Whenever I walk out the door I see a beer bottle on the ground next to my neighbor's trash can. Day after day lying there lonely. Every Saturday and Wednesday the neighor pulls his trash can to the curb so that the trash men can empty the trash. Later the neighbor pulls his can back to it's spot. He never thinks about putting the bottle in the trash. Why? The poor little bottle has been there next to the wall for weeks now. How come it is always forgotten? Day after day the sad little bottle lies in wait. It has been rained on, blown by the wind gusts, sniffed at by my dogs. Yet, it continues to stay right there. The guy occasionally brings home another 12-pack of bottles. Eventually the box and the other bottles find their way to the trash can so that they can meet their final reward at the dump. Yet day after day the lonely bottle never moves. No body cares. No one takes the time to pick it up. Soon ants may chose it as a shelter. Taking the garbage from inside to the trash can is a chore. It is such a long walk from inside their apartment. There may be four steps from the front door to the can.They always seem to have a lot of trash. Bag after bag and box after box find themselves to the trash. Yet the poor little beer bottle continues to lie there lonely and forgotten. Poor little bottle-maybe I should just do it a favor and drop it into the can myself. Then again, if I went to that trouble, it would just end up on the grass at the curb. Lonely again.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It seems that everyday I find something has changed in whatever I buy. The large box of cereal which once had 25 ounces now has 20 ounces and a higher price. Canned goods have less in them. Prices are not going down. Gee, imagine that. Every time I see "new, or improved" I have to wonder what is new or improved. Sometimes the "new, low fat" just means it has 10% fat as opposed to 15%. What does "new formula" mean? Companies are getting sneakier in how they list ingredients or amounts of product. I've seen smaller containers of laundry detergent or softener which proudly say they are better than before. Sure they are.
A friend of my husband had time on his hands one day so he decided to test the truth on a package of AngelSoft toilet paper. He decided to count all the squares on the roll. I told you he had time on his hands. The toilet paper was advertized as having 200 sheets per roll. When he counted the sheets on a roll, he discovered the roll was short a few sheets. Instead of having 200 sheets, it had 158. So, he tried another roll and so on. He wrote the company. This company was very impressed with his concerns. After thanking him and promising to improve, they sent him some of the new 200 sheet paper rolls. Curious, he again counted the number on sheets on the rolls. There were 168 sheets, still not 200. Quality control must not be an exact science, at least for toilet paper.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Well I have noticed the Oscar telecast was low rated. I guess the writers strike and any other thing was more interesting than a bunch of men and women in expensive clothes congratulating themselves. Their speeches to seem to ramble on as they thank everybody on the planet. But, they have yet to thank Daisy.
My dear daschund, Daisy thinks she should be the award winner of all awards. Just going out for business or exercise is cause for a media frenzy. Or so Daisy thinks. She can be in mid-poop and spy someone walking a street away and pose for the camera. That must be hard to do while being in a squat. I'm not saying she is self absorbed but she expects that all passers-by or drivers, workers or anyone else within range should take notice of her. I have to remind her that not everyone thinks she is adorable. Of course that does no good. She will see someone at the fire station and wag her tail and pose for them. If someone pulls into a driveway they must be coming to see her, right? That seems to be what she thinks. She will stop what ever she is doing and trot to that general direction. She thinks she is Queen of the World and everyone is her subject. At the very least all people within walking distance should come see and play with her. Unlike Lady who would rather consider others as invaders of her peace, Daisy welcomes all.
All those people on the red carpet have nothing on her. Like the beauty queen she thinks she is, she is always ready. And like the line in a old movie "I'm ready for my close-up" seems to be her anthem. Who needs an Oscar, anyway? There is always Daisy. After all, an Oscar statue won't keep you warm at night. Right Daisy?
Friday, February 22, 2008
I have seen the weather reports of snow, ice and other problems all over the country. Did the local forcasters get them all right? If you believe what you see on the national news programs I guess they did. After days of snow one could assume that at least one day the forcast was correct. What did the meteorologist see as he looked out the window or walked outside? Hey there is snow on the ground and clouds in the sky. Maybe I will put that in my five day forcast. Or they go outside and see rain. With the advent of the weather computers used by all the tv stations even the average viewer can watch the weather.
Maybe we tv watchers should take up the weather predicting. At least here in Houston, every time I watch the predictions I end up wondering why did they say that. In the last few weeks I have watched the weekly forcasts go from warm to cold, wet to dry. The trouble is when they say it will rain, it doesn't. When they say it will be cold, I end up turning on the air conditioner. Last night they all said beware of a strong line of thunderstorms. Nothing happened. This morning storms will be crossing the viewing area. They even had the time nailed down when they would show up. They just forgot something. Predicting the weather is a science, just not an exact science. Don't look now, those thunderstorms took a detour.
I grew up watching the weather. I had my own little weather station and instruments in my backyard. I think I got it as a present, one of those science project type of things. I even briefly toyed with the idea of being a weathercaster someday. When I learned how much math was involved I changed my mind. Math and I did not get along.
But these days I think I will stick to watching the tv guys and ask my dogs. They dogs seem to have a better idea of when it will be stormy. When it is cloudy outside and I can't get them to move out of the chair, I know it is going to rain. When they curl up under their blanket, it will be cold.
Lately the local weather people have warned us about all sorts of impending weather problems. This system is heading our way, or that won't come here. I think the weather likes to toy with us. Just as soon as the experts say something is going to happen - it doesn't. I was waiting for the rain today. Now the sun is shining. Oh well, there is a saying here in Texas, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it will change." So tomorrow it is supposed to be 74 and sunny. No rain, right?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Well, it is that time of year again when the teams pack up the equipment and players head out to training camp. Pitchers and catchers always start first, then the rest of the teams gather. Which team will ultimately grab the spotlight and end up in the World Series? On ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning, they discussed the teams and the two Mike's agreed that it looked like the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs could be the teams in the Series. They also said the the Brewers, Rockies, Red Sox and Yankees might have a hand in who ends up in post season play.
I'm going out on a limb here and say the Houston Astros could be a contender. Come on, quit laughing, it could happen. What is that noise? Who climbed up my tree and why do you have a saw? Saw the limb off behind me, well that is a good start.
The Astros will look differently this year. We have a new manager in Cecil Cooper. Several players including Everett, Birk and Qualls are gone. Biggio has retired. We still have Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee. Now we have Kazuo Matsui and Miguel Tejada in the infield. Outfield still has Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence along with Michael Bourn and others. Pitching is still anchored by Roy Oswalt with Bradon Backem Chris Sampson, Wandy Rodriguez and a host of others who will show off during training camp.
Of course pitching is suspect. And we don't know what, if anything, will happen with Tejada. Lance Berkman, one of the jokers on the team will be giving Hunter Pence a hard time for smashing through a glass door. Brad Ausmus is already talking about the ribbing Pence will get. "Hunter, there is a glass door there." will be said a lot.
On paper we have more power hitters than in seasons past. It will be harder for pitchers to pitch around our batting order. We have a lot of speed and hitters who want to win. The question remains with the pitching rotation. Other than dependable Oswalt, who do we expect to fill out the rotation and the bull pen? Hopefully, preseason will have several pitchers prove themselves worthy.
Call me an optimist, but since this team is different than years past, maybe this year will be the start of winning. Ok, go ahead and laugh now. Go Stros!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Remember the old movie where the rocket slams into the moon and the man in the moon is not happy? Here is a wild thought. NASA is rushing the shuttle Atlantis home so it won't be in the way when the Navy attempts to shoot down the wayward spy satellite. They don't want to take a chance with debris hitting the shuttle. Of course this is just wild speculation. Right? Or is it? The way things have been going with our space program and our satelitte systems there is a question in the back of the minds of a few people. I am sure it is just coincidence that the shuttle is on it's way home tomorrow. After all it did finish the intended mission. Of course how many years have we been looking for Bin Laden? I can see my car in our parking lot, but satellites can't find him. The mission to shoot down the satellite will cost $40 million. What if they miss? Yeah, I think it might be a good idea to get the shuttle back on earth before the Navy starts shooting. There is enough junk in space now. We certainly don't want to leave another mark on the shuttle. Those tiles cost money, you know.
Friday, February 15, 2008
So the US Navy is going to attempt to shoot a wayward spy satellite out of the sky. The satellite is about the size of a bus and has about 1000 pounds of toxic rocket in it. We certainly don't want this thing causing danger to us. Or maybe we just need an excuse to practice shooting down things. We are, after all, worried about China. So the USS Lake Erie will attempt to shoot the wayward satellite out of harm's way. What if they miss? I understand they may have a slight chance to try again. So what if the second try fails? Where is Bruce Willis when we need him.
All worries about danger and toxic fuel aside, just imagine if a piece of this fell, say on a house or a car. I can just see the call to the insurance company now. The phone rings at ABC Insurance Company.
Homeowner, " I need to make a claim on damage to my house".
Insurance agent. " All right, sir. How can we help you?"
Homeowner, " A satellite fell on my house."
Sounds of laughter can be heard over the phone as the homeowner tried to convince the agent that this really happened.
Agent, "Come on, this is a joke right? Who put you up to this?
Homeowner, "I am not kidding, a satellite fell on my house! If you don't believe me, get your adjusters out here to look!"
Agent, still laughing says "Ok, ok, what makes you so sure it was a satellite?"
By now the homeowner is fuming. "Look, I have had a policy with you for 20 years, are you going to help me or not? I am telling you it is a satellite!"
As the agent waves to his office mates to listen in he in all seriousness says,"Sir, I am sorry, but your homeowners policy does not cover damage by satellite."
By now the homeowner is livid. He screams at the agent. As he tries to regain his composure, he hears a loud rumbling. As he looks out his window, part of the satellite falls onto his car. He starts to cry.
The agent hearing this gets serious. "Sir, I am so sorry... Sir, are you crying? Why are you crying?"
The homeowner tells him through his tears," The satellite just fell on my car."
The the agent lets out an audible sigh. "Well sir, you'll have to call your car insurance company. We don't cover car damage."
Should have called Bruce Willis.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Hubby surprised me this morning with two boxes of chocolate, a pot of tulips, and a cutle little toy bear. No wonder he kept hinting for me to go to bed last night. He had all the stuff in the car.
From the History Channel I found some interesting facts.
Did You Know?
There are many opinons as to who was the original Valentine, with the most popular theory that it was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. In any event, in 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine. Through the centuries, the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages and St. Valentine became a patron saint of lovers. In the 1840s, Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, is given credit for sending the first Valentine cards. The spirit of love continues as valentines are sent with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.
Looking for Love
- 188 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.) (Source: Hallmark research)
- Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight. (Source: Hallmark research)
- Research reveals that more than half of the U.S. population celebrates Valentine's Day by purchasing a greeting card. (Source: Hallmark research)
- There are 119 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:Hispanics: 153 men per 100 womenAsians (single race): 132 men per 100 women (This ratio is not significantly different from that for Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites.)Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 120 men per 100 womenBlacks (single race): 92 men per 100 women (The numbers of black men and women in this age group are not significantly different from one another.)
- There are 34 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) age 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:Hispanics: 38 men per 100 womenNon-Hispanic whites (single race): 33 men per 100 womenBlacks (single race): 33 men per 100 womenAsians (single race): 28 men per 100 women(Note: None of the ratios for the individual groups differ significantly from one another nor from the ratio for all people age 65 or older.)
- 904: The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenues.
- 2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 6,000 a day.
- 147,300 marriages are performed in Nevada during 2005. So many couples "tie the knot" in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it's total population that year among states was 35th.
- The estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men are 25.3 and 27.1 respectively, in 2005. The age for women rose 4.2 years in the last three decades. The age for men at first marriage is up 3.6 years.
- Men and women in northeastern states generally have a higher median age at first marriage than the national average. In Massachusetts, for example, women were a median of 27.4 years old and men 29.1 years of age at first marriage. States where people typically marry young include Utah, where women were a median of 21.9 years and men, 23.9 years.
- 57% and 60% of American women and men, respectively, are 15 or older and currently married (includes those who are separated).
- 72%: The percentage of men and women ages 30 to 34 in 2005 who had been married at some point in their lives - either currently or formerly.
- 4.9 million opposite-sex cohabitating couples maintained households in 2005. These couples comprised 4.3 percent of all households.
Candy is Dandy!
- 1,241: The number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. These establishments employed 43,322 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 136, followed by Pennsylvania with 122. (Source:http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html)
- 515 locations produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people.
- The total value of shipments in 2004 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products was $13.9 billion. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $5.7 billion industry.
- 3,467 Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2004. Often referred to as candy stores, they are among the best sources of sweets for Valentine's Day.
- The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005 was 25.7 pounds. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of candy a year.
- The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2005 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $397 million. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for nearly three-quarters of this amount ($289 million).
- The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2005 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $39 million. Among all types of cut flowers, roses were third in receipts ($39 million)to lilies ($76.9 million) and tulips ($39.1 million).
- There were 21,667 florists nationwide in 2004. These businesses employed 109,915 people.
- There were 28,772 jewelry stores in the United States in 2004. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2006, these stores sold $2.6 billion worth of merchandise. (This figure has not been adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday or trading day differences or price changes). The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation's 1,864 jewelry manufacturing establishments. The manufacture of jewelry was an $9 billion industry in 2004.
Looking for Love? Try looking here...
Names of some romantic-sounding places:
Love Valley, NC
Loveland Park, OH
Loves Park, IL
Loving County, TX
Love County, OK
Sacred Heart, MN
Heart Butte, MT
South Heart, ND
- 21: Number of places named "rose". The red rose has long been a symbol of romantic love. Rose Hill, VA., is the most populous, with more than 15,000 residents.
Data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When I took Daisy outside last night before bed, I noticed a lot of water running in fire house back yard. We did have a big series of thunderstorms come through around lunch time. But this had nothing to do with it. As Daisy and I walked around our building I saw water flowing from the same area which was hit by the truck recently. I guess it is a good thing that there is a drainage ditch along the road. The water had made the yard area into a lake and it continued to run quickly into the ditch. It looked like a little water fall into the ditch. I guess it is a good thing that the ditch drains fairly well. Otherwise we could have an even bigger problem if the water were to move along the yard into our area. When I came back inside I asked Jimmy if I should call someone. Of course not. All they will do at 11:00 at night would be to turn off the water, leaving all the residents with no water. And how come the cops did not see this when they did their drive arounds? Well it is now almost 8:00 am and the water is still flowing merrily along. Traffic has moved along and settled down from it's early morning crawl. The water is still running. When I took the dogs out this morning they both looked at me as if to ask "what is this mess?" More water, running again. Wonder how long it will take for someone to shut it off this time? Anybody got a row boat? How about an ark?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It may soon be time for me to put in my earplugs and really start channel surfing. I heard the first ad this morning for the primary in Texas. Barack Obama was speaking. Wonder when we will get the Clinton ads. Hillary has already started visitiing the Lone Star State. We here in Texas will soon be under attack. I think I would rather have the flu. Obama will be making a stop here in Houston, but there is no word yet on when Hillary will show up. Hispanics really like her so this would be a good stop for her. Obama has opened some offices here. Millions of dollars will be spent here on ads. Sigh. I have heard that there will be phone calls from the candidates.
And to think that just a few months ago the pundits were saying that it would all be over before the Texas primary in March. Tisk, tisk, oh ye of little faith. Now Texas will be attacked like an insect swarm. Oh joy. Reporters will be here asking all sorts of questions of the candidates and those who plan to vote in the primary. Fort Bend County is already looking at the possibility that there will not be enough voting machines. They think that there may be more people trying to vote than in past years. So they are trying to encourage voters to vote early to avoid long lines.
Yeah, it is going to be a really fun few weeks. Maybe. Doesn't everybody want to listen to phone calls and radio and tv ads. And we can't forget all the local media trying to get the big story before anyone else. I actually remember when I enjoyed all the pre-election stuff. I even liked watching the conventions. I do remember being amazed by the speech Barack Obama gave at the last convention. Then I also remember voting for Goldwater. Somehow I feel that which ever party wins the election it will be another example of the more things change, the more they stay the same.
At least the Astros will be in spring training. So I will be looking forward to that. We'll have a lot of new players and a new manager. I would rather watch them play than watch the candidates dance for votes. Then again, I may just find time to clean out my closets. Et Tu , Brute?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Will this ever end? The continuing saga of he said, he said just gets deeper and uglier. Now Bryan McNamee says he injected Roger Clemens' wife, Debbie with HGH before a photo shoot five years ago. No word reqarding if he kept the syringes, etc. Jeez... I guess next he will say he injected Roger's son Koby who is in the Astros farm system. I don't know what other people think but to me this is getting personal. On the other hand Clemens is making the rounds of the Congressial offices, having pictures taken with senators and congressmen and giving autographs. Hum...Where is Bryan McNamee? Is he getting his picture taken? Is Roger Clemens clean? He says so. YouTube even has a copy of a 1987 Zest commercial--Zestfully Clean as Zest soap used to say.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5iqpb6L7pY Boy he looks young!
In the middle of this the Houston Rockets seem to go almost unnoticed, but they have won six straight games and are only 4 1/2 games out of first place in their division. I don't follow basketball especially since the Rockets frequently start out like a house on fire, and then burn down. But there is hope among the fans.
Me,I am ready for the As the Stomach Churns soap opera to end. After all, the Houston Astros start Spring Training this week. Yipee! For once the team, at least on paper, is loaded with power hitters in the lineup. Well, we will still have to see if the clouds part over Miguel Tejada. Did,he take steroids, too? Maybe he went to the party Jose Canseco had a few years back where Canseco and Clemens discussed steroids and HGH. McNamee actually says Roger was at the party but Canseco says he was not. And so the soap opera continues...
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Life imitates art so the saying goes. Well maybe. Maybe it imitates tv. All the Houston tv stations as well as the national networks have reported on the steroid scandal in baseball. Former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens is right smack in the middle. Yesterday his former trainer Bryan McNamee dropped a bombshell by saying that he has evidence proving that he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH. Clemens continues to deny that he ever took these. He even spoke on Capital Hill about this. So this is a he said, he said problem.
Daily soap operas don't have this much drama. They just take months to kill someone or weeks to discover who is the daddy of the pregnant tramp who was found dead. "CSI" deals with the evidence all the time. They gather the evidence, study it and decide how and who did the deed. Now Bryan McNamee says he has evidence that he did the deed. He says he has bloody gauze, vials, and syringes which he says are proof. Now it is time for the CSI boys at the feds lab to decide if there is indeed DNA evidence to prove this. If the results comeback with DNA of Roger Clemens it could prove that he has been lying all along. This could result in perjury charges. Then we go to the Law & Order and get a trial. This could get ugly.
Then there is my own question. Why would a trainer keep vials, gauze and syringes which he used on someone for seven years? That to me seems to be a little strange and premeditated. He knew what he was doing. Did he tell Clemens that he was injecting him with the steroids and HGH? Or did he tell him it was something else? Suddenly now he has produced this proof. Keeping this stuff for so long seems like the act of a person who has a grudge or wants to discredit someone. And so, in true soap style the scene is set for the Young and Restless to fight All My Children for The Guiding Light of truth for they have only One Life to Live.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Sometimes I think we need to stop and think about life. Many times we are so busy with work and family that we forget that sometimes little things mean more than we know. I remember years ago when I had my first job working in a records room of a hospital. I was about 20 years old and it was the first time I had my own money. One of my jobs was to go pick up records from various clinics and offices. As I walked around I saw a young girl in a waiting room. She seemed upset. I asked her what was wrong. She did not have enough money for a coke from the machine and her father was with her mother who had just had surgery. I did not usually have change in my pocket unless I was going on a break. This time for some reason I did have some in my pocket. I dug into my pocket and found enough change to pay for a drink. So I gave her the money. She thanked me and I thought "no big deal". She smiled, that was enough.
We went to the funeral of my son-in-law's mother last week. I usually avoid funerals as much as possible. But we knew that since she had been very sick this was about to happen. My son-in-law asked if we could come to the funeral. I could not help but feel that this was important to him. I did not know his mother very well. I had been around her a few times but we were not really close. I found out later that my son-in-law felt better than he had in a long time just by us coming. It was a long trip for us, but it was another little thing that mattered.
I've been thinking about an old song that Glen Campbell had on his "Galveston" album. It has always been a favorite of mine. Just a little small song on an album. "Friends" was a song he did not sing, but spoke. He spoke of how important friends are and how the seemingly little things we do for our friends are important. He spoke of how friends are never earned, they are a gift from the living God. A friend will warm you with a nod when you are hurting beyond words. They will answer the phone at two in the morning when you feel lost and with a few words of concern and encouragement make you realize you are not lost at all. Words we could all pay more attention these days. We may never know how or when something we say or do will help anyone. It doesn't cost a lot, either. It is the little things that mean a lot.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Today is "dump your significant jerk" day. In the spirit of the day I will try to decide who I would dump. I have so many choices. Let see, there is the guy that cut me off in traffic-nah, not good enough. Or I could choose the rude customer service person on the phone. Still not good enough. I could pick any politician. Getting closer, but still not good enough. Ok, I have come up with two.
One of my choices for significant jerk would have to be the New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick who left the field seemingly in a bad mood. Of course in true Super Bowl fashion one second was left on the play clock, people swarmed the field. Belichick hurried across the field, shook hands with Giants coach Tom Coughlin and left. He did not even come back when the officials made the fans and reporters get off the field so that the game could finish that last second. When a reporter caught him outside the locker room Belichick was still less than graceful in defeat. He never once had anything to say about the Giants. Some people think he was classless, unsportsman-like and disrespectful. I guess he won't win any good guy prizes this year.
But for rudeness Belichick has nothing on the neighbor who lives in front of me. Ever since he and his wife moved in I have tried to be nice and cordial to him when ever he is outside with his pitbull. I have tried to speak to him on numerous occasions. All I get for my trouble is surliness. He refuses to speak or even acknowledge my efforts. At first I thought it was just me. But he is just as rude to Jimmy and even to Amanda when she lived here. Amanda tried to talk to him cause she liked his dog. She once had a pit bull, so she thought they would have something in common. Not a chance. So, I think I will call him my significant jerk and dump him. I feel better all ready. Ha!