I have to read this book...
John Barth, an all-time favorite author of mine has a new book at the age of 78.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I love that sound! Just as predicted, it's raining and quite steadily. So steadily that the Glenn County Sheriff's office has issued a Flash Flood Warning for the next few days. This will apply to most of the hilly areas that were burned over this past summer. Here, on the flats, we're not going to worry about any floods for awhile.
A quick look at the headlines shows me nothing much has changed overnight. A good thing. An even better thing would be to wake up and read that McCain decided to save us some money and had conceded. But…it's not going to happen. I can dream though. And I'm dreaming of a future where I can respect the president once again. I don't have to agree with him all of the time, and I doubt that I will, but just being able to respect him will be a delight! Imagine a thoughtful president. One that reads and one that listens…
(Since I'm from the era when Truman beat Dewey, despite all odds against him, I'm going to worry about this election till at least a week afterwards. And I've heard the same story from lots of elderbloggers.)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
A question for all of those that want to open up the coast and ANWR to oil company leasing and exploration; which of the 'American' oil companies did you want doing that? You see, there are none. All major oil companies are multinationals. They have no allegiance to any flag.
Ponders His Future, But Dismisses Country Music Star Chatter
No one could make up this stuff. The McCain camp does it on the fly and without rehearsals. Amazing.
As the debate goes on about Proposition 8… wait, there has been no debate. Lots of shouting but no debate. Anyway, the thought that just came to me was this; that it hasn't been that long ago that miscenagation laws were thought to be 'Constitutional'. Would the Religious Right still support those laws? Somehow I think that they would.
(Scary! I was doing a Google search for more information about miscenagation and some of the hits were for 'White Pride' and Aryan websites. I visited one and now I think I need a shower. Quick!)
Ronni, from Time Goes By, was complaining this morning about bloggers who post 'information free'. That's a post with a word or two of text and then a link. Hmmm? That could be me. The Crabby Old Lady says that is laziness. I disagree… in my case. It might be true in others, but not mine. For me, it's all about how I perceive blogging. In my mind, it's as if we were sitting around a table and we each have a newspaper. A giant newspaper! And as I sip my coffee, I read articles of interest to me. Sometimes I share my thoughts about them with other people at the table. And sometimes I just tell them to look at page 7. Discussion, hopefully, will follow. But it doesn't have to. Also, there are times when I only wish to add my two cents worth. Not a quarter's worth. Any more of my opinion would only be redundant.
And to make my day, I had some 'anonymous' commenter on a previous post. Commenting that somehow it's the fault of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that we don't already have a law in place to prevent same sex marriages. I presume that these people who hide behind 'anonymous' are also unable to read the Constitution.
If the God Fearing were truly as righteous as they claim to be, they would be fighting to separate the Marriage Ceremony from the unclean hands of the state. But they don't; they want state and religion forever entwined and that is exactly why it's unconstitutional. Thank God for the Court of Appeals! And for those that wrote the Constitution.
I'm up at the usual hour and trying to make sense of it all. Also as usual. These last few days before the election are crazy! And did I hear right? They are expecting a record breaking voter turnout? Of only 63 %?
"Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, is predicting that between 127 million and 132 million people will cast ballots - or 60.4 to 62.9 percent of those eligible to vote."
37% of the eligible voters will go bowling or drinking or? Instead of voting. Unbelievable!
And then there is the whole ACORN thing which played right into the hands of the Republicans and the ignorant. ACORN self reported that they had a problem with canvassers collecting and making up some false voter registrations. Of course no one remembers that ACORN brought it to the attention of the voting authorities. And no one stops to think that there is big gulf between registering a voter and actually voting. If ACORN was to sway the vote, they would have to come up with a real voter for each of the false registrations. Mickey Mouse would have to be present if he wanted to vote.
This whole election year kerfuffle makes it obvious that we need a uniform voting process throughout the entire nation. And it should include e-voting. Vote at home via your pc. There is far more security available on-line than there is at a voting booth. And a paper trail!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The coffee is fine, but that's about all I can find positive about the morning so far. Yes, I've been reading the news again. I am so ready for this election to be over! Then I can take a long hot shower and get rid of the stench of the campaign. And I'm just a voter! Imagine how bad it is up close…
And if I'm reading the news correctly, it seems that the same public that despises the news media is quite willing to believe anything that comes from them. Eager to believe without ever checking a fact. Sad.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
An interesting site! I'm not sure how I got here except I was looking for a picture of the old Casa Escobar Mexican restaurant that our family used to dine in back in the 40's. I found it. But I found a lot more! Louis' Basque Corner in Reno is here, as is the old Santa Fe Hotel...lots and lots of places.
"Wurzelbacher said he feared that Obama would turn the U.S. into a socialist nation."
You mean like a nation with fire departments, schools and public works? Army? Navy? Libraries? Police? Those are all definitely 'Socialist'! (especially that library thing!)
I have to ask...how much are they paying him? He obviously isn't there because of his fine grasp of the campaign and the issues involved. Clueless!
A strong argument for imprisonment for life without possibility of parole.
Caution. I'm thinking about old age this morning. I really can't help myself; it's all about who or what I am these days. An old guy. But that's OK, we all need to be comfortable with ourselves as we age and denial always looks silly. To me.
I had to add that modifier 'to me' because it's far too easy to think that I have all of the answers and my opinion counts for more than just an opinion. Humility doesn't come easy to any of us, no matter what our age. And I really think it's more of a problem for elders. We need to remain important in our own eyes, so we tend to overvalue our words. Sure, we do have a rare gem of wisdom in there once in awhile; we've lived and that has some advantages. But if we were pompous and overbearing when we were 40, we didn't necessarily improve by the time we hit 70.
Opinions. Everyone has one. I guess this is mine for the day.
Monday, October 27, 2008
What was I thinking? Oh, yes… this whole conservative/liberal thing. And the fact that 'conservatives' are intent on preserving the country in a state of suspended animation. It's supposed to be just as they imagine it. The Good Old Days. And never to change. Hello! It will never be the same! We don't live in log cabins and we have been to the moon and back. So why would we be so interested in preserving the past? The past is what we learn from, not live in. Heck, just go back a 100 years. Women had no freedom and we hated the Irish. And you had a good chance of dying quite young if you made it past childhood. Disease was rampant. Corruption in politics was the norm and your chances of getting a decent education were close to non-existent. Public schools? Only the poor went there. If there were any schools.
Now, go back 200 years. Wait! Don't do it… it was even worse. You wouldn't like it.
We're in the 21st century and it's time we acted like it. And our form and style of government should change to reflect that. We need to be a thinking people and not a reacting people. Simply said, there are over 300 million of us now; we can't ignore one another anymore. We must take care of each other if we are to survive.
The times, they are a changing. Weather wise. (And with any luck at all, politically as well.) It does look like we will see an end to this summer like weather later this week with a sharp drop of about 20 degrees in the daytime temps. I'm ready. For change.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"Republicans are offering a new argument to voters: the danger of single-party rule in the nation's capital."
And that would be different...? somehow from the 6 years that the Republicans abused this country when bush was president? (2000 - 2006) I'm kind of slow in understanding their logic?
Things change. 10 years ago I wouldn't have bought an operating system like Vista. I wanted control. I wanted to see a white on black screen where I could type DOS commands and tell the computer what I wanted it to do. Now, as it turns out, I'm quite willing to be 'dumbed down' in exchange for ease of use. I can't find a DOS 'Box' anywhere in this computer and it doesn't seem to matter to me anymore. And Vista Ultimate has turned out to be sort of fun. It's not as quick and responsive as I thought it should be, but neither am I. Hey! Maybe that is the market that Microsoft is trying to tap with Vista?… the elders! And the soon to be.
Another day is dawning. And we have grandkids about. That's always a good thing! (Well, Boo the Cat isn't thrilled about it, but she isn't thrilled by much of anything out of the ordinary.) Karlee and Kyle are sound asleep in the other room and I'm thinking we will go out for breakfast with them this morning.
And while I was waiting for grandchildren to awaken, I was doing the usual browsing of the web and somehow I came across something (what was it?) that reminded me of a presidential election from long ago. And a Vice Presidential candidate that no one had heard of…
Has it been 40 years already? Wow! It's definitely time to remember some very pertinent history before we vote next month. It was in 1968 that the American's were fooled into voting for Richard Nixon. And he brought along an 'unknown' running mate; Spiro T. Agnew.
Think it can't happen again? Don't bet on it! There is no end to Republican trickery and with no sense of morals, there is not a crime that they wouldn't attempt. Nothing is off-limits to them. That was true 40 years ago and it's true today.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I'm working on my second cup of coffee now and trying to get a handle on the world outside. I checked the weather and that is far too normal. It's time for a storm or two. The internet doesn't offer much in exciting news today, but it's early. I'll check back later.
3 cups later. The news is out there, but do I want to write about it? I'm having one of those mornings where it's all too depressing to think about. So I won't.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I should comment on the fact that the ballot includes a request for $10 billion dollars for seed money for a high speed train between northern and southern California. Let's see; what's wrong with that idea? Besides the fact that it's about 30 years too late? The rest of the world has been there and done that while we played with freeways. That whole idea gets a NO. Where were our legislators 30 years ago? Oh, I remember! They were busy trying to balance a budget along partisan lines, as usual.
I was reading Time Goes By this morning and Ronni has a rant about cosmetic surgery. Good stuff! Since aging comes to us all, what's the big deal about appearing to be…gasp! your age? On a personal note; I am finding it to be quite interesting. Back in the day; I really wondered how I would be able to shave once I had wrinkles. Wouldn't I just cut myself to ribbons? As it turns out, it's quite easy to do and I haven't had to go to the ER for sutures as I once feared.
But, I'm a guy. We see things differently. Wait. I'm using a broad brush here. Not all guys think as I do. Not by a long shot! For instance, I don't care for make-up at all. On others. Not even lipstick. Hair and hair coloring isn't worth bothering with. It's only hair! Who we are exists within us and is not to be found within our appearance.
But… (there's always a 'but'.) I do like jewelry and tattoo's as a means of decorating our bodies. Why do I like tattoo's but not lipstick? I don't have a clue. And one more 'but'… I do wish there were good temporary tattoo's available. Permanence in body art requires some dedication and I'm more into making a statement for the day. This is me. Today.
Vanity. You can't live without it.
Early. As usual. And just as I am settled in here and getting ready to type…my computer tells me that it has been updated and must be restarted. And that I should save my work. What work? I just got here!
OK, I'm back. All is well and the latest update doesn't appear to have upset this particular program.
And now that I've read the headlines, perhaps I should turn my computer off and go back to bed. The Asian markets have fallen almost 10% overnight which means that Wall Street will follow that trend when the markets open this morning. And all of that cheaper gasoline we were enjoying will soon be gone as OPEC has decided to cut production severely in an effort to drive prices back up.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Yesterday, my election ad insulation failed me as I was listening to NPR and they played some them during a political discussion on All Things Considered. Yikes! I am so glad I don't have a television.
Anyway; the ad was a McCain one where he claims that Washington 'insiders' are the problem and he will protect us from them. But wait? He's been an 'insider' for the past 30+ years… Am I missing the irony here?
A Canadian in America, attack ads and initiatives
Anne always has an interesting take on all things 'American'. Here, she comments on initiatives, that blight on our political scene. Yes, we pay politician's to work (legislate) for us and we still end up doing the work ourselves by voting on initiatives that few of us understand completely. It's not our job!
Time to wake up. Time to think about the day ahead. Make plans; or not. The 'or not' option is my favorite. I have very few things that must be done, so other than those, I'm free.
Speaking of politics; I must admit that I'm baffled by those who are saying that they cannot make up their minds as to who they will vote for in November. How can that be? Apparently most Democrats have made up their minds as polls indicate that they are the leaders in early voting. Does that mean that there are more undecided Republican's? There should be. And Republicans have the hardest job to do in this election; they have to think this time. Voting the party line will be irresponsible and far less than patriotic. They have the evidence of 8 years of Republican rule staring at them from their paycheck, if they get one.
"...while 59% of us think that wearing an American flag pin is a decent way to show patriotism, even more of us (66%) think that protesting U.S. policies we oppose is a good way to show patriotism."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Nearly Handcuffed by Activist Who Tried to Put Him Under Citizen's Arrest for 'Treason'
You know what? I would pay money to see that! Him and his former boss...
A thought; why is it that so many women ('right' thinking women) seemed to have forgotten that it wasn't that long ago that they were forbidden to vote, to own property, to control their lives… yet some would vote today do the same to couple's of the same gender that only wish to be treated equally under the Constitution. It was just 40 years ago that the Women's Movement began in the USA. As with all movements that affect the social order, plenty of mistakes were made on both sides. Should we do that again? Or can we learn from the past?
I will answer my own question. It's not women at fault here. It's not gender specific at all; neither men nor women can see past their noses when it comes to history.
In my opinion, the state never should have been involved in religious ceremony; weddings. The state should have issued licenses for unions only. After that it would be up to the couples to decide whether or not to be wed. In the religious tradition of their choosing… or not. In other words, it's none of our business! Can you imagine anyone saying that Protestant weddings are the only ones that should be legal? Catholic weddings? That is how we thought 200 years ago. Isn't it time to move on?
Dispatches from the Financial Crisis Regarding Elders
And now for the bad news...
It's the same everywhere. Here on the Planet Orland, in the Galaxy of Glenn; we have seen the use of the Senior Nutrition site doubled. And since the site uses our (Glenn County Seniors Centers) building, and we have a vested interest in the program, we were given a report on the financial well being of the program awhile ago. It's not pretty. Food prices have soared and it's only going to get worse.
Same old. Same old. Not a lot new to think about; or perhaps it's just too early to think. The coffee is made and the cat is in. Cat wrestling was brief and I like to think I won, though Boo called it a draw and wants a re-match. Don't we all?
That brings the election to mind. Now that we have voted, I'm quite ready for the whole thing to be over with. Although it is scary, it must be faced and now would be a good time to do it. What else can the candidates say? Or will say? And so this thought came to mind; of an election in the future where all ballots are emailed in. Or simply completed on your pc. And we would have a few weeks to do this. Those without pc's could go to the library and use theirs. The results would be declared on the same day in November that we usually use and it could be a great television spectacle for the masses to enjoy. A Master of Ceremonies would declare voting over with in all of the states. The stage props would include a huge spinning wheel with all of the states names on it. Wait! Even better; a large globe filled with whirling ping pong balls. Each ping pong ball would have a state name on it and a ball would be chosen at random. Just like Lotto! When the name is called out, the MC would pull a huge lever and the background prop of large spinning gears would spring into motion. (simulation only – a lone computer would be doing the actual counting) Tension would build until the gears finally came to a rest and the winners and losers names and the votes for that state would be posted next to a tall thermometer device; blue for Democrats and red for Republicans. As each states name is called, the moving column within the thermometer would rise, until, finally…a winner would be declared and the stage would erupt with rockets and flags would be waving in the air.
Did I mention that the candidates would be on the stage and the TV cameras could focus on their faces as the results are being read for each state. Such drama! Voting booths? Who needs them!
I just thought of one more benefit. Sponsors. 'This election brought to you by the Ford family of fine automobiles'. Corporations would pay big bucks to have their logos on the gears or the ping pong balls. Throw in half a dozen 30-second spots and this could be bigger than the Super Bowl. Might even help to pay off the national debt.
That was fun. I always enjoy a little bit of fantasy. And voting is all fantasy anyway. We might as well make it into a diverting spectacle for the masses. Though some might worry that their votes weren't being properly counted. Let them worry. How do they know their votes are being counted now? They have a cardboard receipt? Heck, I can give you one of those.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Just as I warned! these Socialists are devious!
Awake and wandering around the internet. Very quiet out here this morning, unless I missed a headline? This is the only thing that really caught my eye…
President Bush has adopted the view that closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay in the near future would involve too many legal and political risks.
What about 'moral opportunities' if it were closed? What's a political risk worth when compared to a chance to do the right thing?
Monday, October 20, 2008
How pathetic. I was browsing for some Obama campaign button images on Google and ran across scores of buttons that were racist to the core. Ugly. From ugly minds.
But, there are no 'races'. Only the human race. And I have to keep thinking that somehow we will grow as humans. That we will finally see that we are all alike and it's only culture that divides us. Culture is changeable, we just need to work at it.
Today is the day for our monthly board meeting of the Glenn County Seniors Centers. A meeting where we will do our best to micromanage the money making asset of our group; the Thrift Store in Orland. Sure, we'll dispense some of that money for good reasons while we're meeting, that's also our job! But I do think that, as a group, we enjoy the 'directing' the most. That's why I have to include this great quote I saw this morning, "So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." - Peter Drucker
(We can do that!)
Colin Powell was talking about his respect for McCain and he said, "…But I think we need a generational change." And he is right. He gets it. If you're an elder, I think you have an obligation to hand the power to the next generation. It's their world. You're moving on. Old ideas are simply that. Old ideas. And if we want to be respected for the wisdom that age brings us, we need to act wisely. We need to be advisors and not directors. OK; easier said than done.
Perseverance. What a concept. I was watching two of our grandchildren as they played games on my new computer. (The Vista operating system has some faults to be sure, but it has good games!) And I couldn't help but notice that the twins persevered throughout. They can't always click on the correct icon or follow the logic…but they don't stop. They keep right on clicking and moving until something works right. I had to compare their attitude to so many adults that I've tried to teach. With just a few failures on their part, they were ready to go back to writing on papyrus rather than learning how to use the software. And it's not just our grandchildren, it's most children. Childhood; it's good for you!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I've just read about Powell's endorsement of Obama. A good thing. Although… I have little regard for the General because of his shady dealings with AOL stock and his son being the FCC chairman at the time. But still, it's nice to see a 'smart Republican' at any time. Chris Buckley and now Powell. This could be a movement!
I was thinking of war the other day. Why? Oh, I don't know…probably because the news doesn't cover it anymore. No, it didn't go away, it just can't compete with John and Sarah. And I thought about the Vietnam War and how important it was for some people that we 'win' that war. Which we didn't. And yet the sky didn't fall as predicted and today we can go to those same battlegrounds as tourists. Vietnam is a preferred trading partner with us. So why did we do it? And why do we continue to wage war today? It's because we've never tried waging peace. We simply don't know any better. And we don't seem to be getting any smarter.
We used to have a War Department; until someone got smart and decided to rename it the Defense Department. That's a good politically correct name, though it's never involved in defense, and offense is always its mission. But what if we had a new department; the Peace Department? Imagine a Secretary of Peace. What if we spent billions on peace? I don't know, we've never tried. Never.
It's time for more coffee. Time for my third cup. OK, I've fooled around with my default fonts this morning, played with the cat and stretched enough to work out some of the early morning pain. I've also spent a few minutes on-line looking at the news. Nothing much there.
With some knowledge of Myers-Briggs Personality Typing, I see personality/behavior connections all of the time. Like someone with a hammer, I see nails everywhere. And the other day I was thinking about art and personality. And the fact that I don't really care much for Realism. I can appreciate the skill that goes into the work, but it doesn't move me emotionally. It might as well be photography; though certainly fine photography. Abstract, Surrealism, Dadaism, Pointillism, Art Deco, Art Nouveaux, Primitivism, Post Impressionism, Fauvism, Impressionism, Pop Art, Graffiti and even Cubism (sometimes) are among my favorites. Why? Because the artist is revealing something of himself in his work. The Realist is simply technically good at what he does.
But what Type sees that? The Intuitive. The Sensing Type relies on what they see and not what they 'feel'. Which one is right? They both are.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
OK, we did the 'walk in the park' thing this morning and it went as well as could be expected. And afterwards we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the Farmer's Market. It was leisurely because of the huge crowd that had assembled there. We ended up buying some good looking green onions and some broccoli.
Also, while we were there, we enjoyed a great sight. Right on the corner were two tables to sign up voters; one Republican and the other for Democrats'. The girl at the Republican table was reading a book. The Democrats were surrounded by a crowd. And it was like for the entire time we were at the market.
Then, an even stranger event happened. We were driving into downtown Orland to get the mail and there were a couple of people standing on a corner, waving and showing all the passing cars their Obama/Biden signs! Believe me, this is a very rare occurrence on the Red Planet, the Planet Orland. I honked to encourage them.
It's that time of day again. Time to sip a cup of coffee and see what's new and exciting. To see if there is any reason at all for a second cup. I suppose I could start by looking at the DJIA for Friday afternoon; I didn't even bother looking yesterday. It'll be a surprise! Hmmm, it's down 127 points. I guess I didn't miss anything exciting.
Poor John. He's losing touch with reality. I think he's in need of some help.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Warren Buffett is the second or third wealthiest man in the world. And he's a little odd. But in a nice way. And he supports and advises Senator Obama. That alone should tell most voters something very important. Mr. Buffett always picks winners. He knows true value. Enough said.
After my appointments yesterday, I stopped in at the Plant Barn to see if my daughter wanted some more pomegranates to give to her customers. She did and I will drop them off today…but while I was there, she gave me some almonds to try. Nonpareil almonds. These are very tasty and in a shell that can be easily opened with just your fingers. I had no idea. I assumed that almonds were all alike and required a nut cracker. Of course I had to look them up on-line and I found this nursery in Georgia that will sell and ship the trees. Now I'm usually not one to throw stones at website designers. I see enough bad ones every day and I don't think I would have enough stones for all of them. But this one is worthy… of something? I'm still trying to figure it out.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I just ran across this little bit of information, "According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project released in August of this year, 40% of people 50 to 64 years old and 27% of adults 65 and older are getting information online every day, compared to about 55% of those 18 to 49. The study surveyed 2,251 adults 18 and older from April 8 to May 11 of this year."
That's sad. Where do they get their information? Or do they even bother?
The financial mess we're in is something that neither candidate addressed specifically. And no wonder. How do you define it? The stock market is up one day with sales to bargain hunters and down the next as they take their profits. And of course neither candidate was willing to tell the truth; that it was going to take many years to fix. And that's only if both parties were to take it seriously; something that has never happened before. OK, to be truthful, Obama did say that it was a big task.
On a personal note; we did the work and save thing. And we thought we had done it right and had hopes of a worry-free retirement. Things have changed and being elders, we're stuck. We're basically non-productive now. Besides, who would hire us? Hire elders? They aren't hiring anyone right now. Besides, that is not how it's supposed to work. We're supposed to give up our jobs to the next generation, not take jobs from them.
The debates are over and I didn't get what I wanted. A serious one on one debate without rhetoric. I think Obama would have relished it. But McCain was into slogans and lies and wasn't willing to come to the table. Do I need to explore the debate any further? No. For those of us who are committed to a vote for Obama, the debates were over before they started. Now we have to wait and listen for some defining words from the candidates. Words that will transform the undecided into 'decided'!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Ah! My ballot is in hand at last. Went to the Post Office and just as promised, they were there. OK, now I have a cup of hot chocolate with a shot of vanilla in it. Sitting next to that is a Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cranberry Dunker with White Fudge Drizzle. Am I ready to vote or what? I open my ballot… but wait – there's another debate on for tonight! I can't possibly vote till I've heard the last word from the candidates, can I? (Snort! Snort!)
Let me see if I have it right... Ayers was never convicted of anything. Colson and Liddy were. And did their time. Making them ex-felons; you know, the worst kind of people! Absolutely amazing!
John, are you an idiot? Don't answer that...
Tax breaks? And how, pray tell, do we pay for anything if we're all getting tax breaks?
That's crazy talk! Just build more prisons...hasn't that worked?
I heard it again. Obama is a Socialist. And I don't know why that is supposed to scare me? For one thing, he's running as the Democratic Party candidate and he's not the candidate for the Socialist Party. Brian Moore is their candidate. And for another, our government is still run by the 'people'. Not by the president. Or Congress. And if the 'people' decide to change their government in some way, they have every right to do so. Today, in 2008, this is not the same form of government the founding fathers envisioned. Do you think George Washington favored 'gerrymandering'? Please! And women voting? Would have scared George!
Socialism has some good points. But as in any construct of mankind, it's flawed. Yes, so is the form of democracy we use. To be truthful, I'm in favor of a Parliamentarian form of government. Bush would have been gone at least 3 years ago!
Yes, change is good.
And besides voting for Senator Obama, I'm voting No on 8. You can rant and rave all you want, but until you change the Constitution, discrimination for ANY reason is unconstitutional. Why waste your time and money with these foolish initiatives? If you're a 'believer' in this initiative, you should be busy trying to get a constitutional amendment passed instead of bothering us with these initiatives every few years.
That story I read earlier this morning, the one about the woman who wouldn't vote for Obama because of his skin color, preys upon me. It disturbs me deeply. And it's not as if I hadn't heard it before; I have. And there was time when I would have asked such a person to give me their thoughts on the matter; to explain themselves. Not now. Stupid is stupid and there is nothing to be gained by discussing it with people like this. Would you try to argue with someone who thinks the world is flat? Of course not. But still… it disturbs me.
Another morning and another debate, later. I'm hoping that this one will be the vote-changer. That McCain will make a fool of himself and that Obama retains the thoughtful presence of mind that he has always shown.
I was reading Time Goes By this morning and came across this, "I saw a white woman interviewed on a cable news channel saying, "I won't vote for Obama because his skin color is not the same as mine." I fear too many Americans agree with her. I desperately hope I am wrong." Skin color? That fails every test of logic.
Who are these people? Do they leave their minds at home, up high on a closet shelf, when they go out for the day? Why aren't they embarrassed by what they are saying? And yes, they scare me as well.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
OK, the stock market is going back up… but – at what cost to you and me? That wasn't 'free money' that was used to prop up the banks. Was it donated by wealthy philanthropists? Did Bill Gates give us his fortune? Warren Buffett? I don't think so…
"President Bush, speaking from the Rose Garden Tuesday before the markets opened in New York, called the government plan to invest up to $250 billion in banks essential to help assure stability in the financial system. The president described the government's new proposal, which includes a guarantee on new debt issued by banks and other measures, as "unprecedented and aggressive.""
Hey! Dubya! I got some debt. You have a few bucks for me?
I can't help but notice that there is a real climate of fear in our society lately. Maybe it's not best described as 'lately' for it seems to have been around even longer than that but the election rhetoric has heated it up again.
I just happened to note it, once again, at dinner last night when I heard people talking about how safe their world used to be and how dangerous it had become. People want to steal our cars, our identities and our kids. Violence abounds. But it's not true. Statistically, we are much safer today than we were 20, 30 years ago. And longer. So where does this fear come from? I think it's because we, as a society, don't take the time to investigate the stories we hear on television, radio and newspapers. We accept them as fact. Despite the fact that television, radio and newspapers exist only to sell us things. Truth is secondary. And politicians love that! Society can be molded and directed by mere words. Words that are bought and paid for. Think about it; Rush Limbaugh, or any other of the pundits don't make the big bucks for truth, they make it for entertaining you. They make you want to listen to this station or read that newspaper. It's all about money. Duh!
Cynicism. It's not just a word, it's a lifestyle and it can save your life! OK, maybe it won't save your life but you will be smarter!
Poor Boo the Cat had an eventful day. The vet found an abscess on her right foreleg from multiple cat bites. Obviously from a run-in with the same 3-legged cat that put a hurt on me. I had chased it out of our garage one day a week or so ago and had found Boo cowering in a corner. That must have been when the attack occurred.
Anyway, surgery happened and she now has a couple of drains in her leg and is on a regimen of antibiotics. She is currently asleep on a chair in the family room, where, I imagine, she will be for most of the day.
She loves the great outdoors, but it may be time for her to become a housecat. She really doesn't have the temperament to make her way in the rough and tumble world of barn cats.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I've done it - again. It's the Comments that make me do it! Yes, I donated some more money to the Obama campaign. It's something I've never really done before. As an independent voter, political parties rarely get my attention when they ask for funds. Let the party 'sheep' pay for the campaign. But, you know…it's really important this time! I'm still not going to join the party though.
I was just going through some of the comments on a Kansas City Star webpage. From the 'Heart Land'. Scary. The mental capacity of the Anti-Obama crowd is frightening to observe when they attempt to write something meaningful. Perhaps this country needs a No Adult Left Behind law?
But, hey! It's my fault. I should know better than to read these comments. I really do try to avoid them, but suddenly my eyes are drawn to one outrageous comment and then I'm hooked. I scroll down through them all while shaking my head.
Boo the cat is back in the house. I let her out yesterday afternoon and she was nowhere to be seen when bedtime rolled around. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem, but she is still limping badly. We're taking her to the vet first thing this morning and find out what's bothering her. I felt her leg and the right one is definitely swollen, yet it doesn't appear to be painful to the touch? Well, she didn't bite me when I touched it; a good thing, but she won't put any weight on it. A bad thing.
We checked in with other citizens of the Planet Orland and found out that we were not the only ones that had not received their ballots. Darn! I really want to vote and vote right now. There is absolutely nothing that McCain could say in the next three weeks that would change my mind.
When 'my' candidate, Bill Richardson, didn't make it to the finals, I was in limbo for awhile and spent some time looking more closely at other candidates. And before I had looked too closely, I even considered John McCain as a possibility. But then he opened his mouth. Loser. No, not that he has lost something, he is a loser in the common vernacular. He could win the election and he would still be a loser. He's insignificant. He's lightweight. He has no substance.
Now, where's my ballot.
What a grouch! It's almost time for me to have some blood drawn for the lab this morning and it's one of those 'fasting' draws. No coffee. And the lab doesn't open till 6:30; that's 90 minutes from now. And what if there's a crowd and I'm last in line? Too terrible to contemplate.
The thought just came to me; the blood will be sucked out of me at the same time the stock market opens; 6:30. Is there a story there? Some sort of social commentary?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sounds like bravery to me.
I was browsing through my journals and found this from 2004.
I thought it was still interesting…
"Since October 1, 2001, over 400 million pounds of surplus nonfat have
been acquired by USDA.
" It takes 11 pounds of milk to produce one pound of non-fat dry milk.
The 400 million pounds of surplus milk powder represents
4.4 billion pounds of liquid milk that had to be dried and stored in
a warehouse at the expense
of taxpayers, for there is no market for that surplus."
Feds stuck with $1 billion in surplus milk powder
By PHILIP BRASHER,
AP Farm Writer
WASHINGTON - Want milk? The government is trying to figure out what to do with $1 billion worth of nonfat milk powder that it bought over the past three years to prop up the prices paid to dairy farmers.
That is the equivalent of about 1.3 billion gallons of skim milk, enough to supply the nation's entire consumption for 16 months. It would take 635,000 cows an entire year to make all that milk.
The bags of powder are kept in a series of privately owned, manmade caves near Kansas City, Mo., and other warehouses around the country. An additional 20 million to 25 million pounds arrive every week.
"They keep making it and we keep buying it," said Steve Gill, an Agriculture Department official.
Under a Depression-era system, the department is required to control supplies of butter, cheese and nonfat dry milk powder to keep milk prices above a certain level and support dairy farmers' revenue.
The 1996 Freedom to Farm law, which was supposed to wean farmers from government support, ended the milk program in 1999. But Congress extended it temporarily, and then made it permanent again in the farm bill that President Bush signed into law in May.
Nonfat dry milk is what is left over after food makers remove the fat from milk to make butter, ice cream and products for which demand has been booming.
Milk processors do not have to sell the milk powder to the government. They could break it down into protein products, such as casein, that food manufacturers need for a variety of products from energy bars to infant formulas.
Processors sell to the government for one simple reason: The government pays more for nonfat dry milk, about 90 cents a pound, than food makers pay for milk protein.
"The dairy producers, if they ever get something money-wise from the government, they don't want to let it go. It has kept our industry from producing products and ingredients that the market demands," said Connie Tipton, a vice president of the International Dairy Foods Association.
Art Jaeger, assistant director of the Consumer Federation of America, said the "milk support price is high and it's bringing out this excess production. That suggests to me that consumers are paying too much for milk or more than they should."
The Agriculture Department is trying to get rid of the powder. Storage costs are approaching $20 million a year, and the powder keeps coming; about 386 million pounds has been purchased since October.
Some of the powder is donated to domestic programs and overseas. Powder that is getting old -- the government has been storing some of this milk for up to three years -- is sold for use in animal feed.
Just another day, except; I'm still trying to make sense of my dream filled night. And what strange dreams! I dreamt that when the nation woke up this morning, all of the 'bad guys' were gone. The White House was empty and the streets of Washington DC were eerily quiet. It was like the Rapture, only in reverse; the good guys stayed. True dream! And like most dreams, it was incomplete; I had no clue as to where any of the candidates might be. Oh, and by the way; they left the furniture and all of the good silver so I guess they were in a hurry.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
That was fun! I just downloaded the latest version of Google Earth and took it for a drive. After pin pointing all the usual spots; houses of friends and relatives, I decided to 'drive' from Mojave north on Highway 14 until it met US 395 and then continuing north through the all too familiar desert. Little Lake, Cartago, Olancha, Lone Pine and more. And that is when I discovered that Google Earth users have been uploading their photos of sights along the way. What a great idea. Wonderful photos and lots of memories refreshed. Almost like driving that road but without worrying where the next gas station or rest stop is located.
I guess I just have to say it. If Bill Ayers is the hate filled terrorist that the Republicans claim he is, then why is he out walking around? Shouldn't he be in Cuba? In Guantanamo? If they have so much evidence of his guilt, then I have a problem with the fact that he is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois. Shouldn't someone arrest him? Or, perhaps…?
I was reading that Colin Powell was telling the jurors in the Senator Stevens case that the Senator was a 'Sterling' character. No one bothered to ask about Mr. Powell's character. The same man who made a small fortune when his son, the chairman of the FCC at the time, made some important rulings regarding AOL. But, hey, consider the sort of folks that the former general was hanging around with. A little larceny was simply business as usual.
What else is in the news? Connecticut's courts reversed the ban on gay 'marriage'. And Californian's are pursuing an initiative to ban it. It's futile of course, even if the voters pass it. It's that pesky part of the Constitution, the word 'All'. All of us have rights; not some of us. If those that are so filled with hate that they can't stand it anymore, well; they should change the Constitution. All people have the right to pursue that course. In the meantime, the lawyers are paid well as they prepare initiatives again and again.
Patchy frost possible in the morning. Windy. Highs 65 to 73. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph shifting to the north and increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph by late morning. Wind Advisory in effect until 8 PM PDT this evening... Near record low temperatures expected Sunday morning...
Things have changed around here. According to this forecast, whatever is left in the garden is doomed. And I have flipped the switch over to 'Heat' on our forced air unit. It hasn't come on yet, but it's just one degree away from it.
They say that pet owners often resemble their pets. Now it appears that pets can take on the attributes of their owners. Boo the cat has begun to limp. She looks a lot like me now. The vet doesn't open until Monday, but she doesn't seem to be in great distress; she came in and played for awhile this morning before limping off to her favorite sleeping spot.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Darn wind! It's raising havoc everywhere. I was at the Plant Barn for a few minutes this morning and everything that could fall over, did…
I had been in town to get the 'new' car serviced where we bought it. Of course I was expecting to be charged double what I would pay at Jiffy Lube, but no; the dealer's service was competitively priced AND they washed the car. Now that is different!
In the back of my mind was the knowledge that we had made the decision to buy this car based on the fact that it was 'cheapest to maintain' according to Edmunds.com. Of course I was happy to see it happening.
I guess the calm must wait. I was just reading about the so-called Social Security disaster. It's not. If everyone would pay their fair share, the crisis is averted. Ah! It's the word 'fair' that so many Republican's hate. Fair is when you and I pay and they don't.
The fix for Social Security has been enacted many times in the past. Painlessly. It happens whenever there is Democratic Congress and a Democratic President. Did anyone think that a program enacted in the 1930's wouldn't have to adjust to the economic times of the future? So it's not even a 'fix' that we're talking about, it's simply staying current.
But, Republican's hate Social Security with a passion. It's money going to worthless 'old people' when it could be better used by? By Republican's of course!
"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."
- Richard Feynman
Is it dark where you are? Now go outside and look up.
I guess I'm through venting for awhile. Those of us with the personality type INFP have a problem commenting in a rational manner when our closely held values are being assaulted. The words won't come as they're needed and it's only when calm is restored that the INFP is rational again. I'm waiting for the calm.
I find it amazing that the Rigid Right continues to support McCain despite the revelations of his moral failings. And where is the rest of the country? Why aren't they vocally indignant about the fact that this man even dares to run for the office? I wouldn't want him in my front room, let alone the Oval Office.
Some people are voting. Have voted. And I'm still waiting for my ballot to arrive. Darn! Nothing is going to change my mind and I'm ready to vote. Obama would have to confess to robbing banks to finance his campaign before I would change my vote. And we already know that McCain is the only 'bank robber' of the two candidates. (Lincoln Savings & Loan)
We had our meeting with the financial planner and we were shown the wreckage that littered our accounts. Little did we know that even while we were meeting, the market was dropping even further into the hole? Surprise!
These are historic times because you can't compare this to any other time in history. Sure, the Dutch Tulip Bulb disaster comes to mind and so does the Great Depression, but what's different here is the fact that we knew all about the previous disasters and still made the same choices. Our leaders have said for years, 'Never again' in reference to the Great Depression; they had rules and regulations that would ensure that it never happened. It worked; until those leaders removed the rules and regulations.
It seems like my brain is working at warp speed this morning. All sorts of thoughts are flying through it. I must have spent too much time looking at the headlines. One; Sacramento County is going to need close to 7,000 teachers starting in 2015. My first response to that is a question; why would anyone want to become a teacher? Low pay and no respect. Working with and for bureaucrats. Parent's who don't care or parents that don't have the time to care because they have impossible jobs as well. Sounds like a disaster to me.
Funny thing about wages. Almost everyone agrees with the old saying, "You get what you pay for" until they have to pay.
Now that old saying brings me full circle and I have to wonder what went wrong? We certainly paid our leaders plenty of money and it looks like we didn't get our money's worth. Time for new ones! And not 'new' old ones…
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I had very carefully installed Cooliris on my new computer. (It works with Firefox and I'm not sure if it does with IE7.) Anyway, it wasn't doing what I expected and so I thought it was simply another Vista problem. But no, I decided to explore a little this morning and discovered that the product I wanted was CoolPreviews. Done. Very cool.
I did read some possible good news. McCain made a statement in the recent debate that he would have the government buy up bad mortgages and enable home owners to stay in their homes. Not a lot of detail in the plan, but it caused a lot of concern among the ultra-conservatives of the Republican Party. (The Neanderthal branch) A good conservative never thinks of helping out those, who by their failures, have come upon hard times. Nope. Never. How will they learn if we just keep helping them? We've been put on this earth to get ahead; to be the very best we can be. And we can't do that if we have to continually stop and help out the losers among us. "God helps those who help themselves". That's biblical. It isn't? Well it should be!
What are we doing today? Avoiding the news. At all costs. And we're visiting with our financial planner around 11. He will give us the news we have been avoiding. Although; I'm hoping that he will have some soothing words of advice for us as well. Hey! That's what we pay him for, right? To make us feel better.
... Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph in the morning increasing to 15 to 30 mph at times in the afternoon sustained 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.
Lots of wind in the forecast and that will have most of the walnuts abandoning their refuge in the tree and making the plunge. 40 mph gusts can shake plenty of walnuts free.
As I was browsing the net this morning, I ran across a Vista cartoon that started my day with a laugh. I needed that!
I've been trying to avoid the more depressing websites. Which doesn't leave me with many places to go, does it? I guess I can try out the games that come with Vista; Mah Jong looks good. Better than Dow Jones.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We got our financial statements today and of course they're already a week old and even further behind. Tomorrow we'll visit with our financial planner and inspect the wreckage up close and personal. Tell me how I could possibly vote for McCain? A man who had his hand in the wrecking of this economy from day one of his career? A man who still believes the idiotic financial garbage that was spewed by Reagan and would duplicate it because he doesn't even know any better. A man who believes that war solves any problem. I could go on and on…but why?
"Americans' retirement plans have lost as much as $2 trillion in the past 15 months — about 20 percent of their value — Congress' top budget analyst estimated Tuesday as lawmakers began investigating how turmoil in the financial industry is whittling away workers' nest eggs."
"I think the moment has arrived for the court to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for detention."
JUDGE RICARDO M. URBINA, ordering the release of 17 detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
But wait…didn't this administration tell us that only the worst of the worst were held there? Could there have been a mistake?
"Today, John McCain is the only major party presidential nominee in US history to have been rebuked, censured or otherwise admonished after a Congressional ethics investigation."
"Fed Leads Global Coordinated Rate Cut
The U.S. Federal Reserve led a coordinated round of global
official rate cuts on Wednesday, easing the key rate by a
half-point. Other central banks, including the European
Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss, Canadian and
Swedish banks also lowered rates by a half-point."
Well, that was quick action…but will it change anything when the markets open in 90 minutes from now?
"Europe Slides in Early Trading After Tokyo Shares Lose 9.4%
Another wave of relentless selling washed over global markets
Wednesday, with stocks plunging in Europe and Asia. The Tokyo
market had its worst decline since the 1987 crash."
So who's answering the phone in the White House these days? Oh, no! We're doomed!
A partial brain swap has been made. The new computer sits beneath the desk now and the HUGE monitor is in front of me. 22" and I deserve it. In fact, all elders should have one. Back in the day, I would set my screen resolution as high as I could in an effort to cram as much program real estate as possible onto my desktop. Not now; I have it set to 1280x720 and I still have plenty of room. If my eyesight deteriorates I will still have room to lower the resolution without running into scroll bars. The old computer is still alive and sits to the right of me for now. My security blanket.
I'm getting used to Vista. And there are some things I like; not many but I think that will change as I find my way into the system. Once I learn how to tweak some things, then I will feel more in control.
It's the same with Word 2007. I'm already tweaking my Normal template and creating some shortcut on my menu bar. And I do like the ability to post to my blogs without ever leaving Word. Perhaps now my posts will have the same look and feel day after day, instead of the hodge podge that exists now.
Speaking of debates and elections; we're mentally involved in this one and think it to be the most important one in our lifetimes. So last night, we made BLT's for dinner so that we could be seated in front of our little TV in time for the debate. Ah! BLT's made with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Is there anything better than that?
Because of our own fervor, it's easy to forget the fact that there will be millions that won't vote. Why? Unbelievable.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
OK, I've watched the second debate. Painful as it was. But that's only because of my personality Type; INFP. You see, I think words matter. And I wouldn't have stayed in the same room with John McCain after hearing some of his lies. But that's just me and I suppose politicians are used to it. They have to be or the Senate would be a lonely place indeed. But it bothers me enough that I have to leave the room at times!
I'm not happy with the Town Hall style of debate. Although I must say that the questions were good ones. Truly better than I thought they would be. But there isn't the time allowed for good give and take in the answers. And neither candidate answered the last question which was easily the best of evening. "What don't you know and what will you do to learn it?"
My ideal forum for debate does not have an audience. That stops the pandering. "My friends…" at the beginning of a declaration by a candidate is simply a warning that a lie is about to be issued as gospel. I would like to see both candidates and a moderator sitting at a table and 'discussing' the issues. Not using the same tired clichés that we have come to expect. I want to see the candidates using their minds. That's the part of their body that we're paying for, not flapping lips.
I have a feeling this is going to make my head hurt until I can find a way to create some of my favorite icons on the Word toolbar. I've found a couple of them, but it looks like this will take some time.
On the plus side, the new version of Word finally allows you to list more than 9 of your most recent documents. 20, 30, 40 or more!
Hmm? Interesting. The new Word has an icon that allows you to post to your blog? But will it work with Blogger?
And I'm so glad that I've given up on Outlook and gone to Gmail. With a new computer there's nothing to set up; the mail simply arrives. And Gmail doesn't steal all of your memory as Outlook does.
Because Dell had stopped offering the XP operating system just weeks before I ordered the pc, I had to go with Vista. After hearing all sorts of horror stories about the operating system I decided to order the ‘Ultimate’ version, hoping that it would contain features that would allow me some freedom. I haven’t found them yet, but I will persevere. After some searching I did find the Windows Explorer and put that icon on my desktop. After that, I was able to find the root directory. Now, can I find a C:/ prompt?
Monday, October 6, 2008
"...it encouraged too much saving and too much investment in infrastructure. If only the United States had such problems!"
But you would have a savings bank that was dirty, open only on weekdays and the clerks would be rude...
Did I say 'clerks'? I meant to say 'clerk'.