Thursday, May 31, 2007

Homeland Security, Really?

After watching the news reports of the man flying all over the world with a drug resistant form of TB, I'm less than happy. It is bad enough that our borders are so porous that illegal aliens roam around free, now this. I read a book by John Nance which featured a plane that was not allowed to land in any country due to the fear of possible contamination. Of course this was fiction. This current situation is not. I understand that the man's passport was read electronically and that the human official missed the important information regarding the health of the passanger. So it seems that the CDC, the airlines, security departments of many countries including ours missed the memo. So where does this leave us? If a person can fly to so many places and not be noticed, what is next? Just imagine a terrorist flying with some biological timebomb. It is time that we and the world wake up to the fact that we don't really do a very good job in the security department. With all the different levels of security around the globe, we should not be happy that we dodged a bullet-this time. And how much money are we spending on Homeland Security and Immigration control and security? Maybe our wonderful government officials need to take a hard look at this situation. What ever they are doing, it's not working!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This Must Be Little Old Lady Day

I went to WalMart this morning to get a money order for a bill and noticed several little old ladies. Two of them were in front of me at the customer service line. They were old and cute. But there was a lady I noticed pull up next to me with her cart. I knew when I looked at her she was going to be trouble. I had been waiting patiently in line for my turn. The old lady behind me asked if I was waiting for someone. I told her no, I was getting a money order. I guess she was not paying attention. She kept pushing her cart up beside me. When it was my turn, I did my business only to have this little old lady start chewing me out for getting in front of her. She said I was waiting for someone and she should be next in line, not me. I politely told her that I said to her that I told her,I was not waiting for someone I was getting a money order. She preceded to start griping louder and pushed her cart next to me at the desk. I simply told her that I was not going to argue with her. She kept fussing. As the clerk handed me my money order I, over the continued rantings, I told the clerk thank you and the old lady to have a nice day. I guess she is still ranting.

Well one day I will be a little old lady. I hope I dont do that. Funny how sometimes you just know someone is going to be a problem. Then as I drove off to another errand I passed a Baptist church. I noticed on their marquee this statement "He who angers you, possesses you" I had to laugh. Bless those little old ladies.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

That Jersey Will Cost You

In a time when we hear a lot about athletes having problems with drugs, DUI, accidents or violence, it is nice to hear something positive. We don't hear enough about players who do nice things. The Associated Press and ABC News with Charles Gibson picked up this story.It is about a couple of Houston Texan football players. Ahman Green came to the Texans from the Green Bay Packers where he played for seven years. He always wore jersey number 30, plus he turned 30 earlier this year. Unfortunately Jason Simmons had worn that number with the Texans since their inception in 2002. Green really wanted that number. He was going to have to ask Simmons if he could have it. He was a little nervous about it, but Simmons said it was ok with him with a catch. Simmons wanted Green to make a down payment on a house for a family who needed help. Simmons and Green both agreed that charity and helping families in need in the Houston area is important.

It is nice to see that high dollar players who realize that it is not all about the money. It also created a great bond between the two players. Simmons and Green are working out the details and plan to announce the results later. It is nice to see a long time team memeber and a new member get together to help the less fortunate. That's the way to set a good example. I will ge watching #22 Jason Simmons and #30 Ahman Green with pleasure this year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's So Quiet

Jimmy had to go to Austin to work yesterday and today. Amanda went to work yesterday and then went to visit her mother in Edna. Since Jimmy had to leave really early yesterday I was up from 4:00am till after 11:00pm. Funny how quiet or noisey things are when you are alone. It has been peaceful. It rained yesterday so I had to wait to bathe Lady. Needless to say she was not happy. Daisy had her bath the day before. I have felt a little strange. I'm usually home by myself during the day. Amanda's work schedule varies so sometimes she leaves early, sometimes later in the morning. With no-one home I thought, "wow, I can get on the computer all day and night if I want." Jimmy usually plays online poker from the time he comes home till he goes to bed. Since he always has the sound on there is the constant card shuffle and other sounds of the games. This and whatever is on tv makes for little conversation.

Then I realized I didn't have to cook supper. Why bother if nobody will be home to eat it? Yipee. So I settled down for a quiet evening. Watch what ever is on tv. Let's see "NCIS", Dancing with the Stars", "Law and Order SVU", the Astros baseball game later cause they are playing in California. Well three out of four wasn't bad. The Stros are uh...never mind. Gee, I didn't realize how dark this living room is with only the tv on. Now if the dog next door would just quit whinning.

So how come Daisy did not pester me this morning. She is used to going out about 6:30 in the morning. On the weekend she stares at me and whines until I get up to take her out. Not today. I got up at the usual time. She seemed confused. Wher's Daddy? He's not here to give me my special treat.

So I guess I'll just enjoy the quiet while I can. Why do I feel a little guilty? Just because I am not really doing anything? Jimmy and Amanda should both be back late this evening. I hope Jimmy doesn't have to go back to Austin for a while. Meanwhile I will just enjoy the guilty pleasure of doing little and having quiet. It is so quiet I may have to make some noise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prejudice and Preception

I watched a "20/20" episode with Elizabeth Vargus last week that made me think about how we look at people. Three cases were shown-racial, sexual and body type. We all look at this in our own individual way. In each case the person or person were considered victims of prejudice. How do we come to these conclusions? Are we taught to see people a certain way?

I grew up in the Deep South in the 50's and 60's. I remember the tv news stories about the fight for integration. I remember the water hoses, the dogs and the speeches of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. Until I graduated from high school, I never went to school with anyone who was not white. My children, on the other hand, always went to an integrated school.Do they see things differently than I do because of that? Maybe. We still see news coverage of crime and find ourselves looking at the criminal's race. Sometimes we say to ourselves, once again these people do the crime. We wouldn't do that, why do they? Is this prejudice or perception?

Sexual orientation has become a hot topic over the years. Some people are very much opposed to gay/lesbian relationships. Some are opposed for religious reasons, some don't understand the attraction. Some people are actually afraid of these people or say they hate them. Why? Because they choose relationships that heterosexual people think are wrong? Once again, while growing up I was never confronted with this issue. Things were always said in hushed tones but never about anyone in public.

Why do people make such a big think over the weight or looks of a person. Often we see the super-thin models and rarely give a second thought about it. After all these are the "beautiful" people. We want to look like and dress like them. What about the woman who is considered "fat". What about the man who chooses to have a relationship with a fat woman. Why do people criticize that?

How and why do we get to the point that we feel prejudice against these people? Are we taught to see people this way? Who teaches us? Is this something we witness or learn as children? Does the media or tv and film play a part in how we respond to others? We frequently say that we are not prejudiced but we don't realize that we may look at a person differently than we do ourselves.

Prejudice comes from perception. Show ten people a picture of a beautiful woman and all will like it. Show the same picture plus the picture of a plain woman, the beautiful woman will still get the vote. It never seems to matter what the inside of the person is, our perception is what matters. We all have our perceptions of what we like or think is right. How often do we dig deeper and really get to know a person? Does it really matter that the doctor you saw in the ER was of a different race. Does it really matter that your best friend's wife is fat? So your neighbor is gay? Does that stop him from being a good neighbor?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Have Come to One Conclusion, or Maybe Two or Maybe...

I have concluded that there is nothing in this house that I want to eat. I walk to the refrigerator, open the door and stare. Nothing looks good. Of course it is only 9:45 am and I have already had my coffee and cereal. Now I feel like nibbling. Nothing strikes my fancy.

I have no desire to clean house. Dust bunnies need love too. If I drag out the vacuum out and use it, tomorrow there will be more stuff on the carpet to clean up.

Soon the dryer will notify me that I need to go back upstairs and put clothes away. How come my husband has shirts of every possible color but wears the same one over and over?

I need to buy some clothes and shoes for me but I just can not justify spending the money. So, I'll just keep wearing those shoes with the holes in them. After all why use my other shoes to walk the dogs in the rain. The ground behind our building always floods anyway.

We may soon get rid of the parrot. It will be a lot less noisy here when that happens. Bye, bye Birdie- oh wait that was a Broadway play with Dick Van Dyke. Next we will probably try to buy an aquarium. Have they gotten expensive, or is it just my imagination? Well, if we do, I wonder how many of the fish I pick out will die in less than a week? That always seems to happen to the fish I like. The others will hang on forever.

At least the Astros are looking better. Rookie Hunter Pence is such fun to watch. It is nice to see a young player do well and enjoy what he is doing. Carlos Lee is playing well too. Roger Who? So, it is a long season, one game at a time.

Any other conclusions out there? I'm sure I'll find some later. Conclusions never end, they just go to another place and hide.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Babies are Not Microwavable

What was he thinking? A 19 year old father put his two month old baby in a microwave. Now the baby is in the hospital with third degree burns. The father and wife and his mother had recently checked into a motel in Galveston, Tx. Then after he did this he call 911. Naturally the story he told was not consistant with the baby's injuries. I just don't understand. Does this guy have a mental problem? Yes and I guess that might be a defense, but... Then, since they were living in a motel, where were the baby's mother and grandmother? I know times are tough, but there is no excuse for this. One can only hope the baby will be ok.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Drive Friendly

There used to be signs along Texas highways which said the Texas drives friendly. Hum. We in Houston have to wonder sometimes about friendly driving. But at least we are not considered the drivers with the most rage. Miami drivers got that honor. Good heavens, all those happy retired people who moved from up north are rude? What does that say about retired people? Are they crabbier that the rest of us? Well? And to think that Dallas-Ft. Worth is friendlier than we are. That is what the report said. I can't imagine that. After all we salute everybody. Cut us off in traffic, we salute. Run stop signs, we salute. Honk horns at us, we salute. Grab the parking space we were waiting for, we salute. Don't pay attention because a person is too busy talking on the cell phone, we salute.

So Portland has the fewest reports of road rage. Miami has the most. Houston is ranked #11 and Dallas-Ft.Worth is ranked #21 nearly at the bottom. Do the people in Dallas have fewer issues than we do in Houston? Do the drivers in Portland mutter under their breath while smiling at the idiot who cut them off? I guess they don't plan to retire in Miami. Who would want to leave the rain, snow and winter cold to move to hot, sticky Miami?

To all those wonderful happy drivers in Portland and the angry, raging drivers in Miami, come to Houston. We will be happy to salute you just like we do all the drivers here. Drive Friendly, Ya'll.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

ATV Safety

I enjoy watching America's Funniest Videos just like most of us do. But somethings just aren't that funny. How many times does a guy have to get hit in the crotch before people stop thinking it is so funny? Rope swinging into a tree is great fun, right? Babies and pets are funny. A person's pain is not funny. I remember my Dad telling me about when his brother accidently hit my Dad in the head with a baseball bat when they were kid. His brother thought it was very funny, Dad didn't.

I see a lot of videos of four wheelers rolling over onto a rider. That is not funny. Children are frequently hurt playing with these things. Even adults in attempts to do stunts get hurt. They are fun to ride be we need to remember these things can be dangerous, if not deadly.

People love to ride these vehicles around fields and dirt roads and other assorted places. Rescue searchers frequently use them. However we must always remember these are heavy and powerful machines, not toys. Even under the best conditions, things can go wrong. My son Pat's friend Marty had one. He lived out in the country and rode it all over their property. Now Pat will be going to Marty's funeral. He leaves behind a wife and an 8 month old son.

Remember an ATV can be fun to ride. Please think safety first.

Monday, May 07, 2007

So Much for the Home Town Loyalty

Yesterday the collective jaws of Astros fans every where dropped to the floor. During the 7th inning stretch at the Yankees game Roger Clemens turned his back on his hometown and announced he would pitch again for the New York Yankees. After leading us on last year and this year he made his plans known. He and Andy will be back in the arms of the Yankee fans together.

When Clemens first came back to Houston to play for the Astros he made a big deal about playing before his home town, friends and fans. In the long run, none of that mattered. Did the money matter? He certainly doesn't need it. Wouldn't we all love to make $4.5 million for 4 months? Now a lot of Houston fans are not happy and feel betrayed. On the other hand the Yankees really need the pitching help. Several of their pitchers are hurt. They could use the help. An how about this note, the New York Yankee pitching staff alone makes more money than several entire teams. Money surely talks loudly in New York!

Good luck Roger. Those of us who support our Houston Astros will move on and support our real home town hero, Craig Biggio! How many times in the past have Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell restructured their contracts to benefit the team? Biggio said "respect for the game" is important to him. Roy Oswalt said he won't let Clemens desertion bother him, he'll just keep doing what he does best.

Now is the time our young pitchers will step on the mound and show how good they are and will be. Plus we will be happy to have one of our young heros back soon. Brandon Backe is doing very well. After all, with the young pitchers we have now, where would we put an old war horse like Roger? Let's look forward to the return of Brandon Backe.

Go Astros!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Breaking News...I Think

Finally after a couple of days playing witch doctor over this computer it seems to be functioning normally. Or as normal as it can considering all the stuff on it.

In the middle of trying to catch up on the junk in my mail I heard some motor noises outside. I guessed that the building next to us was getting it's yard done again. But No...Low and behold there is noise behind our building. I peek out the window to see a strange man with a stranger looking machine walking around. I think they call it a lawnmower! Excuse me I may just have to get out the champagne! Then the next sound was the sound of the weed eater. There are a lot of weeds out there. Then I have to hope that the guy doesn't tear up my elephant ears or the tomatoes and peppers I planted in the former cat litter box. Of course now I have to go out the front door and sweep the stuff off the front stoop. Oh well, at least now the dogs can pee without disappearing in the weeds.

Then I hear that dogs who have separation anxiety now can take Prozac. Why does think strike me so funny? A dog on Prozac- now the kids can not only steal from the parents to get drugs, they can steal from the dog!

I think somebody needs to call out an Amber Alert on the Houston Astros bats. They seem to have run away. No reward will be offered though. We are just looking for the safe return of the runs that have not been scored. So in the interest of Houston Astros fans, if anyone has found our bats/runs please send them back. We really need them!

Now I need to go raid the penny jar to scrape together money to pay for garbage pick up. Today they decide not to take ours. Naturally when I have a big amount. They could not do this when I had none. Should have stuck some in the car with Amanda when she went on her road trip to Michigan. After all, a lot of it is hers. Ha!

At least Friday is payday. Let's see who will get paid...?

Got any Prozac?