of money large enough that will sate the Wall Street pigs. If this passes, forget about any money for environmental protection, to counter global warming, for education, for national healthcare, to rebuild our decaying infrastructure, for alternative energy.” But don’t worry; there will still be plenty for war.

War Cost

$720 Million Each Day, Group Says - washingtonpost.com

True; this was just one year ago and perhaps there have been some savings. Like $1.95.

To be truthful, I was wondering if it would even be appropriate to bring this up at this time? After all, the news media has almost forgotten it entirely. And we are faced with a multi-billion dollar problem right now. Do we have time for millions? Let's not forget that we also have an election coming up, so perhaps it's just not the right time to talk about it. Maybe next year.


The Elephant in the Room

"The equivalence of money and morality is the cause of the fatally flawed philosophy that is conservatism, and we are living with the results now. This is the common thread that binds together big-business Republicans and right-wing evangelicals."

No Applause. Please...

I’m one of those rare people who can’t stand to watch anyone make a fool of themselves. I avoid public performances by amateurs whenever possible. Recitals? Spare me! American Idol? I would rather you pulled my fingernails out! Whenever the bell choir performs at church, I stare at my knees until they have finished and the last bell has been safely returned to its resting place. So, if you’re ever going to do anything embarrassing, rest assured that I will not be watching! (Perhaps I was exposed to Ted Mack when I was just a baby? Or, perhaps it was accidental exposure to the Gong Show?)

And so, once again, I avoided watching or hearing Bush speak last night. It was that ‘public performance by amateurs’ thing that has always kept me from watching him in action. And according to all of the commentary I have read this morning, it was a smart move on my part. And if his performance was wooden and his material ‘simplistic’, I suppose you could blame the advisors. After all, they have to deliver him material he can regurgitate easily. No big words.