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.