Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, October 4, 2009

Janis Joplin died 39 years ago at the age of 27. Janis once said "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
Simple thought, but deep in its meaning. I think she pretty much lived life on her own terms. The drug and alcohol abuse aside, I'm talking about the way she expanded her life, moving out of that Port Arthur Texas town where she never fit in, and found a place to bloom. She could have compromised. She had some talent in art. Maybe in some alternate universe, there is a Janis Joplin who continued her education and got an art degree. She may have taught art at a community college, settled into a small town, married, had children. That woman would be alive somewhere today. Not dead at age 27.
But the world would never have known that incredible voice.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 27, 2009

Bought the Sunday paper today, and sat down on the livingroom floor to read it. As I hunched over to read a story near the top of the paper, I realized my back doesn't like this position much, and I picked up the paper to try to read it that way instead. After a few paragraphs, the story continued on page 8. Finish this story now? Read the rest of the front page, and read it next? Read pages 1 - 7 and try to remember the story I started reading page 1?

Distracted by the comics. Realized I don't read any of the comics much. Well, maybe Dilbert. Started reading that instead.

Saw pages and pages of local G-20 coverage. Glanced at some of it. Knew most of it already, having watched the local news all week.
Read a story about an organist, Cameron Carpenter. Amazing guy. So interesting that I went to the computer and looked him up on YouTube.
Of course, the lure of the computer could not be resisted. I watched three other videos, checked facebook, and bought three books on Amazon before I realized that the Newspaper was still on the floor waiting for me.
At this rate I may not ever finish it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Survived the G-20

Well, the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh is just about over. Whew! Luckily, it didn't get near as crazy as it could have, and I must say the city looked really nice. I hope the participants appreciated all the effort. Not just the big Redd Up campaign, but all the security that had to be put in place, all the police protection, etc. Was it worth it? Who knows. Most of the protesters were peaceful people, walking the street or assembling in the parks. Yeah, some anarchists got out of hand and smashed a few windows in Oakland, but it wasn't Armegeddon.

My favorite part was the Greenpeace crew putting up the banner over the West End Bridge. Yeah, it was against the law, but at least they didn't break anything and no one got hurt. They sure got a lot of publicity for an event that only lasted a few hours.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thomas Edison Said...

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. -Thomas Edison

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 13, 2009

Sweet Pea, my beloved little tuxedo cat, loves to hunt. So much, that in the winter when she doesn't get outside as much, she tore out most of her own fur out of frustration. Numerous vet visits were for not. It was anxiety. She couldn't get out and defend her territory. Even Prozac was offered for her, but I chose not to give it to her.

Then spring came, and the cat was outside more and all the fur grew back. Sweet Pea, just in the past month has killed three baby rabbits, several birds, mice, rats and moles that are too numerous to count. All promptly placed at my doorstep to admire and dispose of.

Which brings me to this weekend. Coming home from my birthday festivities, I open the front door and spot a mouse as I flipped on the light. YIKES what now! Then my next thought: I have the perfect solution! Sweet Pea will earn her keep. She LIVES for this.

I left the house overnight with her inside, came back in the morning expecting my present--and sheesh... nothing. A blank stare from the cat. Had she lost it?

She rolled over and I petted her anyway, all the time telling her we can't do this all day when there is a mouse to catch somewhere. And as if on cue... not 10 feet away from us...there it was! With quick feline agility she jumped up and sped after the mouse chasing him into my computer room. Aha, I thought. I'll shut the door and leave them both in there and it will be survival of the fittest.
An hour later I came back and slowly opened the door. There was Sweet Pea in the middle of the floor in the sun licking herself. And the mouse was under this very computer desk.
"Get the MOUSE! GET IT!!" I yelled at Sweet Pea. And I got no satisfaction. She wanted OUT OF THE COMPUTER ROOM, and wanted nothing to do with the mouse. Just yowled at me and headed for the door.
I resolved to remove this creature myself. It didn't look so frightening up close. Eventually I was able to get it into a tupperware and close the lid.
The crisis was over. With no help from the great hunter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Eight Years Since September 11th Attacks

Funny how the terror alert levels haven't gone up since Bush left office. Not that anyone paid any attention to them while he was there. Right after September 11th everyone was a bit on edge most of the time anyway. Orange alert or not. Now I think we have settled into a routine again. Too occupied with the affects of a bad economy and our own personal troubles-- not to mention the death of Michael Jackson and the breakup of Jon and Kate. Whew. So much to handle.

My point in all this is, yeah, we remember what happened on September 11th, but we have moved on. The families who had personal connections to the deaths that day will always have it rough, but the rest of us? It's almost lip service now that eight years has passed. The urgency of putting up memorials and has become not all that urgent. Squabbles over how much to spend and what to build became eight years of nothing significant done.

And what's to say about the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis who are dead now because of the actions this country took in the aftermath of the plane crashes? Let's remember their families, too. And hope that in the coming years keeping the peace will prevail over going to war.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kinky is Running for Governor, Again

The Sunday Morning Muse, Sept 6, 2009

Labor Day weekend. Fall is here no matter when it starts on the calendar. That means it is time to come up with some kind of fall wardrobe. In my case fall is actually a hybrid of my winter and summer clothes. (Although I do ditch the white shoes after Labor Day and most shorts above the knee.)

I read an article at Yahoo about a woman who wore the same black dress for a whole year. That's EVERYDAY. But she accessorized it differently to make it casual, formal, everyday...etc.

If you peek at the story, you see she is a young, tiny little wisp of thing with a funky look. If I wore even one of those styles... wild colored pantyhose or bright blue shoes or some vintage hat, I'd get laughed out of work, so the best I could come away with was perhaps I could pull out some of the colorful scarves that don't see the light of day that often, and raid my jewelry box a bit more to be creative.

So today I'm raiding the closet for items to use as accessories to my normal bland stuff. Not pairing it with a black dress everyday, but using things I don't normally wear to brighten up the darks and neutrals I get so sick of. It can't hurt to try. It's all about being frugal and being creative at the same time.

One last thought: Wasn't last year the year that Brown was the new Black? Or was that two years ago? Does anyone really care?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why I am Not a Republican, Part 458.

Ronald Reagan: “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” [1961]

George H.W. Bush: Described Medicare in 1964 as “socialized medicine.” [1964]
Barry Goldwater: “Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.”
Bob Dole: In 1996, while running for the Presidency, Dole openly bragged that he was one of 12 House members who voted against creating Medicare in 1965. “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare . . . because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965.” [1965]


Sunday, August 30, 2009

So Impressed with Vicki Kennedy

I watched practically the whole funeral of Ted Kennedy, and also the brief remarks afterward at the Capitol. I just have to say what a class act Vicki Kennedy was. Despite the most stressful and saddest of circumstances...all in public view, she held up wonderfully. I don't know how she did it.
Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s speech, which is available on quite a few sites if you missed it, was also a big highlight for me. This family has been through so much. My thoughts are with them.

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 30, 2009

I was sitting in a restaurant looking out the window when a church van went past. It said Holy Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Quite a long name for a church. Took two lines on the van, an I'm not sure if I missed a word or two because it went by so fast.

I can't judge a church by it's name. Because the names are meaningless to me. I haven't taken a serious study of what Presbyterians believe versus Evangelicals, let alone Evangelical-Presbyterians. I don't know the difference between the Baptists and the Methodists. The Catholics change what they do so often it's hard to recognize the Catholics now-- as opposed to the old Latin masses of not so long ago, but I had a grasp on their views at one time.

The point in this muse, if there is one, is that I don't know of anyone else who knows the differences either. Oh, there may be a scholar out there, someone who put their own religious views in perspective by actively learning about other religions in a scholarly setting. And perhaps coming to terms with what they believe in that way. But it would be a lifetime task if you include the other religions, too, not just the Christian ones. I picture this silly graph with basic beliefs... and some perspective congregation member ticking off blocks...(mumbling) Yeah I believe this, no-- I don't believe that. This sounds good, this sounds hard to imagine, etc. Until... at the bottom, eureka! The person discovers they are a Presbyterian with methodist leaning tendencies, who likes Jewish customs, but can't give up pork.

Silly I know.

I read somewhere that most people just stick with what their parents taught them. Whatever family they were born into.... luck of the draw really, in terms of what they believe. When you think of it that way, it seems somewhat haphazard. I would think if your religion mattered that much to you, the fate of your very soul, that one would examine the options out there carefully to ensure the best possible outcome. This muse is probably to some extent an extension of when I was a kid and used to feel sorry for people in faraway places who didn't hear about Catholic teachings and would certainly not go to Heaven. We were taught the Catholic religion was the one true religion. Where would they go? I asked.

The point then was to just get The Word out somehow.... and one way was to raise money for the pagan babies. I never gave my change to the pagan babies but this is something the Catholic kids were told to do, fill up these little books with money, in order to name a pagan baby. (The money went to mission work, or perhaps a new Gargoyle for the Vatican, I was never sure.)

I don't fear the Pagans anymore. No one should. Many of the actual customs like the celebration of Easter and Christmas were actually copied from them. But they didn't teach that in Sunday School.

It pays to shop around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Dies

Here's Sen.Kennedy speaking about trying to get healthcare reformed passed during his career. So sad that he didn't live to see it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's About Time

Finally an elected official doesn't cower to these idiots.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 16, 2009

The old people are the ones getting screwed. And the campaign by the insurance companies which sponsor these so called astroturf groups (ready made mobs, in my opinion) and fire up the extremists is pulling the country's attention away from solving REAL PROBLEMS.

It's a sad commentary on our society when our most vulnerable people... The Greatest Generation, get their money taken by insurance companies who make assurances they will be taken care of, and then when they need care, they can't get it. Right here in the U S of A.

This is what these Town Hall meetings should be about. How to fix it that our parents and grandparents aren't falling for Medicare HMO scams, or being denied coverage by INSURANCE COMPANIES who are in this for money... for their stockholders.

Think this is a partisan thing? Left versus right... us versus them? Get your kicks in now. You will be old someday. I hope you have money. Or a good job. And that your health stays good enough so that you can KEEP YOUR JOB. You will need it. A lot of If's in this world. It would be nice to know the elderly are taken care of. Medicare went a long way toward this. And Republicans faught that too.

Wanna play games like Sarah Palin, and the GOP party leaders, and the right wing talk show hate mongers instead? Lie to people. Call Obama a racist, question his birth, accuse him of putting death panels into health care plans to kill old people? Sure it makes for good TV.

But you will be old someday. By then your heart may not be so good. Pre-existing condition? Forgetttabout it. No health care for you! No money to pay? Sell your house. Sell your kid's house. No... they'll need to keep that, because you will have to move in with them because you can't afford the hospital co pay, or nursing home anyway.

I am ranting lately about healthcare, not because I have a problem. I am fortunate. I have a plan through my job. But I have seen neighbors and friends truly suffer.... physically, financially, and
emotionally because they either couldn't get insurance at all, or they got scammed into one of those Medicare HMO's who promise cheap premiums and great service...and basically deny you care when you really need it. Telling you what doctor to go to, which hospital you can stay in, and make rules that are so obscure and impossible to comprehend, that it boggles the mind. And it all looks reasonable when they sell it to you, but when you NEED your health care, you have to jump through several hoops to even TALK to someone from the insurance company let alone resolve your problem. Time and time again this happens. People are going bankrupt over health care bills. People are not getting the medication they need.

But you will be old someday. You'll care then. And remember when we had a chance to do the right thing and how it got ugly. How people turned against each other rather than worked together.
Isn't it better that we start NOW and try to fix this broken system? Or are you willing to roll the dice and bet that you will never be denied a liver transplant, or your family will never be dropped from coverage because you lost your job and can't afford Cobra insurance?

Forget the imaginary Death panels, people. Life without health insurance is far more scary.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 9, 2009

Musing about a lot of things this morning. I saw some footage from Woodstock on TV since it is the 40 year anniversary. Everyone looked so young and dirty. And happy.
And stoned.

Nice to see Levon Helm still around and singing. He'll perform at the anniversary concert. Always loved The Band. Levon had his setbacks, and yet continues on... even has a new CD out.

Janis Joplin performed at Woodstock. Hard to imagine Janis in her mid 60s now, had she lived. Would she still be performing? Would she have worn a wig or grown long gray hair? Who knows. Aging tattoos on wrinkly skin is never a pretty thing, either. But Janis was never about "pretty." It was about the voice. Her soul.

I was at Walmart this morning. Lots of cheaply made Peace shirts, or ones with butterflies and little slogans on them. Little wispy 1960's type shirts, and embroidered-look jeans on the racks. Marketing Peace? Retro trends?

I can remember actually embroidering my own jeans. A Peace sign one pocket and a heart on the other. And I had a picture of Donovan and got this gooey Tee-shirt maker "transfer" medium to make my own shirt. He was backwards on it but it didn't matter. You could still recognize him. I loved it.
My friend Anthony gave me the Tee Shirt above. I never wore it, because I was afraid to wash it.
The past has a way of washing away.

You can't repeat the past. Recapture the magic.
You have to create your own.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I love Bill Clinton Edition

Isn't he just amazing? I am in awe of this whole thing with him flying to North Korea and coming home with those two women who have been kept there since March...sentenced to 12 years hard labor under that horribly repressive regime. YOU DID IT BILL!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Scaring Grandma Tactics are Evil

I watched this interview, and if you watch it too, pay attention to the body language
of the right wing talkshow host. The inappropriate smiling is always a clue. Like a seedy car salesman, twisting words and making up shit to scare you. Meanwhile, the Congressman expresses very appropriate emotions. He is clearly exasperated (aren't we all) with these wing nuts scaring people and saying things that have no basis in reality. (government encouraged euthanasia my ass! Representative Boner should be thrown out of the House for that remark. I think the AARP should picket his house and flood him with letters for scaring them, needlessly. I'm glad he is not in my party. Imbecile.

For the record, I don't have a living will yet, but when Dad was dying of cancer, he BEGGED us to get him one. He didn't want to linger, suffering, while people stuck tubes in him, when he had no quality of life. This is what we are talking about. And NO, the elderly can't just surf the net and fill one out, like this idiot talk show hosts claims people should do. They need to talk with THEIR DOCTOR and make decisions when they are able to comprehend their own condition, and determine for themselves what they want to do. And THAT IS WHAT THIS BILL DOES.

Sheesh. I can't stand it anymore. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Don't get your news from these flaming idiot talk show hosts. And pay no attention to the Boners and Virginia Foxx's who are doing their country a BIG disservice by their outright lies. Scaring seniors is wrong.

UPDATE: If you hear this crazy rumor about Page 425 of the Health care bill mandating counseling every 5 years to end your suffering... don't believe it.
Check it out at Snopes.

Put Up or Shut Up

Amen. Republicans were against Medicare 44 years ago. Hindsight is 20/20. I hope
it's there when I need it. And I hope that the 47 million people who do not have health care in this country and the countless people who are under-insured finally get covered. The Republicans, and some Democrats are so far in bed with the insurance industry that they fail to represent the people who elected them. They play smoke and mirrors and throw around "key" words and scare people. No, we are not "rationing" health care. No, bureaucrats are not coming between you and your doctor. But you know who *is* between you and your Doctor right now? Wall Street. The insurance companies are profit driven. They answer to Wall Street. Not you. It is in their best interest NOT to pay your claim.

We need CHANGE. Now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Having A Beer

From the minute I heard the President say he hoped they could sit down for a beer together and talk, I knew this was a good idea.
Now, let's put this issue to bed and get back to fixing health care.

I guess it would be too much to ask to here responsible reporting on the subject instead of Republican fear mongering and "Scare Granny" tactics. My aunt called in a panic asking if old people would be denied coverage and left to die. Of course she watches a lot of Faux News. It's sad.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 25, 2009

The more beautiful a politician's hair...the more likely they are to be full of crap.

I wish I had thought of that. Plenty of examples out there but one really stands out. Sarah Palin? Yeah, but that's a "given." Sometimes I think this country is just doomed. So many millions of people without health care coverage...and politicians play politics instead of solving the problem.

Link- from Crooks and Liars--

All this talk about socialized healthcare! Michael Steele says it's socialism, although he admits he doesn't know a thing about the actual policy.

And as Rachel Maddow points out, have you ever noticed that the more beautiful a politican's hair, the more likely he is to be completely full of crap? Case in point: Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Maddow really lets him have it because Perry is talking about "seceding" from any national healthcare plan, reminding him (and us) that he's been governor for nine years. As she points out, one in four Texans lack health insurance, giving Texas the title for highest number of uninsured citizens in the entire country.

As Washington Spectator editor and political author Lou Dubose pointed out to Maddow, the Texas governorship is "a ribbon-cutting position." Good thing, because he's not too bright, is he?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Losing My Religion for Equality

Jimmy Carter makes a very important point in this piece. I have passed it along to others, and I hope everyone who has a mother, a daughter, a wife or a sister will think of them when they read about how women are oppressed in the name of religion.

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God. Here is a link to a great piece written by our former President Jimmy Carter. I enourage everyone to read this.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 19, 2009

It's time to do something about health care. Really. Now. SOMETHING. Even if it's wrong. It's obvious, people. Boomers are getting old. People are living longer. The system is cumbersome and expensive now, so what will it be like in 10 years?

People who can't afford insurance don't go to the doctor. So they don't get checkups and routine physicals, or regular mammograms and routine blood tests to screen for things... and guess what? When they do get sick... it's serious. It's a stroke, a heart attack, cancer, well, you get the picture. Now the dollars really add up.

Can't sustain this.

It's funny how the very people who are elected to make these kinds of tough policy decisions, have the best healthcare. Most probably have always HAD health insurance.

I say.. if we can spend a trillion dollars on a needless war, we can spend money to help people right here who need health care.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And That's the Way He Was

"He had a passion for human space exploration, an enthusiasm that was contagious, and the trust of his audience. He will be missed."
--Astronaut Neil Armstrong
Walter Cronkite has died at the age of 92.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, July 12, 2009

I was musing about what would happen to Michael Jackson's brain, when I thought of a science fiction story I read years ago. Robert Heinlein's The Door Into Summer. The title of the book reportedly came from his wife, who made a remark about their cat.
He had opened the door for the cat to go outside, and it would not. It had snowed the night before. He tried several other doors and the cat still would not go outside. His wife told him that the cat hated snow, and he was waiting for the "door into summer."

I don't remember much about the rest of the story, something about taking a long, cold sleep and waking up in another time. It's actually a love story, because the man loves a 12 year old girl, and somehow they end up the same age when he wakes up...but I digress.

I read where Michael Jackson's brain is hardening as we speak so that it can be studied to determine the cause of death. I do not think there are plans right now to freeze his brain, or suspend him somehow cryogenically. But it sure would make for a great novel.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Go Dennis Go

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich...setting the record straight on health care.

More from Crooks and Liars

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The World Stage-- It's All About Appearances.

Back after a wee bit of hiatus here. So much going on. Watched the news this morning and thought...could you just see Sarah Palin addressing the G-8 Summit? (Shudder to think about it....all those 'You betcha's!')

It's so great that we have a literate, intelligent President. He's just so articulate and likeable...and SMART. It is important to give a good impression on the World Stage.

I don't cringe when I see him like I did George Bush. I felt that at any moment some stupid Bushism would come out of his mouth, or he would do something off the wall like when he groped the German Chancellor.

I admit I did feel bad when his father, George H.W. Bush threw up on the Japanese Prime Minister way back when, but that just couldn't be helped. Bad Sushi.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

Something Fishy Going On in Alaska

This whole Sarah Palin press conference to announce her resignation sure smells. Folks out here in the blogosphere are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Could it be just another politician getting favors in exhange for a lucrative contract?


FURTHER UPDATE: Okay, I've now been able to get independent information from multiple sources that all of this precedes what are said to be possible federal indictments against Palin, concerning an embezzlement scandal related to the building of Palin's house and the Wasilla Sports Complex, built during her tenure as Mayor. Both structures, it is said, feature the "same windows, same wood, same products." Federal investigators have been looking into this for some time, and indictments could be imminent, according to the Alaska sources.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Luv Gove Continues to Speak Out

Some are calling him the Luv Gov now. His story is at times painful to watch. No one wins in this three way drama. Others are gaining just a tad bit of pity for the man, whose taste of Latin Love is not just a passing fling, but a woman he described as his soul mate. Is it mid life crisis?

Link to LA Times:

So what's left to say about the Sanford saga? Call me crazy, but amid all this finger-wagging, am I detecting just a little bit of -- gasp -- empathy? Is there something about Sanford's puppyish comportment, not to mention the fact that, unlike many adulterous politicos, he seems to be truly in love with his mistress (or at least truly convinced that he is) that's making him less a pariah and more a symbol of the male midlife crisis?

For all his duplicity and entitlement, are some Americans -- particularly men -- feeling as much pity as outrage? Consider this small sample:"This is a story of loneliness," New York Times columnist David Brooks said on "Meet The Press" Sunday. "[These guys] get to middle age, and they realize there's some emotional vacuum in their lives.

"It "was about something much deeper than politics," wrote Gary Kamiya in Salon. "It was awful, but it was real. And painful as it is, in the repressed American sexual landscape, reality is better than artifice."

And then there was my dad, who told me the day of the Sanford news conference something to the effect that "you have no idea how easy it is for men to completely lose their minds because of infatuation with women."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, June 28, 2009

What a week. I didn't think in this age of 24 hour news that 23 and a half of it could be Michael Jackson, but that is about what it has come to. North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and health care will all have to wait. Even that love lorn Governor Sanford got blown out of the blaring lime light, though he is certainly not forgotten. His whole affair has the makings of a LIFETIME movie for sure. I want Richard Gere to play the part of the Governor, preoccupied by Latin Love.

What I've gotten out of all this is that I never want to be famous. Seriously. I don't want people who adore me following me around. I don't want so much money that I go nuts and end up blowing it all. As much as reality bites at times, it's nice to be somewhat grounded and normal. The word Peaceful comes to mind. I think a lot of us take privacy, normalcy and just ordinary life for granted. I know Farrah would've agreed with me. Her suffering was compounded by the tabloids and that incessant quest to exploit her, just because they could. There was no humanity, no civility, no respect.

May Michael and Farrah both rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, Sunday June 21, 2009

The peaceful muse of my garden is overshadowed with worry today. Perhaps it's because there has been so much rain this week. I need the sun.

Random thoughts:

I'm glad we have a President who isn't shooting his mouth off about the situation in Iran right now with the disputed election. I heard John McCain blabbering about how we need to set an example, how we have moral obligations...blah blah blah. Meddling and posturing right now is the WORST thing the US could do. Let them sort it out. It's their country. They didn't meddle here when the election was stolen from Al Gore.


I'm glad that my mom has medicare. I wish more people could have health care. I hope that the GOP party of NO won't prevent us from moving forward. We won the election. Get out of the way. Obviously their party couldn't get the job done. And millions of people suffer everyday.


I wish we could put more money in the space program. I always wish that. I am a pioneer at heart. But some of it is just selfish. I want to live long enough to see great strides in space exploration. If we keep shutting off money, and I keep getting older, I'll miss it.


Finally, I'm sad my dad is not alive to eat Sunday dinner on Father's Day. Call your dad if he is alive. Take him golfing, or bowling, or help him stake the tomato plants. Ask him questions. Listen to his answers. That is what I would like to do more than anything today. And I can't.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Roger Miller Said...

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller


I wonder if anyone has ever drowned playing in the US Open. What a miserable weekend for golf.

The Weeds are Winning- The Ditty Bops

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bill Maher Said. . .

"What we need to do is to marry the good ideas that Barack Obama has with a little bit of that Bush attitude and certitude. I'd love it if Obama came out one day and said 'Jesus told me to fix health care.' "


-Bill Maher

Monday, June 15, 2009

The "Outrage" is a Bit Late

Great story at Huffpo by Shannyn Moore about the whole Palin-Letterman thing.... a top ten list of sorts. Funny how other jokes just happened to fly under the radar...and David Letterman gets the wrath of the Moose woman.

Here's number nine:

9) Days after the announcement of Bristol's pregnancy, Conan O'Brien joked, "It's true, John McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. Palin said, 'We should never have introduced her to John Edwards.'" Where was the outrage? Was Conan promoting infidelity with an underage girl?

More from same story:

All across America, right wing radio and television talk show hosts feigned outrage in perfect synchronicity. The same people who back up Palin's high drama assertions against Letterman ignored the connections between Bill O'Reilly's irresponsible incitement and the murder of Dr. George Tiller. David Letterman, a late night entertainer, apologized. Fox New's Bill O'Reilly has not.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, June 14, 2009

It's Sunday morning, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and in the distance I hear church bells. Another spring morning with a slight chill in the air before it warms up to the mid 70's. Perfect. Summer is coming soon, but there is something about spring that makes you want it to last just a bit longer before the heat and humidity take over and the air-conditioning unit comes back out of the garage.

Last evening some rain came through and then the sun came back out and there was the most brilliant rainbow I have ever seen making a huge arc of colors over my hometown. I wish I had my camera close by because it was just so pretty. I was looking out over the river valley and I could see it start on one wide of the steep hill... go over a bridge and then land right in the middle of a football stadium where there was a crowd of people.

Funny how people who are at a rainbow's end don't know it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Rant

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."
-- Sen. John McCain, speaking to a Republican dinner, June 1998.
I haven't ranted about anything in awhile, but today I'm really peeved. With all the real news of the world to report in a very short period of time during the evening news, to a seriously uneducated public, the second news story of the night...(right after the lead story which was about the Iranian elections), was that stupid nitwit Sarah Palin whining about David Letterman. Five minutes of this totally unnecessary and completely moronic exchange between a comedian and this dizzy broad.
This...when gas prices are soaring again for no reason, our government is debating an overhaul of our health care system, we have two wars going on, North Korea is driving us nuts, and there are countless other REAL stories that deserve time and attention, and the public is spoonfed this nonsense.
Why not lead the news with that idiotic beauty queen that Donald Trump fired? That would make as much sense. (No fear, she'll end up on Fox News as an anchor. She's blonde and looks nice in a dress with her fake boobs. That is all the qualifications needed there. Oh...and she is anti-gay. Perfect.)
Only in America would the third story on the newscast be just as silly. George Bush, the 85 year old former President, skydiving. (To be fair, it is a good story...but it should be at the END of the newscast as a feature.)
Back to the the Faux Outrage over David Letterman. GET OVER IT you dizzy broad. It was a JOKE. He is not advocating sex with children. What is worse, in my opinion, is your complete overreaction and eagerness to use this situation to grab the spotlight in anyway you can and blow it all out of proportion just to force your way back into the media. It makes you look desperate. If your kids are off base to jokes, get them off the cover of People Magazine, take Bristol off the talk shows, leave the baby at home, buy Bristol some condoms and go back to Wasilla.
The Village called. Their idiot is missing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thinking of John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people....
Living for today.


Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, June 7, 2009

Musing about a lot of things this week. David Carradine in a closet hanging by a rope in Thailand. Dead. Suicide? Accidental death? Homicide? His body is on it's way back to the States last I heard, and a forensic pathologist will attempt to find answers to the mystery surrounding his death.

A lot can be learned nowadays from scientific evidence. You see it dramatized so often on TV Crime shows, that it seems almost commonplace. The last moments of someone's life no longer left to speculation, but pieced together with tiny shreds of evidence, and blobs of DNA that tell their story to those who know how to investigate them.

I remember my dad watching Kung Fu on TV in the early 70's. I was just a kid, and I don't remember too much, but I do remember that the show was just so different from the Sitcoms and other dramas that were on at the time. They were...lessons.

Yeah, I know that actors play parts. He wasn't Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin Monk. David Carradine, according to Wikipedia, had "Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, German, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian and Cherokee ancestry."
But to me he'll always be Kung Fu.


Part of the appeal of the series was undoubtedly the emphasis laid, via the flashbacks, on the mental and spiritual power that Caine had gained from his rigorous training. In these flashbacks, Master Po calls his young student "Grasshopper" in reference to a scene in the pilot episode:

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Caine: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

Better Bowers Explains Marriage

I can't really add anything to this.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Skinny Bones

Pushkin Said. . .

"The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten-thousand truths.”
Aleksandr Pushkin, born on June 6, 1799, died Feb 10, 1837

Hurdy Gurdy Man

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Expensive Vacations

Bush's 77 vacation trips to Crawford? $226,072 per trip.
Written in response to right wingnuts criticizing President Obama for a date night in New York with his wife. It is sad what extremes they to go to criticize this man, and overlook the failed 8 years of policies that have brought us all to this point.
I don't even know why I let it bother me. The fanatics on the right are becoming irrelevant so quickly. Still, it's like trying to silence a barking dog. A fruitless task, but the noise gets to you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Remembering Murphy Brown's Controversy

Reading the Entertainment listings for TV shows in production for the coming season I couldn't help but cringe at some of the lame ideas out there. How about this one? 16 & Pregnant. I'll pass on that one. Let's exploit children and call it entertainment.

Remember the Dan Quayle-Murphy Brown flare up back in the early 1990's? TV was pretty tame back then. Seems almost stupid now that this got so much attention:


In the show's 1991–1992 season, Murphy became pregnant, but chose not to marry her baby's father. This story line made the show a subject of political controversy during the 1992 American presidential campaign. On May 19, 1992, then Vice President Dan Quayle spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. During his speech, he criticized the Murphy Brown character for ignoring the importance of fathers and birthing a child alone.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Too Much Empathy...for Heaven's Sake

The Sunday Morning Muse, May 31, 2009

If conservatives like Newt Gingrich are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, why not wage an all out effort to outlaw divorce? It would seem only natural as marriage is supposed to mean love and commitment and death do us part, and , oh yes, ... Family Values.

But marriage is different things to different people. And if you are Newt it means stay with one woman until a healthier or younger one comes along you like better.

Newt loves marriage so much he said " I Do" three times. His latest wife, is the Congressional aide, 20 years younger, whom he had an affair with for six years while he was with his second wife.

The whole "for better or for worse" thing in the marriage ceremony fell on deaf ears as it was well reported that Newt dumped his first wife after she got cancer, and promptly got married to someone else six months later.

The latest twist is he has suddenly become a Catholic. I wonder if he had to attend those required "marriage classes" they make you take. It would have been good for laughs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. -Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

Groundhog Dilemma 2009

People who aren't from around here really don't understand the level of frustration that can be attained when a groundhog spoils your weekend plans. Watching Caddyshack comes close.

The varmint lives under my planter... a 12 by 8 foot planter that juts out the side of hill. I want to plant flowers this weekend, but it's useless since they will be eaten, if I don't rid the place of this latest unwelcome guest. Last year's occupants caused me great distress and eventually five of them met their fate by violent means after all peaceful solutions were exhausted.

I'm way beyond cat litter in the hole now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

A lot of great cameo appearances in here. And you gotta love Willie's hair.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, May 24, 2009

It's Memorial Day Weekend. I'm not traveling far, so gas prices aren't a big deal to me right now. The sign said $2.39. Oh, oh, it's creeping up again.

In the most outrageous bit of irony, when demand was up...gas prices went up, but now...demand is down, and prices are still going up. And of course everyone knows by now that when we were paying 4 bucks for a gallon last year, the gas companies made record profits. Not just for their industry, mind you. But in the history of keeping track of profits of any industry.

Makes you never wanna elect an oil man from Texas to office again. But I digress.

Moving onward, it only makes sense that we have to find other ways to get energy that is renewable and cleaner to make our automobiles run and get us where we need to go. Seems like we lost the last 8 years, and we are trying to make up time. It was nice to see the automakers jump on board with increasing fuel efficiency, but so much more needs done.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunny Days

This song just brings me back to my youth--in the sun with baby oil all over me with no worries. I remember my dad took me to the store and I got to pick three 45 rpm
records...for a dollar. And I picked this one. I can't remember the other two.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It was a Great Speech at Notre Dame

He hit it out of the park.
I am so glad we have such a great President. I knew he wouldn't let me down. His speech showed respect, intellect, humor, humility, appreciation, and graciousness. I would wager that it is one of the best speeches that place has ever heard. (Surely better than George Bush's in 2001, which amounted to little more than a pandering, self serving advertisement for his Faith Based programs.)

As for the people who booed at the very beginning or boycotted or showed any other kind of disrespect.... well it says more about what kind of a person YOU are than him.

Way to go President Obama! You rose way above the occasion. Loved the part about the Golden Rule. Simple, yet effective. Even a Pope could understand it...

The Sunday Morning Muse, May 17, 2009

So today is the big speech at Notre Dame. I started feeling sorry for President Obama today as I gave the matter some thought. The TV was on and I could see these absolutely hateful people marching around with their "baby killer" placards, and other talking heads inciting anger and spewing nonsense and of course the endless Fox News coverage.... and it occurred to me that the President is in a no win situation.

He was ASKED to be there. Like several other former Presidents before him. What was he supposed to do? Turn them down? Now he's stuck. I have a feeling he will give an awesome speech. And the so called religious Catholics who are opposing him would do well to listen to him speak. Show a bit of tolerance.

I'm so tired of the drama. People playing for the cameras. It scares me when the right wingers inflame the zealots over guns, god, gays, and in this case abortion. Because there are some real nutcases out there that take things to the extreme. You will never have intelligent discourse with people on a religious mission. Don't we know this all too well?

If I were him I'd tell these graduates to use their education to make the world a better place. Build bridges, help others, reach out to people, find our common ideals. Work together, strive to be a peacemaker. If religion has done anything bad, I'd say the obvious is how it separates us.

So, President Obama, Good luck out there. Stay Safe.
And keep abortion legal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Favorite Apple

This is a subject of which I never gave much thought. But some people do. I can remember a guy I worked for 15 years ago who told me his favorite apple is Granny Smith. I can't remember his name as quickly as I associate him with that apple. Strange.

Some people like certain apples to cook with, or make pies or tarts with, but I don't do any of those things so it comes down to an apple I really just like to eat.

As of today, my favorite apple is called Empire. It's a cross between Macintosh and Red Delicious. I am not a big apple eater, and by virtue of the fact I ate three of them in the past few days...this apple is special. Last year I went through a Honey Crisp phase, but it seems the word is out and this apple sells pretty fast and is only available a short time each year.

Empire is not too small, and not too big. It's crisp... but not juicy or messy. It cuts well. You can chew the skin without feeling that you have to spit it out.

I have to get more.

Farrah's Story

As I watched Farrah's Story, it was hard to hold back the tears. I admire her strength and courage in fighting her cancer, and appreciate what it took to share the intimate details of her battles. My father died 11 years ago, almost to the day, from his own war with cancer. Three years of his life was spent on that horrible roller coaster of ups and downs with tests results, good days and bad days, mental highs and lows...

If you haven't had a loved one go through this, Farrah's Story is reality at it's worst. No sugar coating. You see the pain, the nausea, the ugliness of this horrible disease, like you are right there with her. It brought back memories for me of the first time I had to wheel my dad into a hospital in a wheel chair. It is a strange feeling. My dad, the strong carpenter, the guy who could fix anything, could not fix this. He did everything he was told to do--surgery, radiation, chemo, then even more chemo. And in this unfair world, despite all of the efforts, all of the hope, all of the advancements in medicine so far, nothing could be done.

Just a day after he died, an envelope arrived in the mail. It was from Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I'm sure you have seen their television commercials with testimonials from cancer survivors who contacted them after all else failed and got results. Dad never told anyone he wrote to them for information. I felt pleased that he never really gave up, even in those last, very difficult days.

Farrah is still alive. They say she is sedated, but it was hoped she would be lucid enough to see the Television show last night. She should be proud of her work. I wish her peace.

Friday, May 15, 2009

One Semester Of Spanish Love Song

I'm posting this again. Just because I want to. He makes me laugh.


Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
-A Zen Saying.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hey Good Lookin

Hank Williams died enroute to Canton, Ohio for a gig in the back of a baby blue Cadillac in the dead of winter somewhere around West Virginia. Might even have been Tennessee. Hard to say exactly where. It was January 1st, 1953.

Someone at work wondered if it were true, having heard the story time and again in West Virginia. The story goes that a patrolman stopped the car and noticed that Hank appeared, well, a bit stiff. Only Hank knows for sure where he died, and he ain't tellin'. I first heard the story recounted in one of Kinky Friedman's books. Being Kinky, it was hard to separate the facts from the fiction, as he takes more than his share of literary license. But the gist of it is true, I'll give him that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tagore Said. . .

"Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance. "


May 7, 1861 to August 7, 1913 - Rabindranath Tagore. He was a Nobel prize-winner for literature in 1913. Hindu poet, mystic, and musical composer.

Leonard Cohen's Suzanne

For Dharma Bum, my good friend, who appreciates Beauty. And to Suzanne, who is beautiful.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, May 3, 2009

The Kentucky Derby came and went. The most exciting two minutes in sports. This year when all eyes were on the "favorites" a cowboy riding a 50 -1 longshot found his opening and beat them all. My money went to the favorites this year... along with a few odd picks based on everything from college dorm room numbers to favorite names. Funny, I went to the OTB with 62 dollars in bets (collecting neighbor's bets as well) and NOT ONE TICKET out of the bunch had that longshot #8. Not even in a trifecta pick, let alone a Superfecta.

The Superfecta (4 horses) paid a half million dollars. Holy Horse Puckey! I wonder how many tickets were sold? A half a million dollars is a life changing number for me. I know that seems like chump change in this age of billionaire bonuses and massive bailouts. But imagine if yesterday I had picked those four numbers handed over my 2 bucks and... wow.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Touch of Sweetness for You-- Memories

Someone has unearthed video of Susan Boyle... at age 22, singing. I watched her young face, and was overcome with a sweet sadness over it. A sense of missed opportunity, mixed with a knowing that this young lady would eventually wow them all, but it would come much another, very different time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Gotta love this picture of Arlen in the court!
I found it at MacYapper... great blog post today there about Arlen's vote on President Clinton's impeachment:
And who can forget his classic vote AGAINST the evil nutbag impeachment (which, BTW, is merely an indictment, and he was NOT convicted by the Senate, hence, NOT GUILTY!).He quoted Scottish law and said "not proven." Billy the Election Thief Rehnquist rolled his eyes, and recorded it as a big fat NO vote!Why Arlen was quoting Scottish law remains a mystery. But the GOP crazies can blow on his bagpipe today, baby!He's quirky, he's smirky, and yes he's kind of jerky!He sometime is a turkey. But that's what makes Arlen, Arlen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome Arlen! Way to go!

"When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing."


"Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania."


"I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary," said Specter in a statement. "I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election."


"Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, April 26, 2009

The list of things I do not want to write about is rather long today. I am bored to tears with the topic of torture. This nation used to do it, now we are not. Turn the page.

As for guns, well, what a wonderful country we would have if every man, woman and child owned an AK 47. Just bliss. Personally I have no use for one and I can't fathom needing it anytime soon. If things get that bad, I'd just as soon not be here.

I don't want to ramble on about the first 100 days about the Obama presidency. The bottom line is I'm happy with him, and he deserves a chance. If you want him to fail, listen to Rush or Hannity or Faux News. I'm sure the happy readers of Fox Nation... Fox's online family of like minded people will be picking apart every blessed thing the man does. If you want to wallow
in all that negativity, be my guest.

As for Climate Change... How much evidence do you need? How may parts of particle pollution do we have to breathe? I don't feel like writing about that either. The last person I would trust on the Subject is Newt Gingrich. He is well financed by the oil people. And he wants to be president. Yeah, as if that can happen. He's the guy who LEAD THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST BILL CLINTON...WHILE HE WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH HIS CONGRESSIONAL AIDE.

One thing I do want to write about! There is a rumor that Kinky Friedman may take another stab at running for Governor of Texas. This time he would go the traditional route instead of as an independent. Texas hasn't elected an independent since Sam Houston... over 100 years ago.
Perhaps Kinky can make it as a Democrat!
Welcome to the Party!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jon Stewart Said...

"Do you really have to waterboard somebody 183 times? Doesn't the efficacy go down? I assume after 90 waterboardings, the guy's thinking: 'You're not really drowning me.' "

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The First Hundred Days is Coming Up and...

WASHINGTON (AP) - For the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, a sign that Barack Obama has used the first 100 days of his presidency to lift the public's mood and inspire hopes for a brighter future.