Friday, September 29, 2006

Three More

Let's see, the Rocket starts today, the ? starts tomorrow, and Andy pitches Sunday. Do we dare plan for post season? St. Louis is having a tough time, lately. The Astros are currently only 1/2 game behind the Cards for the Central Divison Championship. If the 'Stros don't win the division, they go home. Some choice. Three games left. We really need to win all three and hope St.Louis continues to fall. Of course the bigger question may be can any National League team beat the American League. It really doesn't matter which American League team goes to the World Series because the National League can't seem to beat them. Just look at what happened during interleague play this season. All the National league teams stunk against the AL teams. So what real chance does a National League team have?

We'll just take it one game at a time. Three more regular season games to survive first. Can't look any farther than that. By Sunday night the Astros should learn if they will be packing for the first round of the post-season or dusting off the golf clubs for the winter vacation.

Three more. Then???

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm Already Tired of This

I am feeling very frustrated right about now. Since we've made the decision to move out of this money pit house, I've been calling around and the more I call the more frustrated I become. I really dont want to live in an apartment complex, but everything I can find that might fit what we want is in the middle of one. We are looking for a townhouse, or 2-4plex type with a garage and a yard. We also have been looking at smaller houses cause we'd like a yard. The houses all seem to need nearly $2000 to move it. The usual deposit and 1st month rent plus deposit for 2 dogs. That doesn't even include the moving expenses. The cheapest way to move would be to rent a U-Haul and move ourselves, but since we have no one to help us... We can't move all this stuff alone and movers are expensive. Even though my son lives here in town, he is always on call or joined at the hip with his girlfriend. The other kids all live out of town. The closest one lives about an hour from here. She still has some of her stuff here. She had said she would come back with her cousin and his truck to get the stuff, but haven't seen any indication that will happen any time soon. I really don't want to move her stuff too. Funny how many times you help people out, but when you need some help, it is never a convenient time for them.

And so I wait for people to call me back or to even answer their phone. It's frustrating because I can't really get any good answers. When I find something that looks like it might work, I either can't get hold of any one to tak to or the ad ends up being not exactly what we want.

Then of course the idiot boss decided that if Jimmy is not doing plumbing related work he would take $250 a week off his paycheck. Gotta do plumbing 5 days to get a full check, four days of plumbing and one day other construction cuts the pay. This is not funny. I don't think I will be going to the company Christmas party. I might just get nasty with the boss. How can anyone budget when you don't know what your weekly check will be?

I'm tired of waiting on people who promise things and then don't deliver. I'm tired of getting my hopes up only to have them dashed. I could get really crabby. Trying to be positive, things will work out, right?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Car That Parallel Parks For You?

Ok, I know this is nuts, but I heard Regis Philbin mention that Lexus was soon going to have a car that would parallel park itself. Huh? Supposedly using GPS technology this car can parallel park with out a driver. How many people would like that? I can just see the kid about to take his driver's test. "Look Officer, no hands."

Knight Rider would be proud! Kitt go park the car. Let's see, you can get alarm systems with remote start already. How soon will it be that the car will drive itself?

Does the car fight for a parking space too? Just imagine the look on the face on the drunk staggering out of the bar as that car parks itself!

Science fiction becomes science fact?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Can We? Will We?

I am so tense lately because some how, some way the Astros still have a shot at going to the playoffs. Somehow the 'stros have climbed out of the wild card muck into the race for the lead in the Central Divison. Is this for real? Can they sustain the win streak? Who knows. But after last night's win over Philly and the Cards slide, any thing is possible. It is nerve wracking for sure. I'm not a nail biter but these last few games have been the stuff of movies. Talk about high drama! From being mired down in a Wild Card race, also known as the race nobody wants to win, to 2 1/2 games behind Division leading St. Louis. St. Louis has been losing lately and Houston has been winning. Which bubble will burst first? It has been said that the only chance the Astros would have to win would mean they would have to win all of the remaining games and the team(s) ahead of them would all have to lose. Could this happen? Anything is possible. I'm almost afraid to watch the games. I've gotten to the point that I switch back and forth from watching the network programs to checking on the game. Lately, if I don't watch the game from start to finish, they win. I am so nervous! Come on guys! Can the Astros become the little team that could? Around here you really need nerves of steel!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tell Me Again Why We Should Let Illegal Aliens In.

The murder on police officer Rodney Johnson brings up, yet again, the question of what to do about illegal aliens. His killer is an undocumented immigrant who was previously convicted on indecency with a child. He was deported after that. He returned to Houston and apparently worked in landscaping or some other outside day labor work. Nice work for someone who is not supposed to be here.

Officer Rodney Johnson was well liked by the members of his department and the people he served. His wife is also a police officer. Because of the dangerous work they did, the Johnsons encouraged their five children to go into other professiions.
Officer Rodney Johnson loved his job, rarely taking time off or vacations. He was honored for courage and bravery more than once.

Juan Quintero confessed to the shooting but offered no explanation. He shot the officer several times in the head. A Tow truck driver at the scene narrowly missed being hit.

Police Chief Harold Hurtt appeared on Good Morning America blaming the federal government for not securing our borders. Most police departments do not have the time or manpower to do immigration checks on suspects as some federal officials have suggested. If Officer Johnson had been able to check the immigration status of this man, maybe he would not have been killed. Maybe not.

As a border state Texas is home to a lot of illegal immigrants, many of whom think they should be given amnesty and allowed to stay here. Amnesty, my ass!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oh, Bite Me!

Fall starts this evening. Yipee. Will I save any money on my electric bill? The leaves on the trees have been falling for a while now. Too bad, none of them are the pretty fall colored ones. Around here, they are either green or brown. A few are yellow which means they will be falling soon. Any day now I expect the tallow tree next door to be bald again. That, of course, means all the leaves will be in my yard.

My wonderful landlord never sent anyone to check the AC unit. Imagine that. Any day now I expect a call because my neighbor has a car parked in front of my house. That family has vehicles parked in two different driveways and now in front of my house. Well, at least they finally gave away their big brown dog. They decided to give to someone who had room for the dog to roam. Since he liked to roam around the neighborhood it was a good choice. Duh... I hope he is happier there.

My daughter called me at 9:00 from California. "What time is it there?" Since it was only 7:00 there I asked her what she was doing up so early. She's not an early riser. Must be nice to jump off to different cities for "business" meetings. And yet they have no money and let their truck be repo'd. Go figure. Her husband tried to get us to join in the business, no thanks. Too much like Amway for my tastes. No money, but they find a way to the meetings? Hum...

The Texans play the Redskins Sunday. Let's all laugh now! They are both 0-2, so which one will rise up and bite the other team?

Lastly, and sadly, the City of Houston lost one of it's police officers yesterday. A routine traffic stop turned deadly. Some how after the officer put the man into the police car the suspect managed to pull out a gun and shoot the office 5 times in the back of the head as the officer sat in the front seat.

Bite me before I snarl at all this crap!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ok, What Next?

Well, unless the Astros can win the last eleven games they probably wont make the playoffs. Ha,ha, like that is going to happen. See you next year.

I did watch what was probably Roger Clemens last home game here in Houston. The Master did his job to the delight of the fans. Funny how a lot of people left the park after he finished. It was nice to see how he controlled the hitters. For once the Astros' bats backed him up. It was also nice to see the standing ovation of appreciation by the fans.

He has made several comments before and during this season aimed at the younger team members. I just hope they have listened. He has told them it is time for them to take charge and to also learn from the work ethic of the players like himself and Craig Biggio. Work, work, work.

I have a feeling the team may not look the same next year. Brandon Backe just had Tommy John surgery, so he will not be available next year. Biggio is oh so close to many records which the team and the owner want him to achieve. Will he? Only time will tell. There are some players that may or may not be back. Aubrey Huff is a question because he really didn't provide the punch that was needed. Ensberg and Lane had so so years. Luke Scott is a bright spot for sure. He deserves a raise. The big question, yet again, is will the Rocket come back? I doubt it, But who knows?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You Talking To Me?

As I was driving around town today I noticed a man standing at the crosswalk. As he stood patiently waiting for the light to change I noticed two things about him. First, he looked like a short Donald Rumsfeld. The second thing was that he appeared to be talking to himself. Does Rumy? Maybe that's why he gets his way all the time.

After that I began to wonder just how many people talk to themselves. Most of us do so silently. Personally, I'm not sure if I'd want others to know what I would say about them. Since this was not the first person around here who seemed to carry on a conversation, how many people do this? I've seen people driving and holding what appears to be a very animated conversation. Are they singing along with a song on the radio? Maybe they are talking on the phone. With the advent of wireless technology, you never know to whom someone is talking. I've seen people in stores talking to an invisible person and realized they were on the phone. And here I thought the person was ready to be picked up by the guys in white coats.

Guess I'll have to be a little more careful. I don't normally talk to myself while crossing the street but I have been guilty of singing while driving. I've even rehearsed lines for a play while driviing. After all no one was going to interrupt me there. So, I've decided to not wonder anymore. Just because a guy is crossing the street or talking while driving, maybe they aren't crazy. Or are they?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Go Ahead, Bribe the Dog

Have you ever noticed how relationships have a comfort zone? A young relationship or marriage is a hands on work in progress. The two involved have hands on each other all the time,all over the house. Then the kids come along. What happened to romance? Diapers and baby spit up and the I'm too tired, is the routine. Kids hop into the bed and disrupt things or they get sick in the middle of the night. Eventually the kids finally grow up and leave home. Then comes the empty nest syndrome. Haven't I seen you some where? Yeah I'm the one who has been sleeping in the same bed with you all these years. So what do we do now? The house is empty. Do you think the kids will be coming by this afternoon? Not likely, they are all doing their own thing. So, what do you want to do? We have a whole day by ourselves. Well, we could do it. Do what? You know,"it". Oh yeah, no one to interrupt us. But what about the dog? What do you mean? Well, last time we did it, the dog was on the bed watching. Do you know how hard it is to do it with the dog at the foot of the bed, thinking, "you won't let me do that." Ruins the moment do you think? We could bribe the dog... What do you mean? We'll go down stairs, bribe the dog with a treat. Then while the dog is eating the treat, we'll shut the door to the den and run upstairs to the bedroom. How does that sound? Sounds great, you go first. Pant, pant...I ran all the way, the dog doesn't suspect a thing. Now what do we do?

Friday, September 15, 2006

They Did It To Me Again

Just when I thought I was through getting price increase notices, here comes another.Time Warner sent us a letter saying that "due to rising programming costs, and the general costs of doing business, Time Warner Cable will be increasing the rates for some products and services..." Apparently our "product" is the Channel Guide Magazine which will be going up in price from $2.75 to $3.99 per month.

So how many times a month do we use this magazine? Rarely if at all. This magazine is filled with over 200 pages of schedules. Most of these have nothing to do with us because we do not have digital or premium channels. Most of this guide lists things like 10-15 pages of "events IN DEMAND or iCONTROL", another 4 to 5 pages Channel Directory for every thing from basic cable to HDTV. Another 2-4 pages is for CableSpecials. Another 12 to 14 pages (in color) feature short articles about various shows or actors featured during the month. I can not remember when I used this 250 page guide. Most of the time, if at all, I might do the crossword puzzle on the last page of the book.

I'm sure that others use this book every day. But, I don't. But I can't not "subscribe" to it. It is part of having the cable system. Wonderful. So what is up with Time Warner? They have already announced they are leaving the Houston market and Comcast will be taking over. I find this whole thing a little funny. The cable company has to manage its increasing costs so they raise rates. At the same time they are pushing advertizing for new services or bundled services as well as jobs. They want people to sign up for cable, internet, and phone for $100 for six months. Hey, great deal, right? So why do this if Comcast will be taking over in March, which is roughly 6 months.? Who are they kidding? Since I can't not subscribe to this magazine, maybe I'll save it and use it in the fireplace.

Let me see...what will the mail bring today? Maybe the garbage will up it's rates or maybe the water. Maybe the phone company will want to change something. Oh wait, they already want me to bundle my tv, internet, and phone for $100 for 6 months. Didn't I just see that? Oh yeah, at Time Warner.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Season, Same Old Stuff

For some reason I have the tv on the NBC station here in Houston. I forgot Meredith Viera was starting on the Today Show. Where is the dentist. There is more sugar on this show then my husband puts in his coffee. My teeth are hurting. Everyone is being so nice and saying such nice things about the new co-host. I could get diabetes just listening. Where's The View? Hurry up, I need a little cat fight!

Since it is almost fall and an even numbered year, it must be election coverage time. Ho hum, same stories, same ads over and over. Is it November yet? Kinky Friedman is having a fund raiser in New York City. New York City? Well, the money has to come from somewhere. And Don Imus went to high school with Rick Perry. Oh, brother! Nationally, the political reporters are salivating over the primary victories. Just wait till the November elections! Will, the punches and fur fly? I hope there will be some good movies on TCM.

Sadly, as the Astros seem to be in free fall, the Texans are gearing up for "improvement". Well, maybe they will provide some mindless intertainment(or frustration) on Sundays. At least the new tv season is starting. Come on Tucker, you can do better than that! Do you really want Jerry Springer to beat you? I don't think even House could solve your lack of ability or interest. Maybe we could get Jethro Gibbs to smack you on the head.

It's not cool here yet. Ninety degrees is not fall. But this is Texas, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it will change. Now, which new tv series do I want to watch? Maybe I should just stick to the same old stuff.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kenneth P. Lira

As I sit here 5 years after the World Trade Center was destroyed, I am reminded that nothing in this world is certain. Kenneth, you are one of the people who, until that day, I never knew. We all know you now. You were there. Did you know what was happening? Did you feel anything? You lived in Paterson, New Jersey. I used to spend time each summer in New Jersey visiting my grandfather. You went to work as usual, but nothing was usual.

The name Kenneth P. Lira was one of thousands who were never given a choice. Fate chose you and others in the WTC that day. Your family and friends will forever wonder why. At 28, what were you looking forward to doing? Maybe you are doing it now. Kenneth P. Lira is forever remembered as one of the nearly 3,000 victims of the terrible attacks that day.

May you live forever in the hearts and minds of every freedom loving American. For that matter all people who cherise freedom around the world will forever know you. The cost of freedom is high. The price is paid not only by those who chose to protect our lives in the military or as police, firemen, and rescue people, but by the ordinary citizens.

Kenneth P. Lira you are a hero. America will never forget you.

Friday, September 08, 2006

And When Are You Coming To Get Your Stuff?

Amanda called me a couple of weeks ago to discuss the problem created by her cousin's ex. Seems that this chick moved out ( or was tossed) but has left a lot of stuff in the house. Since Amanda is now living there, they need the extra space. As a result she has been trying to get the girl to come get the stuff she left behind. Apparently this has not be easy. So Amanda asked me what I thought. I suggested that she send a certified letter telling her that if she did not pick up her stuff within a certain amount of time, it may be tossed. Now,I don't know what the outcome is or was but yesterday while I was cleaning I thought about all the stuff Amanda left here.

Just when is Amanda coming to get her stuff? Good question. She's got a couple of piles of cookbooks still sitting on my fireplace hearth. I finally pulled out the stuff she had in the panty and put it in bags. I could not find anything in the pantry. I think I got most of it out. At least now I can see what is in there. But now I have some bags sitting in the living room. She still has some things in my freezer. And then there is the stuff she left in the bedroom. Let's see, still there is her desk, chair, printer, pictures, a vase various other things.

Come get your stuff! I need to clean that room! You promised you would do this a while ago, but you haven't yet. Is the pot calling the kettle black? I know you are busy with work, helping your mother with your sister and being the gang leader. How about taking some time to visit your Dad and move the rest of your things out. Ok?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Break out the beer and the chips, NFL football is back. Now it's for real. NBC has the opening salvo with Miami and Pittsburgh. I'm guessing that the Steelers should win this but you never know.

Sunday our Houston Texans take on the Philidelphia Eagles. Let's see, new coach, new system, new players, including #1 draft pick Mario Williams, new attitude. Will the Texans be for real this year? We shall see. Pre-season they were 3-1. That was one of their best. But pre-season victories don't always translate to a good season. Of course after a 2-14 season, anything would be an improvement. On the other hand they could go 1-15. Not likely, though some think that a 3-13 season would be a moral victory of sorts.

Gary Kubiak is a no-nonsense type of guy. I dont think he will stand for the lack of offense and defense that the team had last year. Let's face it, they were awfull last year. So far the number one draft choice of Mario Williams has yet to really prove much. DeMeco Ryans has impressed more people. What will Heismen Trophy winner, Ron Dayne add to the team? Will David Carr do better with the new system? He'd better. Too many people have put all their hopes onto his shoulders. Sage Rosenfels has looked very good at QB.

So, where will the Texans finish? 12-4, 10-6, ha,ha,ha. We shall see. Go Texans!

And Hook 'em Horns and Roll Tide!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hook 'em, Please

Way to go Horns. Start the season with a problem. Coach Brown suspended Senior cornerback Tarrell Brown and backup linebacker Tyrell Gatewood for the game against Ohio State. Good. Let's hope the players pay attention. Talk about dumb. Riding around Austin, Texas with a nine millimeter gun in your lap. Not the brightest thing to do. Drugs and weapons don't mix. I hope this doesn't hurt the team.

It is an early season match up with big potential. #1 vs #2. Will it have the same draw this early? It may not have the same importance as it would if the game were later in the season. Personally, I would rather not have my team ranked that high this early. But that is just me. But, for any team, it is better to lose early in the season rather than later.

Hopefully Texas will be ok without Brown and will beat up on Ohio State. Hook 'em Horns!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And Just What Did You Do?

Thursday left me crabby. I had a meltdown after trying to solve the feud between my modem and the internet. They weren't speaking to each other. Why is it all the wires seem to multiply behind the desk? Just try to find out what goes where. Finally got things running again, thus averting a unhappy poker player named Jimmy. Can't miss that big game! Friday I refused to do anything on the computer, too annoyed to write.Crawling around under the desk trying to fix the feud made me feel like I had been in a fight.

Saturday we finally got to see the exhibit of Body Worlds at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It was a very popular exhibit. Who knew that the human body could draw such interest. Gunther von Hagens invented the art of Plastination and the creation of Body Worlds. Thousands of people have now signed up to donate their bodies for this preservation process. One would think this would be a ghoulish exhibit, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It really showed the beauty beneath the skin. Frozen in time we can see how marvelous the human body is. The exhibit also showed how the disease process harms the body. unther von Hagens showed how each of the systems worked. He had various posed bodies highlighting the various organs and systems. A popular set was three men playing poker each highlighting a different system. One of the largest displays was a horse and rider. No wonder Body Worlds is a sell out every where. It is really worth seeing.

Then there was the insect and butterfly exhibts. There are really some weird bugs out there. As you walk through the butterfly exhibit, the different colorful species fly around you. Some even may land on you. Really neat! Kids seem to enjoy the up close and personal visits by them. We will be going back again.

Of course we had to cook outside on Sunday. Yipee, I don't have to cook this week! We cooked pork chops, ribs, hot dogs and fajita meat as well as salmon. I'm a little nervous about the salmon since I don't like fish, but we thought we'd try it.

Then we had to watch the Astros lose. I should have known better. Oh well, can't have everything.