Monday, November 29, 2010

Religion and such

Every once in awhile I become agitated by the 'Christians' in this country. I just read the other day that over 80% of Americans identify themselves as 'Christians'. I can't confirm that number...but I do know for a fact that there were a few empty seats in the pews yesterday. Maybe they slept in? 

I'm definitely agitated by the 'Christian' response to the fact that Muslims live among us. A mosque was burned in Oregon just the other day. 'Christians' are doing everything they can, illegally as well as legally, to stop the building of mosques in NYC and in Tennessee. Perhaps these people didn't know that Muslims have a lengthy history in the US of A"When Benjamin Franklin helped establish a non-denominational religious meeting house in Philadelphia, he emphasized its non-sectarian nature by stating that "even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service". In 1776, there were over 3 million people in the don't think there more than a few Muslims among them? "In 1790, the South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Moroccans, twelve years after the Sultan of Morocco became the first foreign head of state to formally recognize the United States" South Carolina? Imagine that!

But I know that ignorance rules these days and my agitation will gain me nothing. But now that I have written this I do feel better...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

From Citizen K.

Tearin' o' the Green

The computer was misbehaving (backing up) last night when I called for this article and it wasn't till this morning that I was able to read it. Short and comprehensive. K explains the 'European problem' quite well. Good reading!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Thanksgiving 2010 is now history. Starting at 9 AM on that day I began the 5k run/walk at Bidwell Park along with thousands of others. Many thousands. As I shuffled along in the mass of humanity, strollers and dogs that were trying to get to the Start line, I realized that I had made a tactical error. Those who had elected to be chip timed were at the very front of this crowd while I was stuck somewhere near the middle. So myself and others who had made the same error began to work our way past those who were at park to enjoy a pleasant walk that benefitted the work of the Jesus Center, our local homeless shelter. As I cut right and left and swerved here and there I was reminded of my previous life as a driver on the freeway system of Los Angeles. My plan was to racewalk the entire 5k but I was soon running along the edges, off the trail, as I passed those groups of walkers who were deep in conversation while blocking the entire trail. This worked until trees and vines forced me back into the pack and I had to walk at the pace of the crowd once again. It wasn't until the second mile that I was more or less free to racewalk as planned. At the end, the clock said 48:50 as I passed the finish line. I deducted the 3:30 that I spent shuffling towards the Start and then averaged out the slow and the fast moments on the trail to arrive at a time of 45 minutes. Sub 15 minutes miles. Compared to my 2006 time of sub 12 minute miles. Oh well, time marches on.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Further evidence

that the majority of Californians are pretty smart!

"More than three weeks after he declared victory in the race for state attorney general, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley conceded defeat today as he trailed by more than 50,000 votes in one of the closest statewide races in California history.

The decision means that San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris will assume the post of California's top law enforcement official, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the statewide offices."

Okay, okay...there were some ballot measures where Californians failed, but overall, not bad.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Did I mention the cooking class I attended the other night? I guess not. Anyway, the class was held at our church, the very historic Bidwell Presbyterian in Chico. The class was for three hours and included the dinner we would prepare. All for $18. Our instructor, Pina Taddonio, a native of Torino in Italy, was my kind of cook! Recipes? Nope. It was all spur of the moment decisions on her part. A pinch of this and a handful of that. She said we could take notes if we wanted to but she wouldn’t care at all if we didn’t. I didn’t. We made cannelloni with Butternut squash for the vegetarians and cannelloni with sweet Italian sausage and broccoli for the meat eaters. Now the cannelloni was different; we didn’t fill those premade heavy pasta tubes. We used very thin lasagna pasta which was about 5”x8”. This was then filled and rolled, using brushed on water to glue it together. Then it went into the pan with the others and was covered with a B├ęchamel sauce. Then cooked for just 20 minutes as the filling had been already been cooked…by us, the eight students. Then we sat down to eat. Heavenly, if I do say so myself. Next month is a baking class and I must attend!

No sleep

I'm awake quite early as that is my 'normal'. The first thing I did was check on the woodstove as I was expecting to see some extremely low temps this morning but it's close to 50˚ outside. What? Yesterday, we pulled all of the Mandarin oranges off the tree and had harvested all the green tomatoes just so they wouldn't be harmed by the freeze. Well, the weatherman now says that tomorrow morning it will be 25˚ at this hour. He's a day late or we were a day early.

Will we go walking today? The winds are in the 12 to 20 mph range and rain is forecast. I guess we'll make that decision when the sun is up. Now yesterday was a great time for walking as the park was at its best. A Kodak moment at every turn of the trail. I have a feeling that this wind will strip most of the colorful leaves off of the trees and leave us with a stark winter scene for the weeks to come.

I'll be back in the park on Thursday morning for the Jesus Center Run for Food, a 5k walk/run. I did this race in 2006 and haven't been able to participate since then. I did a practice walk a week ago and was able to come up with four 15 minute miles in a row. I should be able to do that easily in a 3.1 mile race. I just looked at my journal and I see that I did the 2006 race in just under 37 minutes, giving me a sub 12 mile pace. 11.94 to be exact. Ah! The good old days when I was only 66 and my lower spine wasn't fused.

Yesterday, I was reading Nance's blog, Mature Landscaping, and she was writing about pain. Constant pain. Something she knows only too well. And it made me so thankful for the surgeon I had/have. He still has me on Gabapentin, which I hate because of the muddleheaded feeling I have to live with. And live with it forever, or so he says. So why am I thankful? Because he told me right away, as soon as I became his patient, that pain was the enemy and he was going to make sure that I had very little of it. He gave me Dilaudid and Norco and told me that he would take care of the addiction problems when it was time to do so, but in the meantime I was supposed to stay pain free if possible. Shortly after the first surgery the pain was just bearable with those narcotics. I can't imagine waiting all those months for the bones to fuse without those drugs. It's been ten months now since the last surgery and I only have to take a Norco on a rare occasion and it's been three months since I last needed a Dilaudid. The pain will never go away but I'm adjusting to it. Or so I hope. I know that I spend too much time thinking about it. And commenting about it. At the same time, I do know that my surgeon told me that if the pain becomes too much for me, he had another plan for me, an implantable spinal cord stimulator. Very cool! No, I'm not ready for that yet. I have my Wellbutrin to keep me happy. Yikes! We live in a chemical age. And I'm a willing participant in it. Perhaps I just need more nap time with Boo the Magical Cat. And more painting.

Speaking of painting; today is Tuesday and that means I get to spend three hours at the Chico Art Center with all my friends. My artistic friends. I have some Derwent Inktense pencils I want to share with them. They're great watercolor tools for accents as they won't wash away.

There are about ten of us in the group and all are better artists than I am. I'm the one in the group that tries every new thing to come along while they spend their time honing their skills. But…they all encouraged me when they exclaimed over my entry in the Small Canvas, Small World exhibit. I'm growing in my art and it's really exciting at times. I have half a dozen canvases now that I'm really happy with and I will post them to my art blog as soon as I can figure out a good way to photograph them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

State taxes

"Strong majorities of Democrats and Republicans, men and women, and voters of all ideological persuasions overwhelmingly said that the deficit could be overcome by cutting waste and correcting inefficiencies."

Fools. It will not happen. We already have one of the lowest state employee to citizen ratios in the nation. We have been undertaxed for years. Corporate taxes are almost nil...and we want them lower yet? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The House leaders have been elected and the results are as expected. Boehner and his boys will be in a position to do what they do best. Nothing. And they will make sure that we have plenty of it for the next two years. Treason.

Nancy Pelosi is the best man the Democrats have and they should be grateful for all that she has done for the party. But they won't. The usual blue dog Democrats will whine and snivel for the next two years, all the while they will be cozying up to the Boehner Boys in hopes of being tossed a scrap. Hopeless.

I never thought that I would applaud the election of a Republican but Lisa Murkowski is my hero today. She beat the Palin/tea party in Miss Quittypants own backyard. And she did it the hard way with a write-in candidacy...who would have thought that such an idea had a chance?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is how I wish I could paint...if so, it's obvious that I will need a bigger garage/studio. Much bigger!

But, at the same time, I really love her smaller paintings, such as the 'Colour of Light' paintings.

Click here to see her website

Friday, November 12, 2010

From Tom Tomorrow - This Modern World

I try and read this great comic strip every week and I always enjoy it. This week it's better than usual.  Click here to see it for yourself. I could comment for half an hour on each panel...but I won't.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From my Left Wing

Facts. Yes, some facts about Social Security. Good article here...

 1. Social Security isn't broke.  In fact it currently has a $.7 trillion surplus and is solvent through 2037.
2.  Social Security doesn't increase the deficit.
3.  The best way to ensure the long-term health of Social Security is through good-paying jobs and a stronger economy.  
4.  If you truly are concerned about Social Security running out of money in the future, the $4 trillion projected long-term shortfall is conveniently the same amount of money which would be generated over ten years by letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the top 2% of Americans. (Oh, and BTW, those tax cuts to the very rich--they don't stimulate the economy for squat.)
5.  If you want to shore up Social Security over the long-run eliminate the cap.  Why should a worker making $105,000 a year pay exactly the same number of dollars into SS as a CEO taking home $50 million?  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This from Citizen K

Click here

I read this when we were traveling in Arizona a few days ago and although I wanted to share it at that time, I had to wait till I had my own computer in front of me. This piece really lays out the facts for 'single payer' health care, something that even the Democrats didn't want to hear about.

And this morning I heard about the San Francisco City Council voting to ban fast food meals for children that use toys to entice the children...unless the meal contains less than 600 calories, 600 mg of salt and 35% calories derived from fat. Plus it has to include a fruit or vegetable snack. I can already hear the republicans yelling about how this is government interfering in private business. Darn right it is! Because without that interference, our children and grandchildren will be enticed into eating lethal doses of fat and sodium just to increase the bottom line in the fast food industry. I can't even begin to imagine why a child would need a 600+ calorie meal; can you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just wondering

I see the sun. It's 6:45 in the morning and I see clouds and blue sky. Alright! We're going walking this morning. Now if we were still in Arizona we would be seeing the darkness. (in more ways than one. Okay, I'm being political here.) Arizona is one of the few states that remains Daylight Savings Time free. And I couldn't help but think about the fact that this state is run by the Tea Party now and as that means that they should be free of all government interference in their lives…why don't they simply allow the citizens of the state to determine their own time? Set their watches as they feel moved? They won't?


And speaking of hypocrites; do you think the republican congress will dismantle their own health insurance program. It appears suspiciously like a socialist program to me. Let's ask them. At every possible opportunity.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No infection...yet

I'll take the 'Left Coast' over the 'heartland' any old time! It seems that California (not my little part of it...sigh) has resisted the insanity and has rejected the 'big money' Republicans. And it looks like the tea party fascists haven't made a lot of progress here but the chances for that kind of infection are too close for comfort.

From Chez NamasteNancy:


I wish I had read and shared this yesterday...still, the story should be read.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From Time Goes By -

Time Goes By -

You have to read the quotations here. My favorite?

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

This just in

I'm not Twittering this morning but I will pass on this Tweet...

Meg Whitman's personal spending on her campaign: $163 million. National Endowment for the Arts 2010 budget: $161.4 million 

Give me a few minutes and I can come up with a hundred things that could have made better use of the $163 million. When she loses today, I hope she moves to some other state...