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.