Friday, August 29, 2008

Last Holiday of Summer and Gustav

Labor Day will soon be here. Annie,Jason and the boys will be here tomorrow. Pat wants to take Skylar fishing. That should be interesting. There is talk of Pat taking Skylar and maybe Jason, camping. That is really something I don't want to see. Of course my idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn with a black and white tv and no internet. I think Annie got the anti-camping gene from me. She does not like camping either. I am waiting to see if the the boys will be able to tire out Daisy. That takes a lot of work. They did a good job with that the last time they were here.

Of course the whole Texas coast is watching Gustav with some anxiety. Every day we wonder if it will go closer to New Orleans or come toward Galveston. Neither of which is good. It could be a category 3 by the time it gets into the gulf. I recently watched a program on the Weather Channel called "It Could Happen Tomorrow". It investigated the possibility of a category 5 hurricane hitting Galveston. The worst was the storm of 1900 which destroyed most of Galveston. As we who live around here know, a major hurricane is overdue here. Houston and Galveston have done a lot of improvements since Rita three years ago and tropical storm Allison in 2001 which flooded much of Houston We will not suffer like New Orleans did. I just hope Gustav does not turn into the monster portrayed in "It Could Happen Tomorrow". We are nearing the peak of the hurricane season and we now here that there could be a couple more moving toward the US coastlines shortly. Fingers crossed...

How did it get to be the last holiday of summer so fast? Where does time go? Just think, in a few short weeks we will be planning Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes I think stop the world, I want to get off for a while.

Now I need to get my grocery list together. I have already mopped and vacuumed. Daisy and Lady are not happy with me because I tricked them into baths. I am so evil... I'm pooped. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School Opens Again.

It is that time of year again. School is ready for occupation by all those students who are ready to start the new year. In one area cell phones are banned in the school zones, not by students, but drivers. A law was passed prohibiting drivers from using cell phone, even hands free, in the school zones. Most parents think this is a good idea. Too many people drive distracted on any given day. Now that school is back in session, drivers must pay closer attention to the children. That includes not using a cell phone.

Some kids are excited about school. Annie called to tell me that Skylar got up and dressed at 6:00 am. He was ready to go! But, he was about two hours early. Well at least he was happy and excited to go to school. As I told Annie, he won't always be so happy to go to school. "Enjoy it while you can," I told her.

He has gotten over a lot of the problems he had last year and is ready to get going. When he got to the class, Annie told me, he saw a little girl who was not happy to be there. She was very upset and crying. Skyklar went up to her, put his arm around her and told her it would be ok. You have to love the philosophy of these little kids. If only they could keep that enthusiasm! Later, it might be a different story. I still remember having to just about scream at my son to get him up and ready to go. I swear that kid could sleep standing up!

With all the bad things that happened in schools last year, we can all hope that this year will be better. Hopefully kids will learn not only the lessons in the books but to be good citizens and care about each other. Life is too short not to learn and enjoy something every day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not Much of a Day, Today

I have been tapping my fingers and growling this morning and have just about decided to get off the computer today. I believe that the local AT&T servers must be very full today. We don't usually have problems with s-l-o-w pages. It has been this way ever since I got on early this morning. Of course I am in a hurry to get things done and this is annoying. Oh well.

I have better things to think about. Let's see, will I find a good pair on shoes this afternoon? We are going to try to get some so my poor,old feet will quit complaining. I fully expect my right shoe toe to start flapping as I walk. Kind of reminds me of an old Bill Cosby routine. Then I am still researching computers. I hope to get a new one soon. But right now, I am worn out after looking at specs and prices and reviews. I like this, I like that, don't like either. That costs how much!? Maybe I will be able to go look at some computers later (in my new shoes).

I hope we can get our grocery shopping done early enough so that we can watch the Texans/Cowboys game tonight. Will Jessica Simpson be at the game? And does Tony Romo really still call Carrie Underwood? Not according to Jessica. Let's just stick to the game. I want to see some good running plays by the Texans.

Well, I have to check the grocery list...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Are You Trying To Say?

Some times it is hard to understand what people say. Just listen to anyone running for office. But when it comes to understanding a pet, well it is a little different. Daisy follows me just about every where I go, even the bathroom. I can always tell when she thinks she is going to be in trouble. She just looks guilty, even if she has not done anything to make her guilty. She has an uncanny ability to tell what time it is. She knows when to listen for Jimmy to come home. She also knows what day we go to the grocery store. We can read her face and body language pretty well. Lady, on the other hand is a different story.

Lately when I am down stairs Lady wants to be with me. If I sit down to drink a cup of coffee in the morning she has to be in the chair with me. Not just anywhere in the chair either. She has to sit on my left side. Now she has decided that she wants to send me telepathic messages. I guess. At different times during the day, she seems to want me to stop what I am doing and sit with her. Then she will stare at me. Sometimes she wants me to scratch her head or massage her ears. She likes me to scratch her throat. And Heaven forbid that I should stop. That is when I get the "Why did you stop," look. Sometimes it is like she thinks she did not give me permission to stop. Then there are times when no matter what, she just sits and stares at me. It's as if she is trying to tell me something but I am not hearing her. Some times she will snuggle up with me and put her head on my chest. Then she looks at me. Have you ever tried to ignore a pet who is is persistently staring at you? I have seen news stories about dogs that can smell certain diseases and even the story about the little dog at a nursing home who knew when a resident was about to die. Since Lady is 11 years old I sometimes wonder what she is trying to tell me. Does she need something? Do I need something? What are you trying to say, Lady?

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Family Soap (opera)

Sometimes keeping up with grown children and their lives is a little like the baseball team manager during an extra inning game. Who does he have left to pinch hit or pitch. The roster of players has so many scratch out marks that it is hard to keep up with the players and who is available. And then there is the Malitz family revolving doors of relationships.

After the disaster with Pat and Heather, he went back with Karin, no wait, not her. Now there is Abby ( I don't know if she spells it "y" or "ie"). Huh? Where did she come from? So, now we have to get used to the new girl. Meanwile Amanda decided to dump her "relationship" with Jason who is still sitting in prison. Ok. Now she is stuck with a tattoo of Jason's name on her left ring finger. That could prove to be problematic in the future. But wait, in true soap opera fashion, she now has a new relationship with Greg. Ok. Greg is the brother of Pat's new girlfriend. This could get interesting. Brother and sister dating brother and sister. Who complains to whom after an argument? Amanda actually likes Pat's new girlfriend a lot. She never liked any of his other ones. Pat got Greg a job at the place where Pat works. That could also prove to be interesting. Suppose one or the other has a falling out with one of the girls?

At this point I am just about to lose count with how many relationships Pat and Amanda have gone through. Maybe I need to get a score card? These two could give Erica Kane a run for her money in the relationship department. So far they all seem happy being together and picking at each other. We may have a problem though...they are Aggies and we follow the Longhorns. Thanksgiving football could become the new family feud. Hook 'em Horns!

The four of them stopped by for a visit Sunday. It was the first time we had met the "friends". Just like the good old days- meet the new girl/boy friend while sitting at the table cleaning your gun. Actually they seemed to be nice. Then agin, it was our first meeting. I unfortunately still have tattoo issues. Greg looked like he and Pat were competing for the most tattoos. Lady and Daisy gave them the once over. I guess they approved.

And now a message from our sponsor. "Friends, do you suffer from hemorrhoids? Try the new Sharon Brown suppositories. They go in easy, three hours later,they come out with nothing." Stay tuned for our next episode...

Friday, August 15, 2008

The War is Over So We Move On to Anything Else

Finally the civil trial between Victoria Osteen and Sharon Brown is over. Ms Brown failed in her attempt to prove her case to the jury. In less than three hours, including lunch, the jury decided that Ms. Brown did not prove her case and would not get any money.

Moving on to other things, who woke up the Astros? They swept 2 four game series and have suddenly come alive as a force to be reckoned with, at least until they play the better teams. Will they have a chance at becoming the wild card? I doubt it. But there is always hope. At this point I would rather look forward to the upcoming football season. Some people think the Texans could have a surprisingly good year. We shall see.

This week-end is tax-free shopping. No state and local taxes will be charged on certain clothes, shoes and school stuff under $100. And believe it or not this year the Texas legislature decided to include backpacks. Now if they would just include more school supplies...

The only problem with this week end is that stores will be crowded. After last week's confrontation in WalMart I don't look forward to battling people. I would like to get a new pair of shoes since I looked down at my shoes and discovered that the front was peeling off. I usually get what ever I can find that is cheap. This time I think I will try to get some good cross-training shoes since I do a lot of walking in the street or on uneven ground. Right now when I have to walk or stand a lot my right knee and hip hurt.

Our friend Jan is counting the days till she arrives on the 13th. Me, I am just counting the days till we get to go to the Texans game against the Panthers. Jan wanted to know what kind of beer and food they have at the stadium. She did not realize that they sell not only soft drinks and beer, but wine and mixed drinks too. I am starting to get a bit concerned. She does drink too much for our taste. Jimmy says that when she is online playing poker he can usually tell if she is depressed or drinking cause she still talks about "killing her cats" in the fire. She is still having trouble moving on.

We have a new neighbor across the walk. He moved in this week. We have not met him. So far I have only seen him a couple of times as he left for work. I guess only time will tell.

Well, I hope there will be at least a couple of good movies on tv this week-end. It may be raining, or so they say. But the temperature is supposed to be in the mid-eighties to low ninetys. That would be a small relief. Onward to the grocery list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

War of Words, War of Gas

The she said, she said war goes on in a courtroom in downtown Houston. The plaintiff Sharon Brown says Victoria Osteen hit her. Mrs. Osteen, as well as a first class passenger who witnessed the confrontation, says she did not hit her. Sharon Brown also testified that she, at one time, thought Lakewood Church was a cult and Joel Osteen was the devil. She now says that was taken out of context and she was on medication at the time.

Media from all over are covering this trial. Local tv stations are covering it during each news program and news break. At least one tv station is blogging updates every hour. Could this get any nuttier? Well, Roger Clemens has not had his defamation suit go to trial yet. He and Mrs. Osteen have the same attorney, Rusty Hardin. These trials could be more interesting than the network soap operas.

Yesterday there was another war in Houston. A good old fashioned gas war! Imagine that. A new Chevron station opened yesterday on a highway right across from a Shell station. The Chevron station opened for business yesterday with prices a little lower than the going rate for regular unleaded gas at $3.36. The Shell station then lowered it's price. And the war was off and running. As the day wore on the news spread. By the late afternoon news choppers were hovering above the station as the Chevron station's prices continued to fall. Then traffic became a problem. Rush hour traffic snarled around and backed up the road. Soon police were needed to help direct the traffic. The hovering choppers reported as soon as prices changed. The gas stations ran out of regular gas. So the customers waited in line while tankers brought in more gas. The war went on into the night. The prices went down to just above $2.00 a gallon. Both stations lost a lot of money on the sale of gas but probably made some of that up with in store sales. Gotta love it.

Today the gas prices of the two stations are back to regular prices. Sigh. The latest blog update on the Osteen trial--The plaintiff's side has rested. The last witness, a first class passenger,saw Osteen standing up asking for someone in authority. Osteen's attorney asked her if she saw Mrs. Osteen strike Ms. Brown. Mr. Hardin asked, "And it didn't happen?" She said "There is no way."
Wonder what the jury will decide?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let's Have a Brawl, Ya'll!

Four in the afternoon on a Friday is not the best time of day to go to WalMart for a few groceries. People are tired and crabby. But this is when we go because it is convenient for Jimmy to cash his check and get the grocery shopping all at once. But I am a little tired of kids mis-behaving while their parents shop.

I almost started a brawl Friday. As we tried to walk to the back of the grocery section we soon discovered that we were in the way of two little Hispanic boys about 8 to 10 years old. They had picked our pathway as the place to play. They were racing around the displays in the middle and the older child was skating around on his skate shoes. Every where we tried to go they bumped into or stopped us from getting by them. Several times I expected the Kraft Mac & Cheeze or the Frito-Lay displays to come falling down. Finally I had enough of the disruptive little darlings. I sharply told them to "get out of the way"! At last we were able to get around them and proceed to the back of the grocery area.

Before I could get to the soft drink area to get some Dr. Pepper I heard a woman bellow at me. "Hey, are you talking to my kids?" she said. I replied, "Yes, I am." As I continued on my way, I heard her go into an expletive filled tiriade about why I should leave her kids alone and pay attention to my own kids. I believe she said something like "sucking witches and sucking goats" but I had pretty much ignored her. Jimmy turned around, angry at her, waiting to defend me. It was at this point when Jimmy watched the older little angel jump into one of the chest coolers between the eggs and milk displays. What an adorable little child. His mother has really taught him well.

I realize children do not always behave. But I also believe that parents should keep an eye on their children when they are in a crowded store such as WalMart. When our kids were little we did not let them run wild like these two did. I would have been very upset to discover my children misbehaving so badly and the situation would have been handled immediately. My grandkids don't go wild like that. Little did this woman know that I DID watch my kids, and grandkids. Mine were not always good but some things they certainly knew better than to even try.

Though Jimmy would have been perfectly happy to "take it to the parking lot" and read them the riot act, the fight was avoided. Was I glad? Well, I guess. I refuse to lower myself to the level of that woman's behavior. As such, Lord, please forgive me for berating those lovely little kids and give me strength to keep from beating the crap out of any mother who allows her kids to run wild around me in the future.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Preacher's Wife Assualts Flight Attendant???

Something smells here. Victoria Osteen, Co-Pastor with her husband Joel, of Lakewood Church in Houston is in the middle of a lawsuit filed by a filight attendant. Some how I don't think this passes the smell test. While Victoria impresses me as a bit of a diva, even her husband Joel makes occasional jokes about her shopping habits and style. From every thing I have heard they are nice people. But this Continental flight attentant accuses Victoria Osteen of assault over a wet seat. The attendant, Sharon Brown says Mrs. Osteen threw her against the bathroom door and elbowed her in the chest. Oh this woman also says she now has hemorroids because of this in addition to anxiety. Since this is a civil trial she wants 10% of Victoria's net worth. Was Victoria Osteen enraged? Only those on the plane know for sure. It has been noted that Ms. Brown has filed a similar suit against a gate attentant before.Hum...

According to the Associated Press:

Brown wants an apology and punitive damages amounting to 10 percent of Victoria Osteen's net worth as part of her suit. "They will say this is about money. But that is the only remedy a jury can offer," her attorney,Reginald McKamie said.

He said Brown, who had undergone reconstructive surgery before the incident on her breasts due to illness, was injured when she was hit on her chest. Brown also suffers from anxiety because of the incident and that her faith was affected, her attorney said. Brown is also suing Victoria Osteen for medical expenses for counseling.

But Rusty Hardin, the Osteen's attorney told jurors there is no evidence Brown sustained any injuries, including claims she now suffers from hemorrhoids.

The jury of seven men and five women was chosen on Wednesday after a couple of hours of questioning of a jury pool of 130 people. The questioning touched on religious beliefs, celebrity and the public's perception of preachers and televangelists.

The Federal Aviation Administration fined Victoria Osteen $3,000 for interfering with a crew member.

According to an FAA report, Victoria Osteen pushed and elbowed Brown in an attempt to get to the plane's cockpit after two other attendants had not cleaned a liquid on her first-class seat armrest.

Hardin told jurors Victoria Osteen paid the FAA fine not because she was guilty but as a way to conclude the matter and avoid any embarrassment for her church.

Brown had previously claimed she was attacked in another incident by an airport employee, according to a deposition she gave in the case.

Hardin asked that the FAA report's findings not be allowed in the trial, saying the agency's investigation was incomplete.

State District Judge Patricia Hancock said she would make a decision later on the report's fate.

This seems to me to be a waste of the court's time. Maybe Victoria is a bit spoiled by fame but I don't think she would be as "violent" as Sharon Brown claims. Maybe she did get mad. If you have first class tickets, wouldn't you want the seats to be clean and dry? Aren't flight attendants supposed to be trained to handle "problem" passengers? Hemorroids? Think I will say a prayer for the Osteens. They may need some divine intervention.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Yawn, Life Goes On

To say that yesterday I was bored is an understatement. Edouard came and went and the tv stations went on and on and on with "coverage" on what, for the most part, was a non-event. While some areas east of Houston had a little damage we here on the northwest side of the county got just a lot of rain. It rained a lot but because the area was so dry the rain was beneficial. My only irritation was that for about 20 minutes I had no power. That meant I had to re-set the clocks and the tvs. For some reason if the tvs lose power they have to be re-set and the living room tv has to have the color re-set. That is annoying. On the other hand some actors look better with a red tint. Ha. I think there may have been a minor revolt when the news anchor on the ABC channel said they would pre-empt all the afternoon soap-operas. He said they would re-air at 1 am. Well, apparently some people were not happy about that so they only took off one of the shows.

I am glad I was not in Chicago Tuesday night at the Cubs - Astros game. Lance Berkman, our first baseman, was not about to stand on the field during all that lightning. He saw one lightning flash too many and ran for cover. Finally the announcer told the fans to take cover. Then the umpires finally pulled the players off the field. Wonder what they would have done if a fan or player had been struck by lightning?

Now that the storm has gone, reality is back. I saw an astonishing report on GMA this morning about the dangerous amount of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. It has apparently been breaking into smaller and smaller pieces which the fish are eating. Are we eating it? This could be a serious situation. Only time will tell.

On the lighter side, Paris Hilton has responded to the John McCain ad. She made her own campaign ad. She talked about both Obama and McCain. She even discussed her energy policy. Taken with a little dose of humor, she almost made sense. That is really scary.

Well, at least when the next storm comes to our area I have some extra batteries for the radio. I don't really look forward to that if Jimmy is home, our music tastes are a little different. I may just have to go buy a battery for the laptop. Then again, he plays enough poker.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Soggy, Ho-Hum,No Problem - Yet

I guess you could say that things could be worse. Hurricane Dolly did billions of dollars damage. So far Edouard has not been that bad. Some areas are getting a lot of rain and some wind. But for the most part this area has seen worse. All the local tv channels are broadcasting in and around Galveston. Most of the rain is actually needed. There is some ponding on the roads but very little serious conditions. So far. There are some gusts of 40-50 miles an hour, but not here, yet. I -10 has been closed east of Houston for a while. Now there is a posibliity of a tornado watch but that has not been decided yet. Continental cancelled 140 flights at the big airport. Early this morning there were a lot of flight delays.

Though some areas east of Houston are under a flash flood warning. Here I am listening to the soft sounds of a steady rain. As yet we have not felt any wind. But that could change as the day goes on. Traffic is still moving around the area. Apparently the streets around our neighborhood are clear. Most of the rain is falling easy and is what we need. Although the radars all show a lot of yellow and red for heavy rain. Since we need rain it seems to be helping more than hurting the area.

One good thing today is that Lady and Daisy are not pestering me to go out. I can almost read their minds as they have to be thinking "if we stay under the blankets and be real quiet, maybe she won't make us go out."

So most of this is good if not inconvenient. Dress rehearsal for something worse? So far so good. Rain, rain, rain. It is still early in the season. Next time may be another story. Right now I will just enjoy the quiet as the soft rain continues. At least the temperature is down today.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Politics, Elephants, and Fish

I have just about had enough of the tit for tat between the Obama/McCain camps. Every time I see the news there is a debate or commentary about celeb/race cards. Personally I think McCain could have picked better celebs for comparison and Obama did not have to stick the little race knife in either. The media is playing this over and over like an annoying commercial. At least I can grab the remote and change the channel during a commercial to another channel which, with my luck, is airing the very same commercial. Just like the news people are replaying the latest political gaffs. And what is up with those $500 loafers?

And now WalMart, the elephant in the room, is afraid of the little mouse, I mean the Democrats. WalMart has been having mandatory meetings with some of it's store and department managers to incourage employees not to vote for any Democrat, fearing that if the Democrats gain control it will be easier for federal laws to change in favor of unions. WalMart has said this is not good because the dues would be high and people make have to strike and get no benefits. WalMart is the nation's largest company. Are they really worried? How many more days till the election?

At least the aquarium is almost ready. After 42 gallons of water, salt and other treatments, it has settled in nicely. We have some colorfull plants as well as a couple of live plants. Jimmy even had to stick in a "tacky palm tree" in homage to Barry Manilow and Jimmy Buffett, two of my favorite singers. It should be ready for occupation this week-end.

It is still too hot. Then I made the mistake of looking at the weather forcast. For the first time this year the number 100 appeared along with the 96,97, and 98's. And that doesn't include the heat index! That aquarium is starting to look inviting. At least fish don't vote.