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.