Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Did the Voters Win?

In this morning's LA Times, a front page article said that the most often given reason for the failure of the bailout vote yesterday was the voters reaction to it. Does that mean that the congress for once listened to the voters and not to the democratic leadership, the republican leadership, or the white house leadership?

Does that mean that corporate greed, wall street greed, and power-hungry politicians lost? I don't know about that. But at least some politicians listened to their constituents. It is interesting that most of the ones that listened were republicans.

Maybe they are finally getting the message. Bush has so screwed things up that simply being a republican is sufficient reason not to be reelected -- nor believed!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

300 Pound Dog

300 pound dog -- actually there are 4 dogs that make up the 300 pounds.

This weekend I am watching my son's two dogs along with my two. That gives me:
2 German Shepherds
1 Golden Retriever
1 Yellow Lab (mixed with chow -- the dog, not the food)

All together they weigh about 300 pounds. Do you know how much crap and pee 300 pounds of dogs produce? Let me tell you, it is a lot! I have a large dirt area in the backyard. It is spotted with wet spots all around. It looks like it rained back there. However, given that the sun is out and it is about 80 deg F outside, I don't think rain is the cause of the spots. And every time I go out there, there is a new "pile" to pick up.

I shouldn't really complain however. I love having all the dogs here. Whenever I go out to the yard, or the dogs come into the house, they are so happy to see me. They run all around me, panting and waiting to be petted. They don't jump up on me. They have had some training. But their excitement and enthusiasm is infectious.

When I spend a little time with them, I feel better about the world. I think we should elect a dog as president!

NOTE: After writing my last post, I needed some "dog time" to tune up my head. I now feel much better.

Is This VP Material -- More Like SNL

From the Couric - Palin interview:

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We -- we do -- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where -- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is -- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to -- to our state.

Now there is doubt that she was even telling the truth about the trade missions:
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Did_Palin_lie_about_trade_missions_0927.html

republicans -- just more of the same crap!

I'd laugh if this wasn't so damn serious!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Death Do Us Part

Yesterday, my daughter's grandmother on her mother's side died. She was in her mid 90's and had a stroke earlier in the week. Her general health had been poor for the last few months and so everyone was more or less prepared for her passing. She was the last grandparent living and, since her mother died a few years ago in an accident, I am now my daughter's oldest living direct family member.

I was out walking the dog this morning when that thought struck me. I didn't use to think about age. As I was growing up, we were not big on birthdays. My mother would make a special dinner, but we rarely had parties. Not like today. The grandkids have big birthday parties each and every year.

As we got older, we begin to celebrate the 5's -- like 30, 35, 40... I didn't think much about them. I thought 30 was a great age. I was single at the time, making a good living, and having the time of my life. If I had to be an age forever, I think I would pick 30. 40 was okay. People get freaked out at 50, but I wasn't bothered by my 50th birthday. Even 55 wasn't so bad.

Then I hit 60! And I realized that my life was more than half over. When you are 40, living until you are 80 is a very real possibility. Even when you are 50, living to 100 is possible in this day and age. But 60 -- living to 120 is not reality. So, now my life is more than half over. I am on the downhill side.

I think I have come to terms with it. I use humor to make me feel better. I've make comments here about being old. I can still laugh when I say it now.

Someday I will no longer laugh.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why Spend $700 Billion?

I know there are people out "there" that are much smarter than me. Please, someone, tell me why we have to spend $700 billion dollars?

From the numbers that I have seen, there is about $100 billion of bad mortgages. The rest are okay. The bad mortgages are ones that people cannot pay and the value of the property does not cover the value of the loan. That doesn't mean that the value of the property is zero. Even if the property value is only half of the loan value, then there is "only" $50 billion loss money. Hell, according to some sources, wall street paid out over $120 billion in bonus between 2000 and 2006.

Help me out here. Where is the crisis? Looks like another Bush ripoff to me. AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING ALONG WITH IT!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Credulity

I recently read a post by Roger Ebert, the film critic, (http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/09/this_is_the_dawning_of_the_age.html) titled "This is the dawning of the Age of Credulity. I was not smart enough to know what "credulity" meant, so I looked it up.

cre·du·li·ty
Pronunciation:
\kri-ˈdü-lə-tē, -ˈdyü-\
Function:
noun
Date:
15th century
: readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence


Yesterday I heard that McCain wants to delay the Friday debate. Today I hear rumblings about canceling the vice presidential debate. And where are the Palin interviews with the press? She is not allowed to talk.

I think McCain-Palin want us to vote for them based on CREDULITY.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Oranges

They came to treat for termites today. It turns out that they did not use orange oil. It turns out that because of the way the wall is constructed and because of the insulation in it, orange oil was not an option. At least that's what I got from the guy doing the work. (May be Termite Man, who commented on an earlier post about orange oil, can explain it better.) He said that orange oil is used on open framing. He could not get to all the wood in our wall. On the upside he did not see any damage with the boroscope (used to look inside the wall), only the swarmers and droppings (ugh, termite poop!).

They ended up injecting a foam containing Termidor into the wall. It is an odorless termiticide/insecticide. At least it does not smell and hopefully it will stay inside the wall. I have a feeling that any termite company could have done this, so I may be the victim of a "bait and switch" situation. It did take two people two hours to do the work, so the price that I paid may not be too bad. More help for the local economy.

It comes with a 6 month guarentee which can be renewed for an additional 10% of the original fee. I may take them up on that offer for at least a couple of periods, just in case we didn't get them all. At least I will try to get through a couple more swarming seasons before I let the guarentee lapse.

So, hopefully, this is the end of my termite saga. Since we did not tent the whole house, I may be living on borrowed time, but I think my dogs and my grandchildren will thank me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Orange Man Cometh

I wrote a couple of days ago about having an orange oil termite man come out to check out our termite infestation. He came today and confirmed that we have dry wood termites. Because of the way our house is constructed, there are parts of it that they cannot get into, so he cannot do the whole house. But they can treat the one area where we know the termites are.

The upside is that it will cost much less than doing the whole house. The downside is that we may miss some termites. I am willing to take that chance. The front windows are the only place where we have seen signs of them . That doesn't mean there are not more of the little buggers around, but I am willing to take that chance. At least for now.

The alternative is to put the house in a poison bubble for a few days. It works. It kills all the termites, but there will be poison residue around. I don't care what they say. We have grandchildren and pets running around. I don't want to expose them to the residue.

So, local economy - you are going to get a little help, but not as much as I thought!

700,000,000,000 Of Them

700 Billion. That's a lot of money. If I live until I am 80 years old, to earn or spend 700 billion dollars, I will have to earn or spend 24 million dollars every day of my life or about $1,000,000 per hour. That's not just 40 hours a day, 5 days a week. That's 24/7. That's a lot of money!!!

The administration is proposing to give that amount of money to someone without any restrictions, controls, or oversight. Are they crazy? Is this the final step in the total castration of the middle class in this country?

I read a quote from Senator Bernie Sanders, In part he said

"The current financial crisis facing our country has been caused by the extreme right-wing economic policies pursued by the Bush administration. These policies, which include huge tax breaks for the rich, unfettered free trade and the wholesale deregulation of commerce, have resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy."

And

"It would be immoral to ask the middle class, the people whose standard of living has declined under Bush, to pay for this bailout while the rich, once again, avoid their responsibilities."

And

"Specifically, to pay for the bailout, which is estimated to cost up to $1 trillion, the government should:
  • Impose a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers ..."
See his complete Op/Ed at: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=303313

Makes sense to me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Education Followup

Tim Wise nails it again. Here are a couple of excerpts from his article:

http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/reflections-white-anti-intellectualism

"What else but a deep contempt for education (or book learnin' as we sometimes jokingly refer to it in the South) could explain why Barack Obama's Harvard Law School education can be mocked as elitist and out of touch, while John McCain's bottom-feeder academic record and Sarah Palin's four colleges in six years and degree from the University of Idaho, makes them ready to lead, and more like "normal people?""

And

"What else but a deep contempt for education could explain the free pass given to George W. Bush for bragging at a Yale commencement a few years ago that he had been a C student, but that was OK, because even with a mediocre academic record you could go on to be president?"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Much Does Education Count?

I had to reprint this comment from Mother Jones:

If You were The Boss... which team would you hire?

With America facing historic debt, multiple war fronts, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, skyrocketing Federal spending, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc. etc., this is an unusually critical election year.

Let's look at the educational background of the candidates and see what they bring to the job:

Obama:
Occidental College - Two years.
Columbia University - B. A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J. D.) Magna Cum Laude

Biden: University of Delaware - B. A. in history and B. A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J. D.)

vs.

McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank 894 out of 899
(meaning that, like George Bush, McCain was at the bottom of his class)

Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B. A. in journalism

Now, which team are you going to hire to lead the most influential nation in the world?

Help The Local Economy

I have been doing some work on the house lately. Well, not really me. I don't do that stuff. I hire people to do it. My contribution to the local economy.

I had the kitchen painted to check out the new painter. Kitchen painting is a whole 'nother story, but the painter worked out great. So I had him paint the outside of the house. Came out pretty good. This week new front windows went it. In a couple of weeks, a new patio door will be installed.

The order of the work -- not so good. Should have done the windows and patio door before painting the house. Now the painter will have to come out here again and touch up the paint. More help for the local economy.

Also, the new windows seem to have disturbed some local residents in my front wall - termites. Now I guess it is better to know they are there than to not know, however...

The first guy out said that I have to tent the house. That's the only way to be sure that you get rid of all the termites. The thought of putting the house in a bubble filled with poison gas does not appeal to me. Let alone the idea of having to stay away for three days.

Monday, an orange oil guy is coming out. I will see what he has to say. At least I don't have to move out and I get to smell oranges for a while.

Oh well, more help for the local economy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Are "Fundamentals"

I work. You probably work. Guess what. We are the economic fundamentals, at least according to John McCain. He says the fundamentals of the US economy are the workers.

This is just another instance that proves John McCain has no clue about the economy, something that he has admitted in the past. Talk about floundering around like a fish out of water. Just look at his economic statements over the last few days. And this man wants to be president!?!

It would be funny if it was not so damn serious!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thank You George Bush

From the Associated Press: "About $700 billion evaporated from retirement plans, government pension funds and other investment portfolios."

Thank you George Bush... ASSHOLE!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reincarnation

I did not believe in reincarnation. Now I'm not so sure.

My "almost 3" year old granddaughter, "M", is the spitting image of her great grandmother. Baby pictures of the 2 of them show a striking resemblance. But it does not end there. Even at this young age there are behavioral similarities. M's favorite saying is "I do it myself". GGmother's favorite saying "I will do it myself".

She was very independent and did not like people doing thing for her that she could do herself. M is the same way. She will ask for help if she discovers she can't do it herself, but she has to try to do everything by herself first. She also has similar facial expressions. M crinkles her nose the same way as GGmother did.

Which brings me to reincarnation. I don't think I have had any previous lives. I occasionally have deja vu. You know, seems like I have been "here" or done "that" before. I don't think that is really reincarnation. I think it is my addled mind playing tricks on me. But, GGmother died within a couple months of M's conception. It is like her "being" jumped from one body to the other body. The physical and behavioral similarities are eerie.

Is there really a connection between M and GGm beyond normal genetics? Who knows. But it makes me wonder.

In a previous life, did I... hmmmmmm.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Local Business

I like to patronize local businesses. It's convenient and helps the community. It is sometimes a little more costly, but that's OK.

Today I picked up a new pair of glasses. I usually get them from my local eye doctor. This time I went to Costco. New glasses and frames at my doctor's place are a little over $600 not including the exam. My new glasses at Costco were under $300. (I still got the eye exam from my doctor.) I feel kind of bad going to Costco instead of my doctor. He has always treated me very well and I am happy with his service. It simply came down to money.

At what point does economics over ride community? Or is that even the right question to ask?

Backing Up

Have you ever noticed that dogs have trouble backing up?

I have a German Shepherd. She follows me everywhere around the house. There is a narrow space between my bed and the wall. I sit on the side of the bed to put on my shoes, and she often walks into the space to see what I am doing.

It is too narrow for her to turn around, so she has to back up. It is very funny watching her. She is a fairly long dog and her back legs are not always in sync with her front legs, especially when going backward. She will back up some, go forward a little to straighten out, then continue back.

I wonder if front legs - back legs for a dog are like left hand - right hand for us? I am right handed. That fact is brought into clear focus whenever I try to use my mouse left handed. It makes me feel like a dog backing up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crap

I find myself a bit frustrated today. My day has been filled with crap -- dog, grandchild, politics. The dog is sick and going from both ends. It's not too bad on the kitchen floor tile, but not so good on the hallway carpeting. The grandchild is being potty trained -- not too successfully as the middle cushion on our sofa will attest. And politics -- where do I start...McCain and crap seem to be synonymous.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are You Stupid?

The republican party must think the American people are really stupid.

I am beginning to think they are right!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Naps

Among all my grandchildren is an adorable little 2 (almost 3) year old. We sit for her 2 or 3 days a week depending on her parents' schedules. She is still taking naps but is beginning to resist them somewhat. We keep hearing stories about her going down for her nap, but not going to sleep. Then she is cranky all afternoon and gives her older sister a bad time.

We don't have the same problem with her. I think kids always behave better at Grandma's and Grandpa's than at home.

This morning she came over to me and said, "Am I taking a nap?"

I said "Yes, in a little while"

She said "Yeaaaaa!" And turned around and went back to playing, as happy as can be. She left me laughing very hard.

Actually, the prospects of a nap make me happy too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

POW

How does being a POW qualify someone for president? Really? McCain and his cronies continuously talk about his time as a POW. I'm sorry that he had to be subjected to that, but so what? How does that make him qualified for president?

He was imprisoned against his will. He was tortured both mentally and physically. That makes a good president? If anything, it should disqualify him. He is damaged goods.

How damaged? Just look at his vice presidential pick. Obviously, his decision-making abilities are broken, but that is a whole other rant!