Sunday, November 30, 2008


The last day of November and all is well. Or as well as it's going to get at this last minute. Once more I'm stumped for the 'subject of the day' and must spend some more time browsing the internet while drinking coffee in an attempt to get my mind in gear.

Boo the Cat has already made her grand entrance; running a few laps around the house before collapsing into her bed here in the study. I certainly won't get any more inspiration from her.

I looked at the weather as I usually do for inspiration and found this… Statement as of 5:00 PM PST on November 29, 2008

... Record high temperature set at Redding Airport CA...

a record high temperature of 77 degrees was set at Redding Airport
CA today. This breaks the old record of 70 degrees set in 1988.

Does it mean anything? Anything at all 'significant'? I doubt it. But what do I know of these things?

The headlines are all about the tragic story in Mumbai. A story that will be dissected in the media for the next week or so. But will we ever know what drives those who committed these acts of terrorism? The fear of death doesn't deter them; it seems that it's expected and welcomed. We really need to find a way to stop them long before the opportunity for violence arrives. Capital punishment doesn't faze them; perhaps a promise that if captured they will be kept alive? In prison. Until they are old and feeble and all of their dreams have died. Yes, being forgotten might be the punishment that deters. I think it's universal… we all fear it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Photos of the World

This was sort of fun... I was using Google Earth this morning as I was putting together a new post for my Working blog when I ran across this site. You can spot the photos on Google Earth and then click on them to see the rest of the photos that the person has posted. And you see photos of things you haven't thought of… an old church in Doyle, CA. Spring snow in Westwood. Just odds and ends.

In January

As I read the news these days, I can't help but think that the Obama presidency will be challenged in a most extraordinary way. His fans have a plan in their heads; a vision. And each one will be disappointed because it won't be the same as the President's vision. It might be close to it, but there will be disappointments when the reality of politics makes those dreams…simply dreams. And the opposition is furious. They are making nice right now; being civil and doing a lot of smiling for the camera. But after the inauguration, the knives will come out. Better get used to hearing the word, 'socialism' used for anything suggested by President Obama; even though those who speak the word have no idea of what it means. We live in a socialist country. We have for years; ever since we abandoned Jefferson's 'Yeoman farmer' model of governance. What's at issue is… how much socialism do we want?

The Holiday Spirit

Tis the season. Holiday music has arrived. As I was scanning through the channels on our XM radio, I ran across three (3) Holiday Music Only channels. 24/7. Yes, that is what happens when technology is used for evil purposes!

And the chimney sweep has come and gone. The flue is sparkling clean, as is the firebox. We're ready for a holiday fire. Except for the replacement of the seal around the door of the wood burner. Nothing dangerous, but it would use less wood if we replaced it and so we will.

Today is the first day of the Craft Fair here on the Planet Orland. It's been a holiday tradition for years, though attendance has dropped off because of the influx of 'commercial' crafters during the past few years. Plus, let's face it… the crafty look is just not 'in' these days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping Muse

I know that there is a big push these days to 'shop local' and rightly so. As the last article I read about Wal*Mart noted; every one of their stores takes approximately 150 local jobs away. And of course all of their profit goes to Arkansas. Where, apparently, the Arkansans don't know anything about the money coming in to the state. But… since they don't ask Wal*Mart to help them with their education costs, they rank fairly low. So… maybe they don't know the money is there?

Arkansas economy stats.

Arkansas Education stats.

No, it's not fair to pick on Arkansas. They just happened to be the state that is saddled with Wal*Mart. I mean, Sam Walton could have been born anywhere!

Anyway, back to local shopping. Where I started. If there is one problem I have with local shopping, it's service. It's so rare. Here is where the locals could whup Wal*Mart every time, but too often they fail. They seem to think that low prices will bring in the people and they can't win against the 'big boys' with that kind of business plan. It has to be service. Service. Service. So you have the lowest paid help in town and then you wonder why they aren't smiling and doing their best to help customers.

I really like the In-n-Out Burger business plan. They pay more than anyone else in town for the same work. They demand that employees smile. (You can demand a lot when you pay for it) And they have the simplest menu… And that is how they became more than a local business. With their success, wouldn't you think all businesses would look at how they did it and take lessons from it? Sigh.

And here on the Planet Orland? There is no 'Black Friday' shopping. And 90% of the businesses in the downtown area will be closed tomorrow and Sunday. You need some thread or a button? How about a new spatula? A pair of shoes? Sorry; go to Chico…17 miles away.


Drive Ins - Hosted by Google

I got caught up in the Life magazine collection this morning... have to take a break!

What’s Going On?

What's that noise? It's 4 in the morning but there are cars everywhere! All driving east on Highway 32. Toward Chico. Traffic is backed up here on our road because they can't make a left turn onto the highway because of all the traffic. And I can see lights on all over the neighborhood. It's Black Friday! It's time for the ordinary people of America to save the nation! Bush and his pals can't do it, but we can. Is that credit or debit? Credit? Sign here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wikimedia Commons

For images

It's a great resource...

Vermeer's 'The Girl With the Pearl Earring' is now my wallpaper.

Odds and Ends

Black Friday? Browsing the news and finding lots of sales on this most important day of the year. Are we nuts? Kohl's is open at 4 AM tomorrow? Apparently most retailers believe that if we buy enough toasters and iPods that day, we can save civilization. And then I read some comments regarding Bush's Presidential Pardons. No, it has nothing to do with shopping or civilization, but it does it have a lot to do with common sense. Why on earth do we allow any president to pardon people? What is the logic here? The president is not an emperor nor a king. The president is a commoner just like us. Shouldn't all pardons come from the judicial branch of government? This whole 'pardons' thing has turned into some sort of sweepstakes and it should be stopped. It makes as much sense as the Electoral College.

And then, since all things are relative…

"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards." - Fred Hoyle

Privatized Medicare

Higher Cost - Not Quality

Remember the term 'Highway Robbery'? Shouldn't we just call it 'Bush Robbery' now? It's more relevant And we all know what it means. What a legacy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

custom made

kitchen knives

I'm a sucker for beautifully made knives...

- A French Connection -

History revisited -

I read this same story about a year ago. But it never seems to make it into the schools...

Free Holiday Turkeys

a Ritual in Decline -

I remember this vividly! It was in the 60's and I was still an apprentice carpenter. Work had slowed and I couldn't find a job. I had been doing piece-work when I could find it, but it didn't pay well at all. When I couldn't find any more piece-work I finally had to give in and apply for unemployment benefits. We had a baby and we had bills.

But... my last regular employer had given me a certificate for a 25 pound turkey. We searched the markets until we found one that weighed as close to 25 pounds as possible!

We ate turkey for weeks and in every possible form! Now that's thanksgiving!


Not too cold this morning. Just a slight bump of heat with the furnace will make it just right in here. Hmm? Is furnace the right word to use? It's that forced air unit that sits outside and burns money. It's not properly a furnace nor is it a heater. I guess it's one of those leftover words from childhood. Mom would say, "If you're cold, go stand over there by the furnace." The furnace then being a metal grate in the floor.

I guess the subject of the day is food. It started with a reading of Time Goes By. And then there is that photo (below) of a turkey carcass simmering on the stove. And tomorrow is definitely going to be all about food. Far too much of it. Again.

It seems to be something we do every year at this time. We try to remind ourselves that some don't have as much as we do and we feel properly sorry about it for a few minutes and then go on with our lives. We all do it. We did it last weekend because we can't travel for the holiday. But the effect was just the same. We had plenty at our table and we briefly felt sorry for those without.

So I'm thinking some more… we have three basic needs. Air, water and food. Without any one of those, we die. All three. Gotta have them! Since that's true, shouldn't we make certain that all of us have those things? Yet we (globally) abuse all three of those vital resources.

And then I thought about the local food source for those in need; the Orland Pantry. We will soon be giving out the Christmas food boxes, including a turkey or ham. I shouldn't say 'we' as I won't be working there this year as I can't do the lifting that is needed. But I do remember that last year we had a record number of families. 300+. I imagine that we will serve more than that this year.

And although I will miss the camaraderie of the volunteers this year, I won't miss hearing the few volunteers that make a point of commenting on how the 'needy people' are dressed and what kind of car they are driving. Some volunteers would only be happy if those in need looked the part. Families barefoot and in rags while pushing a wheelbarrow would make these volunteers ecstatic!

And last; if we spent the $10 billion a month that we are spending in Iraq on food instead…how many turkeys would that buy? A hundred million?

Why are humans so darn 'human'?

Link to Time Goes By for the day

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I've done my Wii yoga; 35 minutes worth. I've also spent some time rummaging through the old turkey carcass, gathering odds and ends to turn into soup. Those are now in the big pot on the stove and beginning to simmer. The good bits will become turkey enchiladas, a favorite of ours. And although I know how to make the soup and the enchiladas, I will still prowl the internet for a new recipe.


-Posters.jpg (image)

Heads of US charity

convicted on terror-financing charges |

Almost sounds like proper justice until you find out that the Israeli witnesses for the prosecution were allowed to remain un-named and the jury was told by the prosecution that they should rely on their memories and not evidence...on and on it goes. The prosecutor should be ashamed! (And fired) And we need to be embarrassed. More here

From Tom Kipgen

Tube Radio Sales Page

Who knew?


Examines Causes of 'Cyberchondria' -

Interesting. But what is omitted here is the fact that patients are rarely given direction by their physicians. Direction implies liability and doctors avoid it like the... plague.

So you have to use the internet if you want information, and since we're not doctors, we can make mistakes. Duh!

And last; an office visit costs $100? and a couple of hours in a cramped waiting room, filled with 'contagious' people. An internet office visit is free!

Something New

New posts…




Good Eats


Short Laps


Although I do like the fact that MS Word 2007 will allow you to post to your blog directly and without going through the Blogger dashboard, I am having a real issue with how it handles hyperlinks. Insert one and all of the text beyond that point is now part of the hyperlink. Frustrating! And when I go to edit it, Word has inserted so much odd code that I'm rarely successful in finding the spot where the error occurred. Very frustrating. I guess I will try to add the links at the end of each post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

From The Associated Press:

Official: Richardson to be commerce secretary


Really Nice!

Art work from my sister...See more of it here.
And this surfboard. Perfect for the patio... see it here.


I'm trying to become excited by the news of the day… but once again I'm disappointed. Or I'm having 'writers block'. Maybe it's Post Election Stress Trauma. (PEST)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder's American West -

An interesting article that caught my eye this morning because...

I've been there. And my father had been there as well. He raced there in the 1930's with a modified 4 cylinder Ford roadster. Somewhere... there's a photo of it.

I went there to take a ride in a 'glider'. There was a soaring school there and they had an old Schweizer two seater that would take you for a short flight; maybe 30 minutes if the thermals cooperated.

A biplane towed you off the ground while a ground crewman ran alongside the glider and held the wing tip off the ground until there was enough air passing under the wing for the pilot to keep it steady. That pilot sat behind you and so you had an unobstructed view of all that was happening. And once you reached altitude, the pilot tapped you on the shoulder and told you to pull the big red knob on the dashboard. That released the tow rope and suddenly you were free! Amazing! It was so quiet and peaceful up there as we turned and banked in search of some warm air to lift us higher. You almost forgot that you were sitting on parachute...

It was soon over and you were picking up airspeed in preparation for landing. 110 mph and no brakes. The pilot would tilt the nose down as we sped along the desert floor on one wheel. That tilting would place a long length of wood against the ground and slow you down.

Do yourself a favor, and if you ever have a chance to go it!


I just spotted the Good News! Only 58 days till Bush and Company are history! I may dance in the street… after looking both ways for traffic. Right and Left.

From Tom

The end of history again! (Comics)


I'm almost through with the book, American Fascists; The Christian Right and the War on America. Certainly a book worth reading. Especially now that the Christian Right has been defeated at the polls with the election of Barack Obama and (Gasp!) other Democrats. Even though the book was written a few years ago, when the fascists of the Right were still an ascendant power, this political power loss won't make them go away. If anything, it will only make them more dangerous. McCain had 47% of the vote. That's a lot of people that are fearful and fascism thrives in a climate of fear.

How Much?

It's chilly out there! And I can hear the owl. It's into the high 30's this morning and at this early hour the heater is already blowing warm air around my feet. We don't have a fire going; not yet. The chimney sweep has to be called first and that will happen soon. Then we can be serious about reducing our gas bill. We have a 'short' cord of almond wood left from last year and that will have to do it for this season. When it's gone… it's gone.

The wood heat is always comforting. The cat likes it and so do we, but it doesn't save you any money unless you're getting the wood for free. Firewood is selling for around $200 a cord. And it reduces your gas bill by around that same amount. Or not. We paid $250 a cord for ours, last year. Add in the cost of the chimney sweep and you have a net loss. But it feels like you have avoided paying the power company and that's always a good feeling! It's fun to be delusional…

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bail Me Out, Mom

From the Eavesdrop Writer

As a new Wii owner, I can understand!

From The Associated Press

Disputed Senate ballots hold key to Minnesota win

I'm not a big fan of Al Franken. But... he would be a change! And change is good.

From See Saw

See Saw Art

A place I like to visit on the net...

This morning

A new posting on Short Laps

Things I Read

The Big Three automakers have a couple of weeks to get their act together before re-appearing before the law makers with hats in hand and asking for some more of our money. And they will promise to do better. Right.

Nostalgia aside, it's time for the Big Three to disappear. There will be a minor disruption as new owners take over. Executives will lose their jobs. But the assembly lines will remain for yet awhile. Eventually they will have to close, just as the buggy whip factories closed. And it's that fact that makes it crazy for us to give them more money. It's time to build something new in Detroit.


I've been trying to read Scott McClellan's book, What Happened. I doubt that I will be able to finish it. Not if it continues in the same vein as in the first 50 pages. Although Scott had a 'perfect' childhood and was raised to be a 'perfect' young gentleman; he was led astray! Imagine that. Raised by a politician and yet he didn't have a cynical bone in his body. Sorry Scott, hard to believe.

Link to What Happened

Just an idea

As usual, here I am with coffee in hand and Boo the Cat demanding my attention; inviting me to play. Can't she see that I'm busy with the affairs of the world? I can't possibly follow the story on the screen, type and wrestle. But…I'll try.

And the first story that grabbed my attention was the one covering the Senate as it honored the former Senator Stevens. What? A convicted felon. A thief. And the Senate takes time from our work to honor him with speeches and standing applause.

We have prisons filled with lesser criminals and this bozo gets a speech or 10 and a pat on the back. Perhaps during the next election we can take the Senate back…for the people. What a novel idea!

And then I read about the possibility of Janet Napolitano taking over as head of Homeland Security. Personally, I would like to see that department dismantled and the responsibilities given back to the original departments that held them. I don't feel a bit safer just because Bush created another layer of bureaucrats and gave them that weird 'homeland' name. And billions of dollars to waste.

But, all that aside, my question is this; is Janet Napolitano Pro-Fence or Anti-Fence? Her answer is critical. If she's Pro-Fence… she's an idiot and only wants my money. Which I don't have any more of.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Doctor Reviews & Ratings -

I ran across this while searching for a physiatrist in Chico...

It's a new site and isn't complete yet, but it's on the right track. Especially the 'free' part.

Here it is

The morning comes. And after watching the action of the DJIA yesterday afternoon, I'm not sure that I want to see it again. What a crime! Now if only we could find someone with enough courage and integrity to prosecute those responsible. Starting at the very top. Am I looking for a scapegoat? Sure; that'll do for now! After so many days of this kind of financial torture, being reasonable loses a lot of its appeal.

Time for a second cup of coffee and then a careful reading of the news; I must find something of value in there!

Well, the headlines have a little bit of everything in them, but the one that caught my attention was the story about the drop in the DJIA being caused by an expectation that retailers are going to suffer losses in earnings because of lower prices. Well, duh! Should have known that a couple of months ago… I know that we are looking at everything much more carefully before we buy and we're looking longer for the bargains. Plus, we're looking on-line. That's where the action is! For instance, you can load your 'shopping cart' with various models of a desired item and then just check back every once in awhile to see if the price is dropping. When it gets to the right price, dump the rest of the cart and buy the bargain. No bargains? Move on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Regarding Wall Street

Today's DOW...7,997

A classic case of our government in action.

Ooops! That was supposed to read 'government inaction'

The Looting of America

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Worth reading...


voice0.jpg (image)

A 'thousand times more thrilling'? It's...hard to believe!

From Yemii Pics -

Swedish Dance Bands

I said I was bored, earlier...

Not now! (I really have to spend more time on the Boing Boing site.)


photo archive hosted by Google

Too cool! This is what I LOVE about the internet...

Just Doing Her Job

On another note; Boo the Cat had her annual shots and physical exam yesterday. She passed. The doctor said she was in great shape and she does look good; her all-black coat is glossy and she isn't overweight. She's a small cat; weighing just 7 pounds. Thank goodness for that, as she sleeps on my lap or legs every night while I'm reading in the family room. That's her job; to lower my blood pressure. And to keep the mice away.

But this morning, instead of wrestling with me, Boo the cat is sound asleep on a chair out in the garage. The combo of drugs she took yesterday has thrown her for a loop and she'll be napping most of the day.

(Hmmm? I wonder if I can get my doctor to 'prescribe' a cat for me? Then I could deduct the vet bill!)

Link to cat/heart news

Next Year

As I read the news this morning I'm trying to find something remarkable to comment on and it's becoming harder and harder. After two years of campaigning, the 'usual' is just boring. I need a new life.

But, this is the honeymoon phase for the new administration in Washington and it won't be long before the disorganized Right wingnuts get their act together and begin spreading lies and innuendoes. Make that early February…

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt -

From Mitt Romney -

I don't often agree with this guy, but he's right this time. And if you remember the primaries, you might remember that he never said anything like this while he was campaigning.

But…I'm not in favor of a 'Managed' bankruptcy. The old fashioned kind will do just fine. Let anyone pick up the pieces and my favorite would be an employee owned group. That works!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Senator Stevens of Alaska is losing the election! And it really couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

They eat out

by Margaret Atwood : Poetry Foundation



Lieberman keeps Senate chairmanship | Reuters


Now What?

I was reading Time Goes By this morning and that's where I read that Citibank/Citigroup had just fired, canned, terminated, laid off, pink slip'd…53,000 employees. (No mention was made of any executives with 'marching papers'.)

53,000 suddenly without jobs at this holiday time. 53,000 going to their state employment offices to file for benefits. 53,000 looking in their pantries and refrigerators. That's a lot of people.

I know that a lot more than that number have already lost their jobs, all across the country. A whole lot more! But that 53,000 number struck me for some reason. A good sized town has a population of 53,000. It's almost six times the number of people that live here on the Planet Orland.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Tom Toles —



in emerging markets: Opportunities for carmakers

Read all about it here... (from the Economist)

The decline of the Republican Party

Ship of fools | The Economist:

"John McCain did best among uneducated voters in Appalachia and the South."

Straight Talk... but will the Republicans listen? We really need the Republican Party back. Reagan made them disappear and that was long ago. Too long.

Don’t Go There!

I was browsing this morning and ran across a blog where the author was reporting on the upsurge of racial jokes and threats (even some violence) in the region where he lives. I don't want to even include a link here, but I know the area and it's not surprising. And it's also not surprising that we hear some of the same evil here on the Planet Orland. Is there any place at all where ignorance doesn't have a foothold?

I'm afraid I was basking in the warm feeling that somehow, we, as a nation, had left the ignorance and evil of racism behind us when we elected President Obama. Stupid me. As long as there is any discernible difference between ourselves and someone else, we will find a reason to hate. Stupid humans.

OK, it's a good wakeup call. This isn't going to be easy and we shouldn't expect it to be…

Which Way?

Another boring day. Nothing to do but to watch the stock market go down. Dramatically. Unless it goes up. Dramatically. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I could do with a little less drama.

(Apparently Boo the Cat is tired of drama as well and she bedded down close to me as soon as she came in this morning.)

The high drama this week on Wall Street will be the 'maybe' bailout of the automobile industry. And after reading some pertinent facts about the industry, I would have to say it would be foolish for us to give them any money. First, the obvious; why give money to fools? They got themselves into this mess…why do we expect them to suddenly become wiser? Shouldn't we expect to see brand new management in place and with a plan of some sort before we hand over billions? I know we have rarely done that kind of thing during the past few years but it might be the wise course of action. Second, where is the market for new cars? After many years, the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries have pulled past us in a surging demand for new vehicles. The market isn't coming back. Not here. Sometimes we have to face facts and the sooner we do it, the better.

Manufacturing jobs accounted for 53% of our economy in 1965. In 1988, that figure had dropped to 39%. And in 2004, manufacturing accounted for 9% of our economy. Those were the good paying jobs. Jobs that allowed you to buy a home and that car you wanted. And the jobs that have replaced them?…service sector jobs.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Does it matter?

And the big news story/question today (and yesterday and the day before that) is...will President Obama select Hillary Clinton for the Secretary of State position? Now I'm torn. I really wanted Bill Richardson for that role; heck, I wanted him to be President! But... Hillary is a great choice for the nation, but only if she can become the Hillary Clinton that I was so impressed with during the first year of the Clinton Administration.

- Breaking News

From The New York Times -

If only!

Joe The Plumber - Shop Joe

What a wonderful country! Anyone can dream and dare to become a Plumber!

(What new products will he have? Autographed 'snakes' and plungers?)

What was that?

Coffee time. And then some news browsing time. The news world seems to sleep over the weekends. I guess reporters and editors need a day or two off, but shouldn't there be a weekend staff to keep things going?

Hmmm? I guess that makes sense; news is made and doesn't just happen. Like the tree falling in the forest; if there is no one to hear it, is there any noise…or news?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I can't help myself

I'm browsing the Comics

Old Age


Good News!

Your Weekly Address from the President-elect

Weekly! And I have it on my home page.

Pay Up

I was reading a NY Times article about the Mormon church intervention in the political arena with their financial support of Proposition 8 in California. OK, I know it's a tired subject, but if an organized church wants to play at politics, they certainly don't deserve tax exempt status. Not Mormons, not Catholics, not Baptists… none. If you play, you must pay.

Bitter? You bet! I have a Bible and I don't need someone telling me how it should be read.



Although it looks like fall, it sure doesn't feel like it. Record high temperatures today and for the next few days. If you're raking up those leaves, you need to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Don't forget your sunblock!

What else is new today? Hmmm? Not much. As usual, the news delivered to my pc is always skimpy on the weekends and I have to go looking for it in different places. Not that I've ever run out of places to look. OK, I'm off! I may or I may not be back today.

Mormons Tipped Scale

in Ban on Gay Marriage -

The Game Plan for hatred...

Anything that takes away the rights of others, takes your rights away. Beware, you may be next.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Biff can't understand it ...

From the CN&R

Shadows in so-called Golden Years

Old age... as it really is.

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks

by - Ree Drummond

I wonder if she would take email orders? Like 'Dinner for two'? Or twenty? Sigh...I suppose she wants you to do it yourself.

New Post

A new post on my Short Laps blog

Who Knew?

It's been interesting to watch the growth of our own family 'Facebook' community. Almost all of the family and extended family are now gathered together as 'Friends'. Photos, thoughts and opinions are exchanged regularly. We're connected. Very 21st century!


I'm reading a timely book, American Fascists by Chris Hedges. The author has included a great Forward by Umberto Eco that explains why you can't be tolerant of those who practice intolerance. They must be stopped. And sure enough, when I read some of the criticisms of the book, the author was labeled 'intolerant' because he pointed out the evil that spews from the Christian Right.

The link to Umberto Eco's piece on Fascism, originally from the Utne Reader.

Lost and Found

Forecast: Sunny...windy. Highs 75 to 81. North winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph by late morning. Strongest winds over the western side.

I won't need to turn up the heater this morning. The wind has warmed things up considerably. And the wind has Boo the Cat wired to the max! I finally had to let her go back out to the garage as she was tearing up and down the hallway while telling me something? in her loud cat voice.

Ronni, from Time Goes By has a good posting this morning on the financial crisis. I'm not good at writing about it as I tend to become somewhat emotional when I think of the $$$$ lost. OK, they're not 'lost' at all. They have just changed hands. Hmmm? I'm thinking about that…since they aren't really lost, if they can be identified; can't they be returned to their rightful owners? I know…I'm asking a lot. But I've lost a lot!

Link to Time Goes By

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tears to Remember

From the Judith Warner Blog -

Did you read this? It's a week old but it's still good. Especially the Comments.

For Shame!

A sign of the times. The Pantry, our local food bank is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of food requests. 69 family members were served in one day, not too long ago. That's almost double the number that was considered 'high' awhile ago. I imagine it's the same in every part of the country.

Another sign of the times… an ignorant person has broken that usage down by 'perceived' ethnicity. As if it mattered. Shame!


Don’t Worry! Be Happy!

Reading the news. How depressing. And what will the stock market do today? On a related note; I wonder how my Senator/Representative's retirement plans are doing? I'd hate to have them worried during these trying times.

And speaking of 'government' as I was, I wandered through the Medicare web pages last night in search of information. I know; silly me… a fool's errand! But I had to see if I could navigate through the twists and turns of bureaucratic jargon and acronyms. What a trip! (They have a webpage devoted to acronyms…hundreds of them! Which you can download onto an Excel spreadsheet…if you wanted to. Why?)

You couldn't have designed a worse website than this if you had tried for years. But…they had a head start. They were writing stuff like this long before there was an internet. All I wanted to know was whether or not a specific procedure would be paid for. Shouldn't you be able to look up the procedure by its name or names and read a 'Yes' or a 'No'?

Today my search continues. I'm hoping that I will find a web page that will translate the Medicare pages for me.

Link for Medicare

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Call AAA? No.

And I just came across this…
How to Fix a Flat

"Somebody ought to call Steve Jobs and ask him if he'd like to run a car company for a year. It wouldn't take him long to come up with the G.M. iCar."

That's true. But you wouldn't be allowed to open the hood. And all flats would have to be fixed by a factory authorized dealer.

For Sale

Reading the national news and I see that bush wants to fight over the giving of financial aid to Detroit. That's a tough one for me. Where do I stand? Personally, I think GM, Ford and Chrysler deserve their fate. But the workers don't. I wouldn't mind seeing some aid given, but I would think that 'strings' must be attached. Such as; CAFE standards must be raised immediately and the 'light truck' category must be included in with the passenger cars. No discussion allowed. All new vehicle development must be focused on economy and alternate fuels/power. That's it. If not…give Toyota a call.

The Sleeper

What fun! Although the waking up process usually creates some groaning as my aching joints go from horizontal to vertical, the process was a little easier this morning as Boo the Cat assisted me. I had made the coffee and let her in before shuffling down the hall and sitting in front of the computer. In just a few minutes I felt a tapping on my knee. It was Boo and she wanted a cat wrestling match. Now. So down on the floor I go. Bring it on! Well, we wrestled all over the room and although I was ahead on points, she took me down with a kitty sized half nelson and pinned me. She is now sleeping on the bottom shelf of the bookcase with dreams of her recent victory making her smile. (Do cats smile?) And I'm feeling a little more limber. Heck, I can win tomorrow; easy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

White House

Says Obama Leaks Not Accurate

OK, all things being equal... who would I believe? Obama or Bush? Bush or Obama?

Don’t You Love It

We have our 3 year old oven back in operation. After 5 weeks of waiting for the part needed to make it work once again, we were told that, thanks to our 'extended warranty' we had saved close to $400. Which is close to what we paid for our extended warranty. Mysterious?

I can't help but imagine a conversation among the board members of a large manufacturing plant; perhaps Maytag?

CEO: Profits are down. What else can we do to lower our costs?

CFO: Well, since we already pay our employees so little, there isn't much left to cut.

Mfg. Dir: The big part of the problem is the shoddy work. But since we don't pay very much, I can't get any decent help.

CEO: What if…we sold 'extended warranties' to our customers? That way the customers would keep on paying for the product. Even though it was a defective product to begin with. And we can cut wages again!

All: Brilliant!

From Shorpy

Old Pictures, Better Than New

Some veterans pictures today. Believe it or not; I remember reading about Civil War Veterans meeting back in the day when I was a child.

From The Eavesdrop Writer

Giving Thanks


Another wintry day ahead of us. A chance of showers and all that goes along with such a forecast. Blah!

And it's a holiday of sorts; Veterans Day. OK, I'm a veteran. But I've always felt, and still do…that the holiday is for someone else; from a different time and place. And there is this… what's to celebrate? I have my own private celebration on this day because I was fortunate enough to avoid the misery of Vietnam. I already had re-enlistment papers filled out for an additional 6 years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. I wanted to sign them; I was going to sign them. But the re-enlistment officer wouldn't guarantee that I would be transferred away from Camp Lejeune as I wanted. He said he would try but that he couldn't promise. He even offered me $5,000 and a chance to go to Aviation Med School, but I wouldn't sign without that promise. Stalemate. And it was 1961.

(Pop psychology 101; perhaps I feel guilty that I didn't go to Vietnam? Or I feel guilty because I feel so grateful that I didn't go?)




Monday, November 10, 2008


So we were looking for lunch and thought we would try a Sammie at Quizno's. That's always a bargain and satisfies with only 200 calories. We pulled in and much to our surprise, the neighboring restaurant, Baja Fresh – was closed! Out of business!

Too bad. It's always been a favorite in a town filled with Mexican restaurants. Too many? Or was it simply the economy that drove them out? I'm thinking we will see more closings all winter long.

No, it wasn't caused by our deciding to have a Sammie at the competition; we always split our lunch dollars between the two fairly.

Yoga, Anyone?

That darn Wii Fit! OK, I now have a Wii Fit Age of 75! And I lean to the left…but you already knew about that 'left' thing. And I mean physical left and not political. (Although they are the same?) I took the Wii Age test some time ago and I was at something like 54 or 57. This Stenosis really has me going backwards. But…now I have a goal and a virtual trainer that wants to see me every day. That's cool! And I started off easy today with the most basic of Yoga poses; Deep Breathing. Go ahead and laugh. You should try and do two minutes of deep breathing while keeping your body centered. (Red dot in a yellow circle) I was rewarded for my efforts with an 'Attaboy, 2 points and a note that I seemed a 'little shaky'. Duh!


Crestor Slows Artery Plaque

Interesting... I've been avoiding these kinds of meds as I don't want to get hooked into the 'pharma' game. One pill leads to another, etc, etc. (True, I've only been asked once) Since I take no medications at all, I've been feeling somewhat sanctimonious. But, this might be the one to ask the doctor about.


Weighs Quick Undoing of Bush Policy -

Can you imagine the excitement? Whoa! I would love to be there just to feel it!

From James Nachtwey

of war

Disturbing photos. I posted something on this site over a year ago and had forgotten about it till I received a comment on it this morning. Made me go back and look....

Green olives

These are so good! Rebecca, of Plant Barn fame gave these to us the other day. They are from our two small olive trees. Rebecca did all the hard work of picking, rinsing and soaking in lye and then rinse and repeat many times. You can't see the cloves of garlic that are on the bottom of the jar, but you can taste them!

Odds and Ends

Clear and cold. It's getting wintry around here. Lucky for us that we now have some indoor games for the duration. Yes, we gave ourselves an early Christmas and bought a Wii and a Wii Fit. Let the games begin!

The Wii Fit is more than a game of course; it's really a fitness machine and well thought of among physical therapists. The most difficult exercise? That would be standing on the Wii Balance Board and letting the machine reveal your weight and BMI in LARGE numbers upon the television screen. After you've done that, everything else is fairly easy.

Sad news. Miriam Makeba died while on tour in Italy. What a voice and what a woman! (Somewhere in my garage is an LP of hers.)

More odds and ends: I was reading the other day that President Obama was denied a floor pass to the Democratic Party Convention in 2000. Irony?

The rest of the news this morning is simply 'the news' and I will have to wait for something to attract my attention. Perhaps some news about President Obama's cabinet decisions? I'm really hoping to see Bill Richardson among the intellectuals that will be shaping the future of our country.

And I hope the rest of the country found it to be tiresome when the Republican's immediately attacked Obama's choice for his Chief of Staff; accusing Rahm Emanuel of being 'hyper-partisan' before the man even had a chance to demonstrate what kind of tactics he would employ in his new job. Wouldn't you…shouldn't you - wait for an actual demonstration of that 'hyper-partisanship' before you accuse? But that would require fairness, something that has been lacking for the past 8 years.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

About The Changeling --

Changeling -- Part X | The Daily Mirror | Los Angeles Times

Lots of posts/photos here in this blog all about the original 'Changeling'. I think it's a movie I want to see...

You may have to search a little to find all of the posts.

Time out

I think I will do like so many other bloggers are doing these days; I'm going to take a break and post only as I'm moved…

Friday, November 7, 2008

From Joe Bageant: (And John Brown)

Sarah Palin is the Future of Conservatism

Consider these words... a well written piece on the demise of the old Right and the birth of the new Right.

Who Said That?

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
  - Jack Handey

I know the quote says that Jack Handey said it…but it sure sounds like Dick Cheney. A typo?

Japanese Bar Codes

From Dinosaurs and Robots:

Who knew? And why don't we see more of them?

(Something was wrong with the Dinosaurs… link so I replaced it)

More on taxes

A state sales tax jump could backfire - Los Angeles Times:

"California's tax system is among the least friendly to businesses, according to the Tax Foundation, which ranks it 40th among the states."

What is not mentioned here is the fact that over 70% of the large corporations pay no tax at all. Which...somehow...seems unfair. And the Tax Foundation? With a name like that, I'm sure they are fair and impartial.

A state sales tax jump

could backfire - Los Angeles Times:

"Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposal for a temporary increase"

First; have you ever seen a temporary increase in taxes that didn't become permanent?

Second; the sales tax falls heaviest on those that can't afford it. The poor. Always does. That's why Republicans always suggest it first.

Something new

Since it is quiet here this morning, amongst the political blogs, I have new posts on my other blogs. Working and Short Laps

Very Quiet

Apparently all of the blogs I read on a regular basis are taking some time off. Mission accomplished. Nothing much more to say until the cabinet positions are announced. And although my Presidential pick didn't make it through the primaries, I think Bill Richardson will end up with a role in the new government. Secretary of State would be the smart choice. And Bill is smart.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

FromShorpy Photo Archive

J. Edgar Hoover: 1924

Now imagine him in a lovely dress... Oh go ahead, he won't mind.

A Few Minutes Ago

I was listening to NPR and they were talking to listeners from around the world. (web listeners) And as I listened I felt pride, once again, in what this country can do. Our simple act of electing a man of intelligence and caring, and rejecting the alternative… did more for our image abroad than anything else we could have possibly done. We should all be humbled by how we are perceived by others. And vow to never let it happen again.


The Change We Need

So here's the B.O.B website... now what I would really love to see, would be an Obama website AFTER he takes office. Not some 'official' government creation, but a real one. FDR used the radio for his Fireside Chats; it would nice to see our president of the 21st century using a blog.


Pinch Me ...a message from Michael Moore

Sure, I know... Michael Moore is usually way over the top. But not here.

Who Says?

Yesterday, I learned something to be true that I always suspected was… President Obama writes his own speeches! Yes, he can string meaningful words together. Even big words! Something that has eluded the current resident of the White House.

For me, this is a big thing. I have always felt that writing a speech was part of the president's duties. That was, among other things, what we paid him to do. To hand over that job to a committee was shirking his duty. We actually paid a staff of writers to tell the president what to tell us. What?

OK, maybe things are different once you have the 'big job' and perhaps our new president won't always have time… no, I don't think so. No matter what, the president's words to us must be his words; not a committee's.

Read It!

I'm still looking for the definitive website for California election results and I suppose ballots are still being counted in many places. But, it seems that Prop 8 was narrowly decided in favor of those who don't believe the Constitution applies to everyone. And this measure will go back to court and will be overturned as being un-constitutional. Again. Because it is. The lawyers have to love it!

Here’s One

Speaking of opinions, as I was. Most of my favorite blogs are silent once again this morning. I'm presuming it's because of the election results, after all, what do you say once your goals are met? Yippee? And now that Bush is calling for the moving company to give him an estimate, (one truck, one way, to Crawford) he is basically irrelevant. And he will remain that way until it comes time to issue the Presidential Pardons, just before he hands over the keys. Wanna bet that he outdoes himself on this one? If you thought that Signing Statements were a stretch, wait till you see the logic he will use for Pardons. If he's smart, he'll issue a retroactive pardon to himself. But, that's a big 'if'.

Going, but not gone

That 'light' feeling I had when we learned of Obama's victory is fading. Not a bad thing. Because we now have a serious leader for serious times. And I feel safer now that we have someone intelligent in charge. I may be wrong, but as always, perception is reality.

Apparently the rest of the world feels much the same way. It's so very humbling to see citizens of other countries celebrating what we did on Tuesday night. Yes, 'humble', contrary to the neocons' opinions, is a good thing. Makes you strong! It's also biblical…

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Freedom; to be…

Obama won and it's a wonderful thing, but… since I have no false expectations that the Democrats' will become the liberal party that they should be, I'm going to be looking for a new political home. But I've been doing that for years now, so I don't think I will find what I want overnight. Since the statement that 'All wealth comes from labor' resonates with me, I may just join up with the Democratic Socialists of America. Or not. Isn't America grand?


I've been browsing most of my favorite blogs and things are pretty quiet out there. I think most are still digesting the good news and trying to figure out what it all means for the future. One blog, Blue Ridge Muse is really getting hit by the 'commenters' for his thoughts on the election results. Be careful when reading the comments, or better yet – don't.

A Plan

I listened to both candidates making speeches last night and once again, I was mystified by their ability to say nice things about each other. I know; that's their job. I'm glad they have it and not me. After the things that McCain and Palin said during the campaign, I wouldn't have been that gracious.

And I was gratified to hear a reference to the book, Team of Rivals; The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I highly recommend the book and if anyone nearby wants to read it, let me know. It sounds like President Obama already has…

What Do You Say?

Superlatives come to mind but I can't decide on which one to use. I do know that I 'feel' lighter. And that's a good thing. I also know we'll never be able to re-create the feeling that swept over us last night; the night that Senator Obama won. Now it's over and the hard work begins.

But… I can't help but take the time this morning to remember the early morning in 1960 when I arrived in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I was in the Navy; just out of boot camp and Hospital Corps School and on my way to Camp Lejeune to begin my work there. I stepped into the bus depot to get a ticket for the local bus that went to the Marine Corps base. Once inside, I suddenly realized that there were two identical bus stations under one roof with a low wall separating them. One was for 'Colored'. And outside, along the wall, there were two drinking fountains, side by side. In 1960, that was 'normal' in North Carolina.

When the sun comes up this morning, I'm still going to be in a 'Red' county that voted overwhelmingly for McCain. And, despite the nice words of the candidates, these voters aren't going to get over it and get on with their lives. These people like the 20th century and see no reason to change and move on. They voted Wally Herger back into office and that tells me all I need to know about the good citizens of this county. It also tells me all I need to know about the Democratic Party that abandoned their candidate here. Without support from the Democrats, Jeff Morris didn't have a chance. Join the Democrats again? Not on your life!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Electoral College

for dummies -

The title says it all...the Electoral College is for dummies! (And they have no football team...) Isn't it time for a change?

Google Gadget

Get one!

Business As Usual?

I'm worried. Yes, I voted and I know that polls show that Obama is leading McCain. But when you live in a 'Red' region, like Glenn/Butte/Tehama counties, you certainly can feel like a minority. Agriculture is the economic force in these counties, as it is throughout the Central Valley. And wherever you have agriculture, you have poverty. That means that political power is in the hands of a few; the farmers and ranchers. They have the power of the 'purse' and they use it to perpetuate their hold on the region. They aren't necessarily evil people; agriculture requires lots of land and it doesn't require a lot of skilled workers to labor upon it. And last; I chose to live here.

 So I was glad to read this article this morning. It's nice to know that Obama does understand agriculture and agribusiness and that there is a difference between them.

From the Shorpy Photo Archive

Women Voters: 1917

Not even 100 years ago...

Election Results

Poll Closing Times, Electoral College Result Widgets, Live Election Coverage (VIDEO)

Everything you need...

I’m Through

I just read the headline, 'Daring to dream of a black president'. OK, that's it. I'm through with all reference to the color of peoples skin. I don't know any 'white people' and I don't know any 'black people'. Or 'brown' people. I only know people from now on. Some would say that I'm simply denying reality when I ignore color, but I think I was perpetuating a myth by paying attention to it.

I've always felt this way, but only vaguely, so I joined in with everyone else and categorized my acquaintances by their color. And no matter how liberal you might think yourself, you're perpetuating division by your speech. 'My black friends…' doesn't do a thing to end those tribal divisions that plague us as a society.

Could be

We've been waiting a long time for this day. It seems like forever. And although I already voted some time ago, today is when it will be counted. OK, I know that it might be the end of the week before that particular cardboard ballot will be shuffled through an optical scanner, but symbolically, it all happens today.

And I couldn't help but think that with any luck at all, our grandchildren and their grandchildren will look back on these past years and know them as the 2nd Dark Ages, beginning with the election of Reagan and ending with the election of Obama.

Those living in the 1st Dark Ages didn't know how unenlightened they were until the Renaissance occurred. The same could begin to happen today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All about the White Spaces Coalition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Be still, my heart!

Vote Obama or McCain

Global Electoral College | From The Economist

Somehow I knew it. And it was fun... but now the real work begins; electing him for sure!


I was struck by this image this morning… Now download the picture and use an editing tool to crop the image. (I use IrfanView) Select the little girl and her surroundings. Amazing photo.

Who Knew?

I may have a deep seated dislike for 'corporate coffee' but I have to admire and praise Starbuck's for giving away a free coffee to anyone who tells them they voted on Tuesday. I can dislike them again on Wednesday.

Maybe? Maybe Not

I may be wrong, but I think I read that over a third of the Americans eligible to vote – have. How cool is that? With any luck at all, we may just join the 21st century during the next decade. Next we need universal registration for voting. It should come with your Social Security number when you're born and then validated at age 18. You're worried about 'states rights'? Get a grip! States are an anachronism. Who needs them? What do they define? Besides your address, that is.

And when the shouting is all over next week, I hope I hear that more citizens have dropped out of the political party system and voted as independents. It's time for both parties to start paying attention to those who think and aren't simply lead.

(Truth is…I can hardly wait till I get a chance to criticize President Obama and the Democratic Party)


From the Washington Post

says Bush, 'My Heart and My Values Didn't Change':

"'When you're inside, and the president is so optimistic, you're not paying as much attention to the noise outside,'"

The 'noise' outside? That would be 'us'. The citizens.

From Time Goes By

Full Up to Here With Politics:

"you can't say this hasn't been the most interesting, exciting and surprising campaign of our lives."


This is it. The last full day of the campaign before we elect a new president. Remember that candidate from some years ago? The one that said that he came to unite us and not to divide us? The 'Compassionate Conservative'? Well, he is the reason that we are so bitterly divided today; he and the party that he represents. And today we will probably see every dirty trick that Karl Rove can find in his 'little closet of horrors'.

Hopefully, it will all end on Wednesday morning and the American people can begin to recover from the past eight years. But I know that the party of 'hate' won't stop unless the vote is decisive in its numbers. They will seize on anything to contest the results, just as they did in 2000. And with a Supreme Court that holds allegiance to the Republicans and not to the law, anything can happen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My wife

made me canvas for Obama; here's what I learned

A great story and well worth reading...

From AlterNet

The Triumph of Ignorance: or, How Morons Succeed in U.S. Politics :

"In the most powerful nation on Earth, 1 adult in 5 (20%) believes the sun revolves around the Earth; only 26 percent accept that evolution takes place by means of natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; two-thirds of U.S. voters cannot name the three branches of government; and the math skills of 15-year-olds in the United States are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development."

Oh, yeah? Well we know how to spell 'organization'. So there.

An endorsement of Barack Obama

It's time! | From The Economist

A scooter...

To die for! (image)

Yes, it's a memory of mine. At one time I did have an all metal scooter, but not as nice as this one. And I also had a wooden scooter. Made with a length of 2x4, some old roller skates and a little help from dad. The true test of any of our wheeled creations was a trip down the 14th Street hill. Scary! Scooters, wagons, tricycles, bicycles and roller skates. Anything that could roll was tried on that hill. And any time during the day, you could spot half a dozen kids trudging up that hill, dragging some sort of vehicle behind them. All 'wannabe' heroes.

Back to ‘regular’ time

It's far too early for me to be awake. I went to bed at 9 and now it's 6 hours later. But, we had a time change and by looking at the clock it's only 5 hours later. Yikes!

It may be early but I'm already busy this morning as I try to find something of interest on the internet. I know; there's always the comics! But I was hoping for some thoughtful editorial or opinion about the election that I hadn't heard before. In these last hours before the election there's little chance of that happening. Which begs the question; why are people still undecided? I presume that these are the same people that stand in front of their closet every morning and wonder…and wonder. An hour goes by. They've picked out the belt they want to wear; maybe. But only if it goes with the shirt/blouse that they haven't picked out. And the shoes! That could be a deal breaker and then they're back to square one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A survey of corporate IT

Where the cloud meets the ground | The Economist

Fascinating articles here on 'Cloud Computing' and why it's so important.

From the Shorpy Photo Archive

Six Candles: 1918

Happy, aren't they? Just one boy and he looks 'curious'.

And I just had a thought; my mom and dad wouldn't have been invited to this party. They were only 3 years old.

That’s It

The other day I was being introspective and came up with this thought. Or, a question which I then answered. Who am I? Well, I am first and foremost, a human. Living today. Living in this moment of time. Things I am not; I'm not my father or my mother. I'm not my grandparent's. I'm a product of my environment and how I perceive myself. And this changes constantly. I'm not a Scot, nor am I an Englishman. I have relatives that were born in those places but they were only human as well. You can't inherit 'Englishness'. Or 'Hungarianness'. Sure, it's fun to assume the role of Scotsman but it's only play acting. There are no Scottish genetic 'traits', just as there are no Chinese or Russian genetic 'traits'. You can only be human. Everything else is culture and your choices.

At Last

It's over. Officially; I don't need a newspaper any more. The only thing that still had a hold on me was the Comics page, or pages. With the GoComics widget from Google on my home page, I'm set for the day…every day.

From Pat Oliphant —

Because we need to laugh!


An interview with Studs Terkel, May 17, 1987 | The Daily Mirror | Los Angeles Times

21+ years ago and the message still resonates. It could have been yesterday...

No on Prop. 8

If Prop. 8 passes, what about those who wed?

Well, duh! You put them in prison... that's what we do best in California.

Here We Go

Stormy weather this morning with lots of wind and rain. It's definitely a good start for the month. I'm sure it made for a disappointing evening for the young trick or treaters', but do they even do that anymore? Aren't they managed, directed, supervised and guided to carefully orchestrated Halloween events?

Oh, oh! It's time for a 'memory'. Back in my day… Halloween started early and finished up late. First; there a great deal of conversation between friends as to how you would costume yourselves that night. Brainstorming. Then it was time to ask your mother for help. She had to find the pillow case you would use for your loot and she had to come up with the finished costume after you had given her the creative outline for it. 'I want to be a pirate!'. And no, you didn't go to the store for a pirate costume. Pity the poor child that was found in a store bought costume!

We started as soon as it was twilight; about 5. We might or we might not return home for dinner at 6. In fact, most times we only returned home to unload our bags of candy and go out again. And I remember that the streets were filled with children of all ages. Toddlers had parental escorts, but those were the only parents we saw. And whenever we came across some friends, we would stop and discuss the best strategy for filling our sacks and warn each other of which houses to avoid. Houses where you received an apple. Who wants an apple? Candy was the name of the game!

It was usually all over by 9 PM. And since bedtime in those days was 8:30, it certainly felt like a holiday! Then we would sit on the floor in our bedrooms and carefully count and arrange the candy. By type and size. Apples and oranges were set aside to be given to our parents to eat. Loose candy, such as Candy Corn, was eaten immediately. Then the whole stash was carefully packed and hidden away. Parents and siblings were known thieves and no one could be trusted.