Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do Fish Get Bored?

I have read that watching fish in an aquarium can lower blood pressure. Maybe it is so. But I also have to wonder about those little guys. What do they think as they swim around and around, back and forth. Do they communicate with each other? I know they all seem to fight for a spot at the top when it is feeding time. They seem to enjoy chasing each other around. The mollies like to chase each other around. The zebras and tetras like to swim around together. The red tipped shark likes to hide in the cubby holes of the rock. Then there is the fish that likes to clean the glass and rocks. What a job. Who caught all those fish? After watching them race around, up and down and across, I wonder. What do they do for fun? I would think it would get boring quickly. Just imagine going around and around all day getting nothing done. Sounds like some jobs I have had. Seems a little boring to me. But then again I am not a fish.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Thoughts

I hope everyone had a happy and merry Christmas. Anyone swimming in wrapping paper? I noticed this year that one of the local tv stations did a story warning people about putting the trash out so that the robbers could see who got what. Jeez, think I said that last year. So now I noticed that some of my neighbors have heeded the advice of the news reporters. They put the trash in black plastic bags so it was not as obvious what gifts they got. Well at least it is a little better. I have not taken Daisy for a walk this morning yet because it is raining. Then again the trash came today so the big boxes and bags did not have to stay out long.

We splurged this year and got a (another) tree this year. We did not even put one up last year cause all our decorations are in storage. So this year we found a 6 ft. prelit-multi-colored tree on sale for $25. Yeah, right in our price range! It actually fit in our tiny living room. Of course Jimmy had to climb over a lot of stuff to get to the ornament container which had fallen down in the storage building. To my great surprise, only two ornaments were broken. Too bad one was a favorite of mine. Oh well.

We also decided not to get any gifts this year. Since Jimmy has been wanting an aquarium for a long time we found a little ten gallon one on sale the same day we found a tree. He still wants to get a bigger one like we used to have some day. Right now we just don't have the room. We said that this would be our present. Then we had to get some fish. Fish have gotten a lot more expensive since the last time we had an aquarium! Fish that used to be less than a dollar are at least three or four dollars now. So now we have some neon tetras, mollys, and zebra fish. Back and forth they go. Wonder what they think while swiming around an aquarium?

Well at least we didn't have to worry about all the trashed wrapping paper and boxes. Since the company decided to take off Christmas Eve also, Jimmy had some extra time off. Then he wondered where time went. It takes a lot to time to find just the right fish, I guess. Then he had to play endless hours of poker with his buddies. One evening he actually played all night. 5:am he came to bed. Didn't get much rest that day. He really was enjoying the game, I guess, right? Later in the day I just could not resist the urge to show him the clock on the computer.It does tell time!

Then I just had to make fudge. It is not really Christmas without some fudge. We both love it. When the kids were home we never got much because they got to it first! Now, I found myself thinking about how long I had to stand there waiting for the mix to boil! I don't remember it taking that long.

At least we had a nice quiet holiday. New Year's will not be so quiet cause Annie and Jason will be here with the boys. And Amanda will probably join in and hang out with them. Oh well. Now where can I go to hide from all the noise? Oh yeah, I need to stock up on the vodka! Happy holidays, right? Valentine's is right around the corner. At least WalMart already has the stuff out! Can I hibernate now?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Which Fragrance Will You Buy?

Ah yes, it is one week until Christmas. People are feverishly looking for gifts. Commercials tell us what to buy and where to get it. They are all trying to catch our attention. I was thinking of different gifts that I have gotten or given over the years. One of the traditional gifts has always been fragrances. It was something that could be give to just about anyone. Parents liked them. Kids did too. Over the years it has become a big business.

Women now have so many fragrances from which to choose. Once we thought we were special when we got Channel #5. Men were given Old Spice. Now there are almost too many to choose from to decide. Victoria Secret has several. Most high end department stores have expensive choices for both women and men. It seems like almost every designer has a line of perfumes and colognes to go along with their clothing lines. What celebrity doesn't have one these days? Somehow I don't think I will be buying any perfume from Ms. Spears. I see that Stetson is still around. I can't believe that Brut has been around since 1964. Joe Namath sold it. Of course he wore panty hose in a commercial too, but that is another story.

What does a man buy for his girl or wife? There is so much to choose from. Does he sneak into the bathroom and look at what she uses. Or does he just ask? Maybe he asks the kid what kind Mom uses. Women don't really worry about what cologne to get for the man. They buy the one they like. And of course these days there are a lot of choices.

And then I saw the commercial for just the right man. Of course he must like stock car racing. A special fragrance for the man who loves racing-Daytona 500. So what does a cologne named for a car race smell like? Motor oil and sweat? How about a little fuel behind the ears. Mix in a little smoking tire and brakes smell. Ummm, just what a manly man wants. Just tell Santa!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What Now?

Now that the Mitchell Report has blown the lid off major league baseball, what are we, the fans, to think? What about the sports writers who ultimately have to decide which player gets voted into the Hall of Fame? This has been baseball's dirty little secret for years. There have been players who flatly denied any involvement to those who smile while saying they didn't knowingly take any banned substance.

Mitchell says he thinks there should not be any punishment, Selig is not so quick to forgive. He says what ever happens should be on a case by case basis. What about the records? What about the bottom line of the teams? After all baseball means big money. Big players want big contracts. Home runs and strike outs fill ball parks. We tend to laugh at the loose purse strings of the New York Yankees every time some player signs a new contract. To get good players, an owner needs to be willing to shell out lots of money. Top players attract crowds.

The smaller fans are the ones who have been the most disappointed. How can a ten year old kid look up to a hero player now if that player may have taken the banned drugs to gain power, or strength? These kids hear the talks about "work ethic" and want to be like the players. I saw a clip of some young boys looking at the list. One commented on Roger Clemens by saying"...so much for work ethic."

What about the players who have not used these drugs. How does this make them feel? There are, for example, very good defensive players who do not have home run power. They work hard to improve their skills. Yet these players don't get the large paychecks the "stars" do.

Baseball, and sports in general, will have to think long and hard about the business of sports. And they will have to consider the health of the players. The WWE has already had tragedies because of steriods. There have been baseball players who died possibly because of drugs. Players and teams want to win, but at what cost?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow Anyone?


Just trying to get into the spirit. I don't think we'll get snow for Christmas. So I guess I will just have to look at the snow from my Dickens Village. The people are running around London.
No snow here, no room for the village. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...I will not ruin the song by singing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Message From a Mockingbird

Maybe it is just me. Are the mockingbirds really talking to me? Like most of us I have days when I am happier than others. Some days I feel absolutely depressed. I find myself walking Daisy thinking about things. The sparrows are chattering over each other like the women on "The View". All right all ready. The occasional bluejay is being bossy. Walking around the neighborhood I hear all these birds competing with each other for "air time" or talking about whatever birds so. What I have noticed is that when I feel unhappy for what ever reason, a mockingbird will be sitting in a tree near me singing. Why does the mockingbird always sound so cheerful? And how come I always see him then? It seems like when Daisy has to stop to do her business, I look up to see a mockingbird singing a cheerful little song. Why is he so stinking cheerful? Is he trying to tell me something? Maybe. I find myself listening to him. Sitting in that nearly bare tree just a few feet above me, he seems to sing just for me. I get it finally. Keep singing Mr. Mockingbird. Thanks for the message you sent from above. Ok, Daisy, let's go.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Circle Completed.

We recently received an invitation to Jimmy's nephew's college graduation. Chris is now 25, married and has a little boy. We had debated going at all. Jimmy's sister Jean did not even send Amanda a card when she graduated from high school. That really hurt Amanda's feelings. So Jimmy decided that we would do an "in your face" visit since his sister didn't make any effort for Amanda. I looked at it as more of "maybe she forgot" and let's be the "better person" attitude. We have not seen or heard from Jean for a couple of years. The family is slowly getting smaller. Other than cousins and an aunt who all live far away Jimmy and Jean are just about all that is left since their parents died a few years ago. We figured "what the heck" we'll probably never see them since it is a big place. I think the Man Upstairs had a different idea. As we walked around trying to find some seats, who do we see walking the hallway carrying a small child? Jean. She looked at Jimmy in shock. I think she was happy that we came. And just who was the small child? Her grandson who is the mirror image of his father. Looks like there may be a little payback growing here. Jean said he acts just like Chris did as a child.

After the ceremony we went to congratulate Chris. We had not seen him since before he got married. Was this the same kid? The kid dear mother tried to control his entire life. This was the child who had his life structured and planned from day one. Jean kept him on a short, tight leash. Jimmy and I used to say to each other, "Just wait till he goes away to school!" As things usually happen when he went away to school in Chicago, he discovered freedom and made some mistakes which shattered his mother's dreams for his future-as she saw it. He came home and had to start over again under the microscope of his mother. Older and wiser now he decided to take charge of his own life. He moved out and went back to school at the University of Houston-Victoria campus. Then came the girl friend (not good enough for Mom) and then the baby. Mom still has ideas of what he should do. But when I looked into his eyes I saw a different Chris-now a man. Taller with a little more weight, he knew he was not his mother's boy anymore.

Now Chris is grown up with a little "Chris" of his own. He wants to teach but he is not sure about where. He thinks he might get his Masters (Mother pushing again) but not for a while. He has a family now. According to Jean, her grandson is just like Chris in many ways. Jimmy laughed when he told her that it soon will be "payback time". Now Chris will get to see life from the other side as an official adult. Jimmy and I looked at each other with that famous Yoggi Berra line in mind. "deja vu all over again". Another circle of life.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If It's the Holiday Season, There Must be Grinchs

I have been thinking of Christmas. Who hasn't? All the commercials bombarding the airwaves with "joy". Then I thought about our decorations sleeping peacefully in the storage building. Once in a while I think about getting in among all the stuff. Maybe I could actually find something I could use here. Then I realize how much trouble it would be to try to get the stuff out. I feel a little like saying forget it.

Then I think about all the homes in our neighborhood with decorations on the lawns. Then I have to think about the rash of destruction some Grinchs have done lately. Anyone who has been to WalMart looking a decorations knows how expensive some of these out door decorations are. A large inflated snowman is over $100 dollars. So why to some idiots think it is such fun to cut holes in them or steal them? Do they need some decorations? Do they have children who would like to see them? Maybe they don't have any money. I know the feeling because decorations have become big business and big attention getters. Why do they do this? Are they just mean spirited?

I just don't understand what is so funny about slicing up these things. I remember last year seeing a news story where a home owner actually put security cameras in his front yard so he could get pictures of the Grinchs. Sure enough the pictures were broadcast on all the local channels. The dastardly evil doers were seen enjoying ripping apart the decorations. Respect of private property meant nothing to them.

Then of course I find myself thinking about punishment. What would be a good punishment for them. Jailhouse food for the holidays? Community service? Buying new decorations for the owners? I just don't know. Maybe they should be made to be human decorations? Maybe they should have to wear costumes of the season and stand still on the lawns of the homeowners. It is enough to make Santa frown.

Monday, December 03, 2007

GPS, Maps or Asking

There are a couple of interesting holiday commercials on now. I have to laugh at both of them. One shows a man driving around lost going through bad neighborhoods or around places he'd been before. Even the moose knew he was lost. Then there is the one where the woman is seen buying a GPS device at a store and then getting into the car. She then sets up the device for the man telling him it is an early present. After all we all know men don't ask directions. Then I remembered some occasions from years ago.

When I was a kid I remember being in the car with my parents on various trips. Some of these were just short little junkets, others were longer. My dear father was notorious for getting lost. It was kind of a joke between my parents. When ever we went somewhere new it seemed that he always ended up in the wrong side of town or going in circles. My mother kept asking him to stop and ask someone for directions. Nope. Eventually he always found his way out. Better later than not at all, I guess.

Then there was my ex-husband. He was the type who was "always right". He would never ask for help. He always knew where he was going. Going anywhere with him was an adventure into a black hole. Even the kids realized we were lost. Just imagine a 5 year old telling daddy, "We saw that McDonalds already, Daddy". Of course this would really set of fireworks. Just imagine.

"Daddy are we lost?" says the 8 year old.

"Of course not", snorts Daddy.

"But Daddy, we have been going in circles", one of the 5 year old twins says.

Not to be told anything by a child, he would continue on while grousing at us all. I would ask him to please stop and ask someone for directions. But of course he was never wrong and thus never lost. That would of course start the war. Soon the kids would be crying and he and I would sit silently while he tried to find his way to where we needed to go. Then the inevitable would happen. From the back seat came those dreaded words no lost parent wants to hear. "I have to go to the bathroom." It didn't matter who said it.

"Come on," I would say. "Just find a gas station and ask for directions."

"I know where I am going." he would roar.

"Mommy, I'm hungry" pleaded at least one kid every five minutes. This was in addition to the incessant reminders that bathroom breaks were needed by someone.

Finally I would see a convenience store. "Just stop here so I can take the kids to the bathroom," I would plead. Finally he relented and sat in the car pouting while I took the kids inside. Then after the kids had their breaks, We got back into the car.

"Ok, let's just go up to the next stop light" I said.

"Why" Mr Know It All said.

I retorted, "Just do it!"

We get to the stop light and I suggest he turn left. He wants to know why. I tell him to just give it a try. Crabbing all the way he makes the turn. Then what do we see at the end of the street? The place we had been trying to find for the last three hours.

"Well, here we are kids, told you I'd find it" he says as he puffs out his chest with pride.

"Thanks Mom", the kids say in unison.

"What did they mean by that", he said, none too happy with me.

"Oh, when I took the kids to the bathroom at the store, I asked for directions." I didn't say what I was really thinking. Smiling at him, I resisted the urge to be smug.

At least now, with the aid of GPS men can save their pride.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It is December 1st, Do You Know Where...

Ok, so the Grinch(me) has to move on and try to figure out the season's decorating. I know where my stuff is. Do you? Are you tree lights in a tangled mess in a box in the attic? Have you checked to make sure all those lights work? Have you bought your tree yet. Have you changed bags in the vacuum cleaner so you can pick up all those pesky little needles on the floor after you take the tree down? Where are the hangers for all those ornaments. I always think I have enough hangers and yet I still seem to end up with less than I need. Do you wax nostalgic when you look at those ornaments? I still have a few that I got when my kids were babies. I gave up using that silver tinsel years ago. For a while I used strings of beads as a garland around the tree. Once I even was patient enough to string popcorn and cranberrys together. What was I thinking. Of course I had to remember to put the ornaments the kids got or made in school. Believe me, those eagle eyed kids would scour the tree to make sure they were in plain sight.

Did you find the door wreath yet? Are you going to put lights around the outside of your house again, even though you vowed last year you would not get on that ladder again? Did you get out all the lawn decorations? Many places have neighborhood contests to see who had the best. Many people actually made and painted these themselves. Now you can buy all sorts of moves, blinks, jumps, laughs and sings. Then of course some yards get those expensive blow up snow globes, snowmen and Santas. They always look funny to me when you go by in the morning and they are flat and grumpy.

As yet we have not decided if we will put any thing up. Trying to find stuff in that storage building is about like trying to find buried treasure. I am thinking none of this stuff is going to be easy to get to and by the time we could get to it I would be Grinchlike again. Ho,Ho,Ho! I can still say that, can't I?

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Thought Went Through My Mind And Left

Ever have one of those days when you are totally blank on everything? I got up this morning at the usual 5:30 am time. Jimmy went to work and I took the dogs out. It would be nice if I could take them out together but that won't work. Lady moves at a turtle's pace while Daisy is in a hurry to see everything. And of course their personalities are polar opposite. Lady thinks any warm being she sees is intruding on her personal turf while Daisy is a party girl and expects that all will just have to be delighted to see her. Look Daisy , it is only 5:45 get it done. I need coffee.

So after Jimmy leaves and the dogs have been walked and fed, I sat down for a cup of coffee. I started thinking of what to do today. Nope, don't want to do that, takes too long, nah no energy for that. See where this is going? I started thinking about what I should write about here today. Let me see...maybe this, no wait maybe that. Then I had a brilliant idea. Then something distracted me. The brilliant idea I had left my mind.

Then I started flipping tv channels. Christmas sales and ads everywhere. A PINK Christmas tree. Boy that will wake you up! All the channels seemed to have ads or program segments about Christmas trees, decorating , cooking or gifts. Naturally I was prompted to think about our decorations. Maybe we should go to the storage building and get out some of them. Aw forget it. Too much trouble to try to get out that stuff. Last year my only homage to Christmas was a poinsettia plant. Let's face it when you move from a large 3 bedroom house with room to spare to a two bedroom townhouse elbow room is a priority. I thought about getting out one of our trees. We have five. Yes I said five. Two 7 footers, one with lights and one without. Then there are the three little table trees which I used in the extra bed rooms and one on the mantle. We decorated the whole house for years, so there is a lot of stuff. The kids and grandkids used to love the animated people we had. We had Santa sleeping and snoring in bed, one climbing a ladder, one soaking his feet as he said "oh my feet" and Santa in the tub singing "Santa in the tub, rub a dub dub". We even had him standing at a refrigerator looking for a snack. And of course we had elves working on the toys.

Then we have a Dickens Village town which took up two and a half full sheets of plywood for tables plus more added space. I always loved the "Christmas Carol" story and movies so I liked to set the town up as I thought it would appear in that time. Sadly I have no room for any of this now. Maybe that is why thoughts went through my head and left. Some where I keep hearing the song "We need a little Christmas". Ok, now that I have been thinking about all of that, I'm getting tired. Oh, hey I just thought about...never mind it's gone now. Where is the eggnog?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If You Are Reading This...

The old grey mare I mean computer still has some life. Of course I could not get it to come on at all yesterday. I even called my son to see if he could come over to help Jimmy figure it out. But he called later in the evening saying he would not be able to make it over here. However, she says keeping fingers crossed, we may have solved the problem. When Jimmy came home yesterday he took the tower apart again. It was then he noticed that the cable to the hard drive was not in tight. He re-set it and the computer worked- for a couple of minutes. So he took it apart again. The cable still was loose. So he put in a new cable and everything seems to now be working fine.

The next thing is to get the other hard drive to work and use it as a second. He had transfered all the info on the old drive just in case it crashed. The data seemed to transfer ok but when he tried to check the second drive it had some error messages about pathways and reading. Might as well be a foreign language to me. But maybe we will get it straight soon. Then we can start to clean up things.

During the absence of computer time yesterday I watched a little bit of a story on the History Channel about magnets. I am not really in to magnets but I found it interesting how magnets are used in things including computers. I remember the days of the big magnetic tapes spining around. In 1956 IBM created the magnetic disk which at the time only held small bits of data. Would you believe 20+ disks held 5MB of data? Now, Ohio State University is working on a plastic magnet which eventually would be in computers. This new type of magnet would allow a computer to boot up instantly! That really would be good. No more waiting impatiently for access to the computer. For now I am just happy my computer is now on and running. Think I'll give it a pat on the head or tower. Good computer, sit and be nice.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Well, let's see...

Excuse me while I try to quit sneaking a little turkey. I can't decide to fix some leftovers from turkey or the chili Jimmy made this weekend. Since the weather was cold and rainy, Jimmy made a bunch of chili this weekend. Most of it is now in the freezer for later, yum.

I'm a little concerned about our computer. We've been getting a lot of "disk boot failure, insert system disk..." errors. Gee when we bought this computer it did not come with a system disk. And guess who did not think about making one . Wasn't me! For some reason since it has been chilly in this house the last few days it doesn't want to come on. I've been lucky because I have turned it on and it eventually warms up to run. I don't know if being cold has anything to do with it but...

As a result, I think Jimmy is going to try to transfer a bunch of his music to another disk as a back up. I know we need to clean the tower of dust since it hasn't been cleaned in a while. The way this desk is set up the tower sits in a space that makes it hard to plug and upplug things because you can't see in the back. Of course I guess we could always move the desk, but that is really hard to do. There is not enough light under the desk to see well and it is not easy to get to the tower back.

So, all of you in the blogosphere please say prayers and light candles for our hard drive.Hopefully we will be able to get things moved over and fix the problems for at least a while. As you can tell I am not too confident. Then again, a guy who lives down the street is a "mobile geek" with his own business. I hope we won't need him. Positive thoughts! We will be able to fix things until we can get a new drive, right? Right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almost Thanksgiving

Well as I sit here sweating after vacuuming, dusting and slinging the mop around, I feel the place is ready. Not perfect, but ready. We have all the fixings. The turkey is sitting in the refrigerator defrosting. Since we are not going to be able to join the rest of the family in Waco, we will be eating here. Amanda and Pat are supposed to join us. I am looking forward, sort of, to the annual D&C of the turkey. Can you tell I used to work around a lot of gynocologists? Oh yeah, I so enjoy digging into that turkey to get the giblets and neck out. How did I get elected to do this every year? Easy, I have the smallest hands. Funny we never seem to use the giblets or neck. We tried it once-too much trouble. I will leave the stuffing to Jimmy. He likes to make that. Of course I always seem to be the one who has to chop the onions and celery and what ever else needs to be chopped. The only thing we wish we had this year is a smoker. We have had that in past years and like it best. But not this year because we don't have the room to do it.

As I said I am sweating and the AC is running. We are supposed to hit possibly near record temperatures today. We will see. I can say right now it is very humid and cloudy right now. Watching the weather forcasters on tv, they say a cold front is on the way and is near central Texas and should be here this evening. This front may bring a little snow to the panhandle and north Texas, but not here. All we will get is rain for a few days. But the temperatures should have a bone chilling drop into the 40's and 50's if not lower. Well it is about time! I bought some wood for the fireplace. Right now it is still sitting in the trunk of the car. At least we could have a warm fire in the fireplace tomorrow if we need it. One of these days I will figure out how to heat the downstairs without overheating the upstairs. Ugh.

Well I'm off to rest my back which is complaining now. That is what I get for giving the dogs a bath. I hope you all will have a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving. And to one of my blogging friends I hope you have a happy birthday! And you thought I didn't know!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Grab a Box of Wine

I'm in a hurry. How come this store has some large bottles of red wines but no white wines. I need a large bottle of white wine. The last time Jan was here I had to get an extra bottle of her favorite wine. I'm not saying she drinks a lot but the word lush comes to mind. Oh wait, that is what she calls Daisy.

Why is it when I am in a hurry I can't find what I want. Ok, I guess that I will just grab the box of wine. Wine in a box is such a strange concept to me. I get the box home. I put it in the refrigerator to cool down for later. Of course I have to move things around to make room. Note to self, a box of wine takes up more room than a bottle of the same stuff. And I thought I had only had to move things around for the turkey.Ha!

Ok, then comes the grand opening. I take the box out. Let me see, how do I open the box? Ah, push tab one, then push tab two, pull down tab three. Why do I get the feeling I am about to do an episiotomy? I'll just make a little cut down here so the baby will have an easier time coming out, ok? Tell that to the bag of wine. After I did the first three steps, I look for the pour spout. This is not as easy as it looks. Reaching around in the box for that slippery, shinny bag, oh yeah. Where is a gynocologist when you need him? I finally grab hold of that shinny little bag and rotate the shoulders, I mean pull up the pour spout so I can see it. Is it a boy or a girl? Can't tell by the spout. Finally I find how to pull out the spout so that I can pour the wine. Turn the knob on the bag counter clockwise. Where is the opening? Good thing I am not in a hurry for a glass of this wine. Oh, I see it. It is not a screw cap or cork. Ok, I don't have to remove the top of this. So I have to hold the box upright to clear the baby , I mean pour the wine. Finally a glass of wine is born, I mean poured. Ah, here's to you, or me.

Just who is the idiot who dreamed up a box of wine? How dare he think it is easy to open! Right! The spout is easy to pop out pouring the wine is so easy. I think I have the hang of it now. That is after I cleaned up the spilled wine from the counter. So which is easier, opening a box of wine and pouring it, or having a baby? After a lot of pain and work they both come out ok. At least I can toss the box after it is empty.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The New Feel of a New Grocery Store

A new grocery store opened this week. The H.E.B grocery chain is trying some new things. I guess they may have lost some business to WalMart in the past. The new Vintage Market opened Nov. 14th. We thought we would wait a couple of days to check it out. Let's face it, anything new draws a crowd. So we waited until Friday. Bad idea. I guess because it was payday and the weekend before Thanksgiving it was packed. I even got hugged by a live shopping bag. Don't ask-it even hugged my husband. But it was an interesting tour. That is when we could weave around the crowds. We got a turkey for 27 cents a pound. We looked at a lot of different things. It had a 7,000 sq. ft. meat market with nice selections. How about 17 kinds of apples? It had 42 feet of seafood. I don't really care for that but it was ok. I even saw pots and pans, glasses and dinnerware for sale. Very stylish, too. Every so often they had cooking shows and samples. They have a very large wine area featuring 3000 wines. I would have loved to check that more closely but the place was mobbed. Of course when you have free wine tasting I guess that is to be expected. 3,000 wines and I could not find the one I usually buy. So since I would be having company over the holiday I decided to grab a "box of chablis". Ever try to open a box of wine? I think delivering a baby would be easier!

While we were impressed with the store, I think we will wait for a while to go back. The place was crowed and everybody seemed to get in my way and on my nerves. Just try to look at a variety of items while people are crowding around and pushing baskets everywhere. Every isle I went to seemed to have a backlog of people trying to see what was there. It reminded me of Black Friday. I went to Black Friday once. I have decided to skip it ever since. I don't care if they offer a $1000 plasma, HD tv for $10! I will just not fight the crowds. I would rather take my time finding what I want then have people running over me in the isles or kids blabbing on their cell phones standing in my way. Besides if I want to look at 400 varieties of cheese, it is going to take me a while. But at least it is something different. Maybe in a couple of weeks? Maybe then I can find my way around it a little easier. Hope springs eternal, until someone runs over my foot with a basket.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Whatever

Tis the season and so on. The holiday season is fast approaching. I have a hard time thinking that Thanksgiving is next Thursay. So once again we are moving to the season of discontent. Do we say Merry Christmas, Happy Hollidays and so on. The Sea-Tac airport in Seattle got into trouble last year because they had Christmas displays featuring Christmas trees. But a Rabbi apparently took offense because they did not include a Menorah. And let's not forget Kwanzaa. So, in an effort to please everybody (not gonna happen) they put up a new display of a happy winter scene. Somehow it is just not the same.

Then we have a problem in Sidney, Australia. Santa Claus must now say "ha,ha,ha" instead of "ho,ho,ho" because "ho,ho,ho" may be offensive to women. Aw, come on! Ask any child, Santa says "ho,ho,ho"! I'm sorry, but I think that jolly old elf has always said "ho,ho,ho". Just ask Rudolph, and Prancer, Dancer, Dasher and the rest of the reindeer. I don't think my mother was offended, neither was I. But some people think the "ho" is too close to the US slang for prostitute. Maybe it's because the Aussies live "down under"? I certainly hope the PC police here in the good old USA don't decide to make the Santas here say "ha,ha,ha" It just won't be the same.

I don't know what to think anymore. I guess for this holiday season I will just have to say, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa. Ah, forget it. I'll do my thing, you do yours. You won't hurt my feelings no matter what you say, even "ho,ho,ho".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Do You Know Where Your Trash Can Is?

I guess some people just can't seem to find the trash can. Most people have a kitchen trash can and a bathroom trash can. The bathroom one is frequently part of a set which includes a toothbrush holder, soap dish, and cup. Those are usually fairly easy to find. After all it matches the bathroom decor.

But the kitchen trash can is a different matter. Some people have this can under the sink. However this is usually small and doesn't hold much. Others have a tall kitchen trash can which holds a little more. Even trash bags are made to order for this. Yeah, go right to the isle and pick out the tall kitchen bags to put in the trash can. The 13 gallon ones fit fine. So how come some people can find the box of trash bags in the store but can't find the can at home?

Go to the pantry and on the floor you will find a nice plastic trash receptacle with one of those plastic bags sitting in it waiting to load up with unwanted items. So many things find their way to this. Empty milk cartons find their way there. Empty bread wrappers meet their end there. Even the tv dinner boxes end up there.

So how come some things can't seem to navigate their way to their natural end? Oh, maybe it is because someone never seems to find his way to the door. It would seem to be so easy. Finish using something? Walk into the kitchen, open the pantry door and toss the used item into the awaiting place. It is such a simple thing to do, right? So how come I find trash waiting on the desk in the living room, or the dining table or kitchen counter? It is not like we need GPS to find the place to put the trash. It does not take that many steps to walk there. Buy something at the store? Open the box as it sits on the table. Take out the item. Then walk 10 steps from the dining area to the pantry door. Put said box in trash. Need candy or a soda? Go to refrigerator. Take out the candy, unwrap it, walk the three steps from the kitchen counter and put it in the trash. Those poor peanutbutter cup wrappers won't get there by themselves. Remember that soda bottle that kept you company on the desk while you played poker on the computer? Give it a fitting end by taking it to the trash where it can mingle with the other daily discards. It might enjoy chatting with the grocery story ads that came in the mail today.

Maybe it is a guy thing. Maybe men really don't know where the trash can is kept. Try asking the wife. I am sure she will be able to tell you where to go (to find the trash can).

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rah, Rah What?

I happened to find myself in WalMart this morning when I discovered that not only did I have to dodge the Christmas decorations, but the pep squad too. W-A-L-M-A-R-T, clap, clap, rah, rah and so on. I saw a WalMart pep rally once when I was in Phoenix. My daughter used to work there and she hated them. Some things just should not be seen by the public. I have not been "lucky" enough to be in any of the stores here while the associates were having an employee rally. As I stood in line a lady behind me rolled her eyes. The clerk at the counter looked like she wanted to crawl under the counter. I really did not know what to do. My first instinct was to snicker or at least try to keep myself from laughing. After all, to WalMart, this is serious. As I looked around at other customers I noticed that they all seemed to wonder what they should do. We all looked at each other for clues. Everyone was trying to keep a straight face. Let's see do we look at this as a joke and laugh or do we get grumpy and think they are wasting our time. Let's face it, those 10 of 15 people were not at their assigned spots. They were standing in the middle of a sales area, clapping in unison while doing cheers for WalMart. It reminded me of being in a resturant and hoping no one tells the waiter that it is my birthday so they won't circle the table while singing happy birthday to me. And yet those employees seemed to be happy to be cheering. Or maybe not. Rah, rah, go WalMart, go. Yeah, I am going out the door as fast as I can.Snicker, snicker.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Just Thought You Might Like to Know

In case you had not noticed Halloween is over and the race is on! Christmas commercials are already appearing on tv. Some even before Halloween was over. WalMart is getting a jump on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, by having a big sale early tomorrow. Those who like to get bargains be ready! WalMart is advertising electronics at big savings. They will be pushing a laptop for $338.
Where Walmart goes, other stores soon follow. Get your running shoes on. And don't forget your football helmet and pads. You are going to need protection. What's that? Do I hear "I'll be home for Christmas" ? Yes, it is part on a commercial on tv this morning.
Start thinking aboutwhat you want to buy and where you want to put the tree. Don't forget those outside lights which twinkle along the rooftops and yards. And don't forget to clean the carpets and make the house look nice. Get those decorations out of the attic.
Just think this is a great time of year! You can pick up some of your favorite Halloween candy on sale while you fight the crowds looking for Christmas gift bargains. Leave it to WalMart to get a jump on holiday shopping. After all, it's only November 1st. What will they do for the day after Thanksgiving? Dare we wait for better deals?
So it is time to start counting how many times we will see those wonderful commercials in one day and get into the spirit. It's time to shop. Christmas is at hand. Ready-set-go! Get away from all those commercials and make those cash registers ring!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Notes on Nothing Special Except to Me

Some things get my attention. Why? I don't know but they seem to enter my mind, fly around and leave. Are they important? No, except to me.

The Back Street Boys are back. Where have they been? They are all over the tv. They still sound good to me. Of course I did actually like some of the "boy bands". My kids were nuts about the New Kids on the Block. Their aunt made the mistake of giving them tickets to a concert. Then she made the mistake of going with them. Maybe that is why she is the way she is. I have seen Boyz II Men on a few shows lately. Is this a trend?

Tony Bennett is still a smooth as ever. At 76 he still draws the crowds. College kids flock to his shows. I think it is safe to say he is one of the twentieth century's treasures. He got his eleventh grammy earlier this year. His paintings are all over the world.

Robert Goulet has died. I will always remember his rich baritone voice singing songs from the broadway play "Camelot". I also remember that he flubbed the lyrics to he National Anthem. Oh well, he was Canadian...

I find it hard to believe that Britney Spears has a new cd which is apparently selling well and some critics actually like it. Huh?

I find it irritating to hear the sirens of police, fire trucks or ambulances racing down the street. I can hear them seemingly forever. Then they abruptly stop as soon as they pass my home. And how come I never see, or hear, the fire trucks go anywhere from the fire station behind us?

Every day I learn of something I should not be eating or drinking. I should not eat red meat. Even yogurt has too much sugar. I thought it was supposed to be good to eat? Even George Carlin knew a long time ago that bacon would kill us all. Now when I eat I have to wonder which food will kill me first. Oh my.

When I walk Daisy I sometimes see one of my neighbors walking. She is a lovely, old Indian lady. She always is very demure and dressed in the traditional garb. I don't know how much exercise she gets when she walks. She only walks the length of her driveway. That is going to take a long time to be useful. I wonder how many times she actually walks back and forth, back and forth.

I must give up candy. My husband has been buying candy lately. Oh those little Hershey's bars. They keep calling to me. Enough all ready. Oh well, one more won't hurt. Right?

At least Brad Ausmus will be back with the Houston Astros next year. Talk about candy...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Worms Crawl In

It has been nice to walk the neighborhood lately. Daisy thinks she is hot stuff while patroling the streets. One thing I have noticed is the large number of earthworms in the streets. It makes me wonder why. I know that a lot of them get flushed out when it rains. I guess they also climb out of the dirt when the yards are cut. You would think that they would rather crawl back underground as fast as possible. I am also surprised that there are not many birds taking part in the free food. I guess most of the birds around here either are just not hungry or they would rather eat seeds.

It is a little sad to see so many of these litlle guys lying in the streets. Some are flattened after being run over by cars. Others are curled into little circles. What was it like for them? Did they enjoy living under the grass? Why did they feel the need to all run to the street? I can understand if they got washed out during the rain we had a while back. Still they continue to move on out of their cozy little homes. Does this say something about the condition of the dirt here? Earthworms are good for the soil. I guess they won't be crawling around anymore. And so the cycle continues.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I Wonder, Theft or Kidnapping?

I tried to watch our Houston Texans football game Sunday. All I can say is that I guess the fans from San Diego must have been very happy. I am glad they were able to take the minds off the terrible fires out there. They really needed some fun and something to cheer. Good for them.

On the other hand I have to wonder what happened, again. Suddenly the Texans looked very familiar. That is familiar because they looked just like they did last year, and the year before, and the year before... When Gary Kubiak was hired to coach the team the team and the fans got a new attitude of winning. After suffering with David Carr's inability to modivate the team and run the offense Kubiak dumped him. Enter Matt Schaub, Atlanta's former second string QB. He was happy to come to Houston and eager to get on with the business of breathing life into a lousy team.

So I would like to know did someone steal the team? Were they kidnapped? So far there has been no ransom note. Maybe someone should ask Texas EquaSearch to go find them. They have vanished from the ranks of the NFL. What happened? Preseason is no gauge of how the regular season will go but, this is just sad. We were all excited to have a new quarterback and a new attitude. The team even started the season with back to back wins. Then they woke up from their dream and went back to reality.

Let's see what has the team done right? Field goals have been good. The defense has not. My dogs can tackle better. The offense left the field and has not been seen since the second game of the season. Matt Schaub has been beaten up. The savior of the team is just another piece of the puzzle that must be missing a couple of pieces. The offense is terrible. When Schaub does throw a good pass, it is missed or dropped.So, Kubiak yanks him and puts in Sage Rosenfels. It is no better.

I'm thinking of making some signs to hang on street and telephone poles. "Lost--NFL football team- if found please call Gary Kubiak or Bob McNair- no questions asked". After all our team has to have been lost or kidnapped. Right?

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Fall Hunting Season

Ah yes, finally there is a hint of cool air. The temperatures are pleasantly low. Leaves are falling. The prey is looking for food and warmth. Rarely seen during daylight, the hunted can be seen lurking around the buildings. Little do they know the great hunter is about to pounce. The neighbor's yellow and white cat has been on the prowl. Forever on guard against those dastardly rodents who frequent the grounds.

I wonder what the neighbors think about the prizes left by that cat. For the last couple of days when I walk the dogs early in the morning Daisy has discovered the booty. It seems that the cat likes to toy with his prey. What a lovely thing to see in the morning. The first day Daisy and I walked over to the parking lot next door to see why the cat was sitting peacefully self satisfied. There lay the spoils of the night's hunt-a rather large rat. Needlesss to say the rodent didn't stand a chance. Maybe the neighbors didn't notice the remains lying there as they left for the day. So the next day there was another little mouse which had been disposed of in the usual feline fashion. I really wonder if this will be a trend. No-one seems to have noticed the deceased creatures. Then again, maybe they assume nature will take it's course.

Well, it is almost time to take Daisy for her walk. Will we find another catch? I am not a hunter. I would not choose to do this for sport. But cats love to do this. Years ago I had a cat who loved to bring me presents. Of course the presents usually were the small rodents or birds. On the other hand it is good to know that our buildings are protected by a guard cat. Keep on hunting. I appreciate your quest to rid the area of vermin. I would just rather you do not bring them to me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Strange Bedfellows Indeed

So we find out now that Barack Obama and Dick Cheney are related. Talk about six degrees of separation! I don't know why but this whole thing strikes me funny. While I am no fan on Dick Cheney, I have to wonder what thoughts are going through his mind. Does he wish that Lynne had not done such extensive research? How will this make the Republican Conservitives feel? What about the Liberal Democrats?

Apparently Lynne Cheney traced the connection to a Huguenot who was widely noted in Maryland history. She discovered that the "very white" Dick Cheney is the eighth cousin of Obama. Making light of the discovery, the Obama campaign, without confirming anything, said "Obviously, Dick Cheney is the black sheep of the family."

I can see a sitcom in the future. politicians who oppose each other discover they are related. Then again, let's see how Fox News will spin this compared to say MSNBC News. Let's all try to duck the potshots. We must all remember that we could be related. Now who was it that said "Politics make strange bedfellows"?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lead Dining

At this point I am not sure I want to know what is in my food, home, clothes and things I use any more. Who do you trust. Do you trust the Major chains or the small local stores? If China is the main or at least current source of the lead problem why is not more being done to check the problem. Oh wait, I get it. WalMart wants to keep buying from them. We would not want to upset the supplier of goods for us poor folk.

So the other day I was looking around at some history of things and stopped on a couple of interesting items about lead and dining in history. In the 1500's drinking cups had lead in them. Since there was not a lot of things to do people drank ale and whiskey from these cups. This was not always a good combination apparently. When the people would drink too much the combination of lead cup and liquor would make people pass out for a couple of days. Just imagine people passed out all over the ground. Sometimes people thought they were dead. The famiies would sometimes find their loved ones and take them home. Then the family would lay them out in hopes of seeing them wake up. That might have been a little scary.

Pewter apparently was used for dishes. But again this might have been a bad combination. Some food with high acid content would make the lead leach into food. Sometimes this lead (no pun intended) to lead poisoning and death.

And to think when I was a kid most paint had lead in it. Toys had lead in them. We used to break thermometers and play with the mercury balls. Just break a thermometer now- the haz-mat crew will be there in ten minutes. I grew up in a different age. We never feared these things. Of course if I am not here tomorrow, you will know I am no longer here. The paint finally got me!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Get the Lead Out

It seems that I can't turn on the television news without seeing another story of lead where it is not supposed to be. At this point I am not sure I even want to shop at the local 99cent stores. Even before the current problems there were some questions about things at these stores. Now it has come to the attention of major retailers. Lead in toys and lead in lipstick. I guess it is a good thing I don't wear lipstick. What will they find tomorrow? Next thing we will find lead in the plush toys or even our clothes. Just imagine going to the toy stores to buy Christmas gifts only to discover there are no toys on the shelves because they have all been recalled. I quess we could opt for wooden toys. But that would probably not be good for the environment either. Too many trees cut down. What are we to do and who do we blame? And to think I remember when the phrase "get the lead out" meant to hurry up. Nothing and no one is safe anymore.Hey Superman, where are you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Could Win a Pre-Paid Cremation

I have always favored cremation over burial. Both my parents were cremated. Their ashes were thrown in the Gulf of Mexico near Destin, Florida. My family knows my wishes. So yesterday I get a letter in the mail that I though was funny. Don't ask me why. Tells you what kind of life I lead. The letter was from Houston. It was from the NEPTUNE SOCIETY. For some reason this just struck me funny. In the lower left corner of the envelope was the hook message. "Free Pre-Paid Cremation" details inside. When I was able to stop laughing I opened the envelope and read the note. It was a very nice note explaining how for a variety of reasons more and more people are choosing cremation over traditional funeral arrangements. It went on to say that almost 30% of Americans have selected cremation as their preference. It also said that the numbers are increasing. It went on to explain how it allows families to conduct simple personal services at their own convenience, is less expensive and has less impact on the environment. I agree with most of what the information said. So they went on to tell how it is an advantage to pre-pay for the arrangements. And of course they included a card which I could fill out and return to them if I wanted more information.

Then I noticed two things that really had me snickering even though this is a serious subject. At the bottom of the note was an apology "if this letter has reached you at a time of serious illness or death in your family". I rank that right up there with the time I got an offer to join AARP when I was only 30something. The other thing that really made me laugh was the message in the upper left corner of the letter. "WIN a pre-paid crematiion". All I have to do is fill out and return the reply slip. If I complete and return the information I will be eligible for a drawing each month. I never win anything. Would I win this?

I must have a really weird sense of humor. Not only did I find this extremely funny, I'm thinking of sending the reply in to them. On the other hand maybe I need a new hobby.

Monday, October 08, 2007

If I Get a Divorce...

We lead such an exciting life here. The weekends seem to be filled with the excitment of watching sports or TCM movies during the day. Yawn. My dear husband, Jimmy, sleeps late. During the week he is up early so sleeping late is understandable. Then most of the day he either plays poker online or watches tv. The tv could be a problem. Or rather the remote. We have gotten into a habit of switching channels during commercials. Then there is the problem of who controls the remote. If he is playing poker, I control the remote. But when he sits down in front of the tv he likes to use the remote.

After this weekend if I were to file for divorce the remote would be listed as a co-respondent. How can anyone keep up with any program while switching channels so often? For example, Sunday we sat down to watch the Houston Texans game. Every time things did not go well, he changed the channel. First he turned it to a movie on TMC. Then as soon as I got into the plot, he changed the channel. Back to the Texans we went. He didn't like what he saw there, so he switched to the History Channel which had a story about Al Capone and the old mob wars. Ok, so I start to watch that. Guess who nods off? Guess who has the remote in his hand? I try to take the remote. "What are you doing?" he said. "Well, you were sleeping..." I said. "No I wasn't" and so on. Then he switched to the car race. Then back to the football game he went. The back to the movie. The he moved to some show on VH1 with a few pink haired girls trying to decide how to seduce some guy. At least one of these girls was getting drunk. Then back to the History Channel, then back to the game. No wait he is sleeping again, oh no he woke up, back to the race.

In the middle of all these changes the Texans either scored, were intercepted or did something else. The he wondered what happened. I think to myself "how do I know?" At this point I feel like going upstairs to watch tv. I think maybe next weekend I will have to do that. I don't think he will care. Then again if I come back down stairs he might ask what did. Should I tell him? Or should I just include the remote as the reason for divorce? Oh well, at least we have two tvs. I don't fall asleep with the remote in my hand. At least I don't think I do.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Raise the (Red) Flag?

It's going to be a long season in politics. And I though the baseball season was long. Of course it is always longer when my team is not doing well. So how many people do we have running for President of the United States now? Maybe it would be easier to count the number of people who are not running. Does anyone care that the national conventions are not until next summer? The primaries are not until early next year. Of course with all the states trying to one-up each other, the first primary may be tomorrow. Debates are all over the place. The Democrats are debating each other and so are the Republicans. Every time I look at tv news I see pictures of these people everywhere. At this point no-one knows who will be the parties choices. Every five minutes there is a new poll telling us who is the front-runner. How many millions of people are in this country? I have not been asked my opinion yet. On the other hand maybe that is just as well. They may not want to have my opinion on this because I have not really found a politician that I really trust. They all say the same thing. But they all leave me empty because they never really say anything.

Maybe that is why the press is having a hard time finding any real issues to discuss with these people. When the press zones in on whether or not a candidate is wearing an American Flag pin is more important than issues, I tend to zone out on the press. Does wearing that pin make the candidate a better American? How about a better candidate? Does it really show that one person or another is more patriotic? It has become a big issue because Barack Obama has stopped wearing that flag. Why focus on that? It is hot outside. How many of the men running for president have we seen coatless, sleeves rolled up, tie loose shaking hands with the people in the crowds? Some other candidates have been seen not wearing a flag pin. No-one said anything to them.

There are so many more important issues that we have to worry about. Real issues which concern all of us. This raises a big red flag to me. We need to move this country forward in the right direction. That direction should be decided by the American public. We cannot decide who will be the best leader of our country based on what they wear. Many people wear pins to show support of various issues and causes. Patriotism is not a flag pin. Patriotism is love, support and defense of one's country. All the candidates are patriotic in their own way. Let focus on the important things.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Knew There Was A Reason I Hate Cleaning

Finally I had a clear head and nose. I was not sneezing, dripping or hacking. No fever or aches and pains did I have. So what did I do? I looked up at the ceiling fan in the living room. Big mistake! I saw a layer of black dust all over the blades. I thought I just cleaned that two weeks ago. So I decided since Amanda was moving some of her stuff out I could clean a few things. She packed up some of her kitchen stuff which she had kept on top of the freezer. So while she was moving out some of her stuff I thought I would clean the ceiling fan, the top of the freezer, and the sliding glass doors to the patio. The patio doors looked like they have never been cleaned. I cleaned them but I need to do it again with my squeegee. I hate streaks and problem corners. I got most of the door cleaned but since I can still see the streaks I will have to dig through closets and boxes to see if I can find my squeegee. Did I mention I hate streaks? Now I remember why I don't do windows!

Cleaning the top of the freezer was not that bad. Of course it is a lot taller than I am and I hate standing on a step-ladder. I have a nasty habit of missing a step on the way down. Since the freezer had been in the garage where we lived before I have not cleaned the top since we moved here. I'm still trying to figure out how to defrost it without making a mess on the floor here. It was so much easier in the garage. Just put some plastic down and sweep the ice out of the garage. No chance of doing that here. There is a ledge at the sliding glass door. Ok, I just think about that later.

Then I decide to clean the fan blades. What a mess. All that wonderful dust and grime falling around me. Nothing got in my eyes cause I learned to keep my glasses on while doing fan cleaning. Finally after about three turns around each blade I got the fan clean.

Ok, that's enough cleaning for today. I had already done the laundry earlier that morning. I felt somewhat satisfied with myself. I hate cleaning. I still have to run the vacuum, but I will just wait until Amanda gets finished with moving her stuff. I can use a good excuse not to vacuum anyway. I must remember next time not to pick dark brown carpet. The last couple of places we've rented had beige carpet. That always seemed to show dirt and stains. This dark brown carpet goes good with the colors of our furniture and does not show dirt and stains. But every little blade of grass of weeds that gets tracked inside shows clearly. It seems like five minutes after I vacuum it has something on it. Oh well, live and learn.

Yeah, live and learn. Now I have a reason to really hate cleaning. By evening I noticed that my head was filling up again and I started sneezing. Crap. It is bad enough that this is allergy season in Houston. Ragweed and tree pollen abound. Just when I thought I was done with my sneezing, coughing, and nose running,too! Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do and now I remember why. I hate cleaning! I'm going on strike! At least for a week.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Last Bat

It was a hard weekend. My nose ran Friday night. I finally had to pull the plug on the fishbowl I used to call my head. There were just too many fish swimming around. So then Jimmy and I decided to watch a tearjerker on tv three times this weekend.

The tearjerker was not on TCM or AMC channels, though. We watched the last three games of the Houston Astros season as well as the end of Craig Biggio's career. We could not help but be a little emotional about this. Craig Biggio had been with the team as long as Jimmy and I have. We took the kids to see the Astros play several times. They got to meet several of the players at some of the kid events, including Craig. My daughter Annie considers him her favorite player.

Every time he came to the plate, the fans stood up to cheer. The last three games were with the Atlanta Braves. At the Saturday game he started the first two innings as catcher which was his original position. The Braves were nice enough to agree to not try to steal on him. Brad Ausmus played second base.

The last three games the Astros wore the different uniform styles of his career. The last game was hard. There were more people at that game than at the World Series games. Most of the people wore Biggio shirts. Some had cameras. In Biggio fashion, his first plate appearance was a double. Now his has the record for most doubles by a right handed batter. His last time at bat in the game, I really dont think there were many dry eyed fans. He had a hard time holding it together knowing that would be his last at bat.

The game of baseball needs more players like Craig Biggio. A player who played the game right and respected the game. It was hard for the fans to let him go. Cameras flashed all game long. He acknowledged the fans and the players as well as the Braves. He will be in Cooperstown in 5 years. I hope I will be around to see him then. At least he will be here. I have a sneaking suspicion that in a few years when the Astros call with an offer, he will be back. This time maybe as a teacher.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall and Sneeze

According to the calendar it is now the fall season. I'm not sure on which planet this season is occuring but I am still waiting. Fall is the season of falling temperatures and falling leaves. This is Texas, it is still hot. I have not seen any falling leaves- oh, wait there goes one now.

Fall is also the season of allergies and colds. Tree and grass pollens are making life miserable for people. My husband started sneezing last week. He thought he had a visit from the fall allergy fairy last week. But he soon discovered that he had the fall cold, not allergies. Sunday he started sneezing and coughing. "Do I feel hot?" became the question of the day. After taking his temperature (102) he decided he needed to go to bed. He did not feel like eating. So he and Lady went upstairs. Even Daisy went to vist, but decided not to stay. Too much coughing I guess. He refused to stay home from work. Too much work to do. Those pipes are not going to lay themselves. So he has now made it to today. He seems to be feeling a little better. He must be feeling better, he played on-line poker last night.

All of this brings me to my next question. When do I get the cold? If it were allergy I would not care. I don't have a lot of allergy problems like a lot of people around here do. Family colds are a little like death and taxes, you can't avoid them. So today my throat is scratchy and my nose it running a little. Thanks Jimmy. How come a plumber can't fix a runny nose? Can I go to bed? No, I'll just lie down and think of the things I need to do. Oh well, so far I don't have a fever and I will just keep moving. At least I don't have to drive anywhere or operate heavy machinery. Hey, if I do catch this cold, I'll have an excuse to have a hot toddy! Then again, the dogs will still want to go out.

I wonder which will get here sooner, a cold or colder temperatures. Somehow I think I will be sneezing and coughing long before the leaves fall. As for the temperatures, I am going to try not to sneeze because if I do I may miss the lower temperatures. What lower temperatures? It is still 90 degrees outside. Daisy waiting at the door. I guess she wants to romp in those fallen leaves, I mean fallen leaf.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

School Days Are Different Now, Not Always Better

The protest in Jena, Louisiana made me think how much our world has changed since I went to school. I went to school in the south. My grammer school years were in Alabama, my junior and senior high schools in South Carolina. This was the days before integration. All of my classmates were white. My children all went to school with different races.

I have noticed that things are handled differently today. In Houston most of the schools are large with hundreds of children attending classes. My graduating class had 200 in it. Around here there are a lot more. Our youngest child's graduating class had over 600 in it.

Discipline has changed too. When I was in high school there were occasional fights between students. There was no ISS (in school suspension) or alternative school. The teachers, coaches and principals took care of the situation. I remember when two boys got into a fight during school. What kind of punishment did they get? After school, alone in the gym, they had to fight to the end. The football coach oversaw the fight. He gave them each boxing gloves and made them fight until they tired. No-one watching, no one egging them on. Needless to say there were not many fights at my high school. Now if there is a fight the school police department either handles it or calls the city police and charges are filed. Parents have to appear in court because their kid got in a fight. It is serious business these days. Almost every school district has it's own police department. The police have all the rights that the regular police do. They check for drugs, weapons, altercations and other things.
We didn't have that at my school.

It makes me wonder where we are going in the education of our students. Does having campus police make a high school safer? Do the students get along any better having the police there? In Houston there are many different races attending these schools.
Are our schools better or worse than schools like the one in Jena, Louisiana?

My parents taught me that there would always be people who would not like me or who would taunt or make fun of me. I experienced this in school. I was never beaten up. I did get a spelling book thrown at me in grammer school. My glasses were broken. My father called the kid's parents. The issue was solved. I was taunted in high school. My parents told me to ignore it and laugh along with them. I discovered that if I found something that I and my taunters both liked, we eventually could talk. We eventually learned to get along.

We have come a long way in the country. Have we gone far enough? Have we gone too far? Do students get along any better today than we did? I don't know the answer. I don't think six people attacking one person is the answer. What message does that send? Some say this Jena situation is a result of a double standard of justice. Is it? Maybe. Maybe there could have been a quieter way to handle the situation. Maybe we have forgotten the meaning of the word "tolerance".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can They Get an Online Divorce

This is why I would be weary of some online socializing. It seems that everybody is on a social network like MySpace or FaceBook. How many times I have seen ads for online dating? Too many. Just imagine chatting with friends online. Eventually you start chatting with some new friends. Ok, no problem. We all like to chat about everything from sports to politics. A lot of people use the chats to complain about things. Some complain about children,friends and work. Some even vent about how bad their personal relationships are. We all complain to each other from time to time. The internet gives us a chance to complain to people we dont really know. So imagine this. A woman is having problems with her husband and is considering leaving him. She starts chatting with a guy who is having similar problems. They find they seem to have a lot in common. Husband/wife doesn't understand and so on. So as time goes on these two chatters discover they live in the same town. Since they have so much in common, they decide to meet for coffee. They give each other the information they need to recognize each other. The hour arrives and she is the first to enter the coffee shop. As she waits for the man, she sees her husband walk in. They both realize at the same time that they have been chatting (and complaining) to each other. Apparently this was not what they had expected. I guess it just made them madder at each other. They both felt betrayed. I guesss they used to enjoy IMing and not they not IMimg anymore.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cat Fight on The View- Almost

Well,inagine this. The View cancelled a guest because the guest did not want to have to be interviewd by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Gee, it is not like no one knows that she is a conservative Republican. She and Rosie used to do battle all the time. Liberal vs conservative. Imagine that- opposing views on the same show. It doesn't matter if one liked or disliked Rosie, she pushed Elizabeth's buttons. Elizabeth has always stood up for her beliefs. I really thought that things would calm down a little after Rosie left. Apparently not. Even with two new co-hosts she still disagrees with other views. It has to the point, at least to me, that she doesn't want anyone to disagree with her. Even Barbara Walters asked her, on camera, if there was any Democrat she did like.

So now there has been another cat fight on The View. Barry Manilow will not appear today. He says he cancelled, the show says they cancelled him. He has never been overly political in public, although he has been a good Democratic fundraiser. When he appears on a show, it is to promote his latest album or project. According to Barry, he did not want to be interviewed by Elizabeth because he disagreed with her very conservative views and felt she was "dangerous". He has his beliefs, just as she does. He has always been a big supporter of the show. Neither would compromise.
Jeez. I am astonished by this whole thing. Yes, I will take the potshots, but I have been a Manilow fan for years. For him to feel so strongly and so vocal is unusual. I wonder if this is the start of a trend during this never ending political season. Will other celebrities and performers go to The View or refuse because of this?

I consider myself an Independent. I have friends on both sides of the issues. I see good and bad of both. When someone jumps into the area of political opinions, they should realize that not everyone will agree. When we refuse to listen to another's view, we cease to grow as human beings. I didn't want a political cat fight-I just wanted to hear the music.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Too Much Time?

Over the last few months I have noticed that the kid next to us does not have enough to occupy his time. When we first moved into this building I noticed a something in the back area covered in heavy plastic and secured with duct tape. Apparently someone replaced a stove and put the old one behind the building. I can only assume they had no way to dispose of it either. Our landlady will not fix anything under $275, so I guess someone bought a new one and put the old one in the back. Now I have noticed almost every day some has changed back there. Finally the plastic and tape have been completely pulled off the stove. So has the door, a couple of knobs and at least one of the four surface units has been pulled off. I have looked out my window several times cause the dogs barked at some noise. What do I see? That kid playing around the stove. I noticed once his dad pushed it against the fence. Ah, but sonny managed to pull it around time and time again. Yesterday when the dogs barked I looked out the window to see this kid jumping up and down on the oven door as it lay on the ground. I guess he won that fight. Didn't his parents ever tell him not to play around stuff like that?

When I took Lady out to do her business yesterday morning, I had to stop because this kid had a long pole with a large fish net on it in his hand. He was trying to catch birds as they sat on the fence. When he saw me, he quickly went back to his unit. What would he do with a bird if he caught it? I am still wondering what happened to his rabbit. The two plastic chairs are still out there but the rabbit and his cage are gone. Wonder what happened?

I never see the mother go outside with him. I can only guess that this kid doesn't have much to do. I really dont think it is a good idea for him to tear things up the way he has done. He always looks a little guilty when I happen to see him doing something in the back like that. Oh well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Charmin

We have so much variety in our lives now. Isn't it wonderful. We can choose different cereals and different flavored chips. Our colas have flavors. Even the bottled water has flavors. Yeah, the liquor companies have fallen prey to those who want variety too. Why toilet paper? Now Charmin has come up with an extra strength toilet paper. What? I guess it now would be too strong for old Mr Whipple to squeeze. For years Charmin has advertised that their toilet paper was gentle and soft. Well, I guess we have some extra strength poopers out there. Charmin now has a choice of soft or extra strength toilet paper. Why? I know there are a lot of people who are full of poop in Washington, but I don't think they are the sales targets for Charmin. Do we really need extra strength toilet paper? Is this a way for Charmin to get on the conservation band wagon? If we use the extra strength Charmin does that mean we will use less? If we use less, I guess Sheryl Crow will be happy. I can just see it now, four squares of Charmin extra strength will do twice as much as eight of the softer brands. But, we must remember that Charmin still has the wonderfully soft and gentle paper, too. For all the hard asses out there, Charmin extra strength is the choice. For the old softies out there, the old stand-by squeezably soft Charmin will do. Don't worry Mr. Whipple. At least they have not figured out how to put color in the toilet paper yet. Too much chance of irritation from the dye. But, who knows, someday some brilliant toilet paper engineer will figure out how to make toilet paper soft yet strong and in designer colors, too.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Music Blasts into My Life, Huh?

I see a lot of people driving around Houston with their windows open. Of course my first thought would be their AC must not work. Gee that is tough in this heat. Then I realize they are not driving with the window open because they have no AC. They are playing their music, loudly. I don't mind people listening to music while driving. I guess it is better than watching a movie while driving. I like music. I like a lot of different music. I even tolerate music that others like, but I don't. But when this music invades my space, I am not happy. Here are some reasons why, in no special order:
When I am outside with my dog, and she jumps at the sound, t
he music is too loud.
When I am inside my home and I can hear the lyrics over the tv, the music is too loud.
While inside my home, if the windows rattle, the music is too loud.
When I am in my car with my windows shut and I hear your music over mine, it's too loud.
When I am driving in traffic and the music makes my car vibrate, it's too loud.
When I can hear you yelling to your friend in the same car, your music is too loud.
And lastly, years from now when you go to a doctor because you can't hear well, your music was too loud. Now it's to late.

How would you like it if Ilistened to opera that loud? Would you like to hear classical music that loud? Yeah, I know you don't like that kind of music. How about if I play "Copacabana" that loud?

Ok, I know I am am speaking to an audience that doesn't hear me. Nothing I say will make you change you habits. Just remember, not everyone likes the same kind of music you do, so could you please turn it down? I don't make you listen to my music, don't make me have to listen to yours. What's that? You can't hear me? I wonder why.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hey is That a B-52? Run!

The public was never in any danger. That is what Defense Secretary Gates said. Ok, then why the fuss. So a B-52 flew across several states with nuclear warheads on board. Oops! That is a no-no. The plane was carrying advanced cruise missiles to be decommissioned. As a result heads will roll. An Air Force commander has been fired.I guess others will be fired too. President Bush and Defense Secretary Gates were informed. Washington is wringing it's collective hands. The experts just don't understand how this could happen. There are multiple safeguards and redundancies for safety and security. Well... There are diligent safety protocols which may have been ignored by letting the warheads be put on the plane. Each warhead would have had to be signed out of it's storage bunker to be transported to the plane.

The American public now has heard of this and remains calm and not worried at all. Right? Then again, this is a government operation. Remember Forest Gump? "Stupid is as stupid does,sir." I wonder just how close to Houston this plane flew? No, I'm not worried. I am not Chicken Little and I don't think the sky is falling. Hey, wait, is that a plane? A B-52? Yikes!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This Is A Holdup! Not At This Bank!

No-one ever said that criminals were smart. Sometimes though, they do look like they belong in a dumb movie or tv sitcom. So a guy walked into a bank. Robbery was the plan. He went to the table and took a deposit slip on which he wrote the note indicating that he was robbing the place. He got into the line for the teller. Since it was late in the afternoon the line was long. He was unaware that a lot of the people in line were FBI agents from a nearby office cashing their checks. He got tired of waiting in line so he left and went to the bank across the street. The line there was shorter. When he got to the teller, he handed her the note. She looked at the note and politely told him that they would not accept a deposit slip from another bank. Back across the street he went. Little did he know that teller had called the police. When he got back to the first bank he was met by police and the FBI.

There are two morals to this true story. 1. Don't try to rob a bank used by FBI agents. 2.Don't write a robbery note on the deposit slip of one bank and try to rob another bank with that note.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

They're Here, Again

Ever since Comcast took over TimeWarner here I have wondered if they really know what they are doing. Or do they really need to visit the utility pole behind my building that often. Are the ladders and the post having an affair? Do the ladders all know each other? Or is this some kind of sex for money thing? Hey, yellow ladder, was it good for you? Just in case you didn't know a grey ladder visited the pole yesterday. Yeah, it is always a different guy climbing on the ladder.

It seems that there are an average of two visits a week. Somebody drags a ladder back there, leans it on the pole and fumbles around with the cable wires, climbs down, takes the ladder and leaves. Just what are these guys really doing. How many people need so much service? Are they checking on what we watch on tv. Is Big Brother watching? Do these guys get paid per visit? Are they just killing time? Do they get paid per pole? Maybe this is some kind of Comcast pole dance? Trust me, guys, you are not going to get any dollar bills slipped under your belt.

I have no idea why these Comcast people are here so often. Maybe they think they did something wrong the first twelve times they climbed the ladder and looked at all those cable wires. I don't know. I just know that every single time they show up Daisy gets very angry and trys to get rid of them. They just don't listen. Maybe I should start keeping a record, let's see once last week, twice this week, hum. Monday is a holiday so maybe they won't visit next week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Football season.

Given the fact that the temperatures are still in the 90's it is hard to believe that college and pro football will soon be here. The pro teams are having their last pre-season games and about ready to make their final choices of which players will make the teams. The Houston Texans look better than they have in a long time. At least the beat the Dallas Cowboys. We shall see how the season goes.

Rah,rah, college football is gearing up, too. My two favorite teams will open their seasons Saturday. Texas will open against Arkansas St. Go Horns! I see that Mac Brown's contract was extended. Good. I don't know if I think the Horns should be ranked #4, though. But we shall see. The Crimson Tide of Alabama start the new season with new Head Coach Nick Sabin against W. Carolina. I am hopeful they will do better than last year. Roll Tide, Please beat Auburn.

Since the Houston Astros are winding down a less than stellar year, it is time to turn my attention to the football. Sorry guys. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the off season will bring us hope for a brighter season next year.

So at this point it's all up for grabs. It is time the Houston Texans established themselves as a formidable NFL team. Go Texans. Hook 'en Horns! I will NOT say Gig 'em Aggies. Roll Tide! No, I will not say War Eagle for Auburn. This year the Tide will turn.

It's time to get the party started. Touchdown!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Now What? Wait Till Next Year?

Don't look behind you, the axe may fall. It fell on the General Manager and Manager of the Houston Astros yesterday. I had a feeling that Phil Garner would not be back next year. A lot of people were not happy with the way Tim Purpura handled getting players. Dumping these two now is a little bit of a surprise. Is is likely that this change will turn the team around and get more wins? No. Craig Biggio takes the blame on himself and his teammates, telling reporters that the team did not do their jobs.

Tim Purpura, as GM, was supposed to find the players to bring up from the minors or get the best players in trades. He did not get this done. Carlos Lee was a good $100 million deal. Bringing up Hunter Pence was good. Losing Clemens and Petitte was not. Trading for Jennings and Williams was not. He did release Morgan Ensberg who was was underachieving this year. He did not get the draft choices signed. Now What? What can we do to get top players and restock the minors?

Phil Garner was well liked by the players and the fans. He helped lead the team to the World Series two years ago. What did he do wrong? Was he not agressive enough? We all know that many times too many men were left on base. How many times did we have bases loaded with no outs and could not get a single run across? Biggio as the lead off hitter, almost always got on base. Berkman and Lee should have been able to get the runs. At one point Biggio, Pence, Berkman and Lee would have been tough to get out. Now what? Next year Biggio will be gone. Pitching has been suspect all year. Did Garner leave starters in too long. Why was the bullpen so bad?

All things considered I guess we will just have to wait till next year. Will players be traded in the off-season? Will any player be safe? What do the fans think? Drayton McClain said he spent a lot of time this season talking to fans in the stands during games. He said he listened to their complaints, questions and suggestions. Now what?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Daisy vs the Exercise Ball

Amanda and I have decided to embark on an exercise program. We will try to walk the neighborhood in the evening, eat better and exercise. We will see how long this lasts. Neither one of us is big on a lot of exercise. So last night Amanda came home with a set of hand weights and an exercise ball. After she put the air into the ball, she brought it downstairs. I did not realize how big it is. Lady looked at it and decided to igore it. Of course when I got on it she thought I was nuts. I could almost see her laughing at me. Daisy on the other hand was curious. She ran around it. She poked it with her nose. When it rolled away from her she tried to chase it, but when it rolled back toward her she ran away from it. She cant seem to decide if it is good or bad. She growled and yelped at it as it rolled along the floor. When it rolled too close she either ran or stood her ground and barked. If I pushed it toward her she backed up and ran behind the chair. Don't push that thing to me she seemed to say. As it rolled around she would look at me, then look at the ball. Staying just inches away from it, she dared it to move closer to her. I pushed it toward her and off she ran. I got the impression that she was not too happy about this strange thing in her living room. One moment she was set to attack, the next she was jumping away from it. As she sat staring at it, I wondered who would win the battle. As long as I was nearby, she held her post of defender of the living room. I wonder who will win the battle.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who Gets to Kill the Chicken?

I have seen several promos for the CBS reality show "Kid Nation". When I first saw this I thought to myself that I would pass on that one. I bunch of kids running a "town" didn't interest me. Then again I am not much of a reality tv watcher. I am probably the only person on the planet who has never watched "American Idol" and I don't plan to any time soon. I do watch "Dancing With The Stars", "Big Brother" and once in a while "Survivor".

To me I don't know why anyone would choose to take their kid out of school in April for six weeks to do this. Well, of course there is the money. This just seems wrong on so many levels to me. What about the child labor laws? CBS says the show was done following the child labor laws of the state in which it was filmed. Did these kids enjoy this? The parents had to sign a twenty-two page contract to do this show. The parents and kids are, per the contract, not allowed to talk about it. Several network news people have tried to discuss or find out about it. CBS is being tightlipped about this.

Looking at the promo clips makes me wonder how far this will go. It's not "Fear Factor". They don't have to eat insects in competition. The just have to make a town and fend for themselves. They have to figure out how to do everything from cooking, cleaning, building and running the town. All this with no adult supervision. I guess some people will say this is a good experience for the kids. Let me see, take care of the farm animals, right? Gotta eat, right? Who's going to kill the chicken?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maybe I should Go Back To Bed

Are the stars out of alignmnet? I keep getting caught in a web of "can't get there from here" situations. Yesterday I had to run some errands. Nothing spectacular about that, right? While out, I thought I might as well pay the cell phone bill. So I run in to the nearby Sprint Store to pay at their kiosk. Wouldn't you know that both machines are not working. After several frustrating minutes, I gave up and left, muttering nasty thoughts to myself.

Then there was the problem with ContentQuake yesterday. Of course it would be me who would have the problem. It's too bad that I can't remember what I said in my sample of writing. Never fails how the best thoughts get lost. I sent an e-mail to Mr. Long about my problem. I was surprised when he sent me a nice letter back.

Then came this morning. Once again, I went to pay my cell phone bill. This time I decided to change to a different store. On the way there, I came to a stop light. I decided to take the left turn lane rather than deal with crossing traffic. Guess what! Apparently the left turn light was not working. After sitting through this mess, I and the people behind me decided to get back into traffic. Sometimes, it really does pay to have a speedy, agile car. Onward to the Sprint Store I went. Want to take a guess at what happened next? Right! The payment machine didn't work. But, at least the clerk there was able to help me get the deed done.

At this point I decided not to push for any more problems. I went home. Then I discovererd that Google was having server problems.I guess too many people were trying to find out about their new sky vision that goes with Google Earth.

I guess it could be worse. The Astros lost pitcher Jason Jennings for the remainder of the season due to injury. He will have to have surgery. No wonder he pitched so poorly. Roy Oswalt will have to miss a start due to injury, too.

After all this, I think the best thing I can do is not press my luck. Otherwise I may try to put the remote in the refrigerator, like I did last night. Yeah, maybe I should just go back to bed. The stars are aligned against me. Then again, maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. I could win, right?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Verify This ContentQuake!

Crap! Have you ever applied for or created something only to have it fail at the very end? I found a site that is supposed to be hiring writers for different things from tv commentary, city information and even NFL team writers. So I thought let's give this a try. What the heck, what is the worst that can happen? No we don't want you. Big deal. So after spending a good bit of time working on the application which included a sample of my writing, I get to the end. Then there is the little box. Verify. So I fill in the letter/number sequence. I hit send. Then I see "verify error". I don't think I made a mistake but I'll do it again. Same thing. After about the fourth time I am really not happy! After spending all that time to get just the right things to say...I really don't appreciate that. Phooey!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You Might Need a Tow Truck

It is pouring down rain right now. It started raining in the middle of the night when Erin came close to the Texas coast. So what is going on at my townhouse building? The grass is being mowed! Are you kidding me! The back of the house is always a lake whenever it rains. They cut the back area by weedeater. Guess they don't have a push mower. They use a riding mower on the side which has most of the grass. The back of the building has almost no grass, just weeds. I can hear the weedeater in a bind right now. Are these people nuts? How in the world do they expect to get a good cut with the ground being under water? I have to wonder how many ruts they will make on the side they use the mower on. I don't care how "hard" they try to mow with that weedeater, it never comes close to being cut well. As wet as it is today I don't see that this is going to make much difference in the look of the "lawn". My neighbor's motorcycle makes a rut in the grass every time he takes it out. He only takes the motorcycle out when the weather is clear and dry. I don't even want to think of what this mess is going to look like. They are probably going to make a few ruts, maybe even get stuck. Well, maybe Daisy will be happier, since she has been refusing to do her business in the grass because it is so high. Oops, it is thundering again, and I saw a flash of lightening. More rain is coming, They might need a tow truck to get out of the grass. Who mows a yard in the pouring down rain anyway?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When Will We Learn?

Yet another recall by Mattel has been announced. Again, toys have lead paint. What else can we buy from china that isn't a problem? We have pet food, toothpaste, toys, certain fish and foods are also questioned. When are we, or the Chinese, going to wake up? Quality control is not a joke! Manufacturing in America used to be a source of pride. Now our manufacturing sector has nearly disappeared. It is cheaper to produce things outside of this country. I realize that we need to have good trade relations with other countries, but trading our goods for poor and substandard items is not the way to go. Just who is at fault? Are we at fault because we need to spend less for what we want? Or are overseas companies at fault because they want our money and cut costs by having less control over production?

We were lulled to sleep by cheap labor and products made overseas. It made it more cost effective for our companies to send things overseas or buy things made overseas. We all wanted to save a couple of dollars on clothes, electronics and other things. As consumers we wanted all the newest things at the cheapest prices. Anyone who has shoped at WalMart has seen what is going on. We were all so happy to save money. Now What?

The latest recall of toys may just be a small part of an apparently growing problem. China has been the target. We buy so much from them. What haven't we discovered, yet? We can hope that our companies which do business with China will insist on better control of things we buy from China. It would be in China's best interest. With the Olympics in China, many people from all over the world will be visiting there. Do they really want to have continued bad press about things they sell?

Will there be a backlash? For years call center jobs went overseas thanks to cheap labor. Now many companies are dumping this and hiring American companies to do this. Most people would rather talk to an unseen person with an American accent, than some other person who is difficult to understand. We started sending and doing business overseas because it was cost effective for us as well as our trading partners. Maybe it is time we rethought some of this. Maybe we should start thinking about "American Made" again. We used to be proud of what we made in America. Somehow, we lost sight of the fact that cheaper doesn't always mean better. What will it take before we learn this?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sex Ed for Seniors?

This is interesting. Would you talk to your parent or grandparent about sex? Remember when your parents tried to talk to you about sex? Since people with AIDS/HIV are living longer thanks to improved drug care this could be something necessary. Many of these people are getting older and still active. There are many people living actively way past 65-70. That means these people are also sexually active. Many of them are not aware of the pitfalls of having sex. Let's face it, talking to a widowed grandfather about sex it not what most of us want to do. We don't want to think of our elderly friends and family as sexual beings. Many were in monogamous relationships for years. Living longer for some means they may find themselves without that life partner. Enter the age of Senior Sex. Just how do you tell grandpa that he may need to use a condom? Most family members don't want to talk about it. So some Senior Centers are giving out free condoms during the get-togethers. It just might be a good idea to have Sex Ed for our elderly friends and family. A lot of things have changed in the course of 60 to 80 years. It may sound silly to give away condoms with bingo cards, but it could be a good idea. Right Grandpa, what do you say Grandma?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Salad Days

As yes, it's Friday. Soon I will be able to pay the bills again. Then I will be depressed again. But at least this weekend will be quiet. Amanda will be out of town so we will have the place to ourselves. What do we do now? Knowing Jimmy, he will fall asleep in the chair at some point this weekend. Wonder if he will be asleep during the Texans game? No wait that is tomorrow night- he'll be playing poker.

It is so hot out side Lady wastes no time doing her business. Daisy on the other has refused to walk in the high grass. She would rather walk all the way down the street to do her business in the street. Then she gets so hot her tongue hangs out as we walk back. Back inside she lies on the cool tile in front of the stairs. That's what she gets for insisting on walking in the hot street!

I heard a sportscaster talking about the Astros last night. Gee, just a couple of weeks ago the topic was the season to forget. Now the topic is the possibility of moving up in the standings. The sun must have gotten to him. But as Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over till it's over." Come on back Hunter and Brandon-we need you!

Then I could not help but snicker at the stories about Roger Clemmons. Those wonderful Yankee fans booed him. Then he hit a batter with a pitch in retaliation for a teammate getting plunked. So he is suspended for 5 games. Big deal. He might miss one start.

We learned the other day that my son Patrick and his girlfriend are moving from their filthy trailer to a rent house near the Woodlands. That is a rather expensive neighborhood. Before they can move in, he and Heather will be living with her parents for a couple of weeks. I have a mental image... I wonder how long it will take before the house they will rent becomes trash. After our last visit to the trailer I doubt I will be visiting anytime soon.

I have no real desire to cook these days. It is just too hot. I wonder if there will be anything good to grill outside calling my name at the grocery store? I really dont want to turn on the oven. I fixed a really big salad the other night. I think I used almost everything in the fridg! Let's see, lettuce, tomato, onion, bell pepper, olives, pickles, hard boiled eggs, tiny shrimp. After all it is summer-salad days.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It Had To Happen

Have you seen the latest in dog toys? Someone has come up with a dog chew toy in the image of Michael Vick. Seeing a picture of Michael Vick in his Falcons uniform should make dogs all over the world happy. While companies are dumping the Vick name as fast as they can, you had to figure it would not take long to find a dog toy like this. There is no telling how long these will be around since they probably infringe on copyrights but it should be interesting. I am sure there will be a lot of jokes about these. I understand they cost about $10.99, not including shipping. I wonder if my dogs would like to chew on Michael Vick, the toy? I have to wonder how many people would buy this? Maybe the PETA people? Would you buy one? Next thing you know, we will be seeing them sold on the late night infomercials. Think, I'll have to hide the credit card from my dogs!