Friday, March 31, 2006

Atta girl, Helen Thomas... she reaps her rewards

Remember a few days ago when Helen Thomas confronted Bush asking him why we REALLY went to war? I posted about it in "Atta girl, Helen Thomas... and had some links even to the video clip if they're still up.

Well, some of the folks on the DemocratsUnderground blog got together and collected money to send her roses -- 108 dozen! Here's the thread by one of he people involved in getting them delivered, Roses for Helen - Reflections on a Thrilling Day.

Here is a site that has a lot of great pictures of her receiving them, the team getting them together, and her response back to the DU folks (scroll down a bit to get past the advertising.) I wish I had gotten in on it, but I sure am glad they did it! Nobody deserves it more.

What? You didn't hear about it on mainstream media? Umm, wonder why.

Now, Tommy report -- he had to have surgery. The vet said the place we were looking at had just about healed, but the problem was he had another one on the other side -- on either side of his anal gland, which is said was quite unusual. Not being a medical person at all, I asked if it was on his rectum and he said no, it was his anal gland. Well, anyway, it's got to be uncomfortable!

He was still knocked out when I brought him home at 5:00. I took the top of the carrier and gently took him out and laid him on his pillow he likes. He didn't wake up till 9:00. He's now trying to walk around a little, but he's still so groggy that he's falling all over the place and can't keep his legs under him. Poor baby. I can't see very well, but he's definitely got a hollowed out hole back there. Sure hope it won't get infected, but I'll be giving him another bottle of antibiotics. I'm glad I took him. He was really suffering. And the charge surprised me.

The surgery and the bottle of antibiotic was only $47.50. They even clipped his claws some, too, while he was out - which he really needed. He won't let me do it.

Well, this is two posts in one day - but I thought the girls needed the memorial. And Helen's news was too happy not to mention!

Tragedy and sadness take over in my town

Alicia Bonura Ashley Brown

I had thought about not mentioning this car wreck in my blog because I'm so far removed from the school days and teenagers and though I feel really sorry and prayerful for them all, it's not anyone I know. But it's staying on my mind more than I thought it would. It's so sad.

Basically the West Brook High School girls soccer team were going to Humble in a chartered bus; it was raining; a truck in front of them dropped some of his load and the bus driver swerved - they turned over. Two of the girls died. One girl I think has lost her arm; and injuries vary from critical to scratches. I've done a blog search and found that one of the girls had a blog at MySpace - In answer to a question, who she wants to meet, she said that she "can't wait to meet God."
Here is the link to her webpage. Many of her friends are posting their sympathies and airing their grief there.

The Beaumont Enterprise, local paper, is full of articles, and local newscasts are reporting all the updates. Here's one article of the events as they happened on the bus.

Passenger describes horror of crashing bus
By: Jamie Reid and F.A. Krift, The Beaumont Enterprise
03/31/2006
Rain pounded the highway ... fog clouded the charter bus windows ... then, out of nowhere, foam panels dropped into the bus' lane on U.S. 90 ... The driver swung the wheel right then compensated left.


A bus crash that killed two West Brook soccer players Wednesday on their way to a playoff match in Humble played out like a movie to the girls on board.

Gasps of "Oh my God," filled the bus, sophomore Elise Huch said.

"A lot of people were screaming and we were scared," she said.

About 45 miles from Charles Street Stadium, where the Bruins were headed to play Houston Lamar, the bus driven by 41-year-old Lorri Ann White of Silsbee tumbled onto its left side with a mighty window-bashing crunch.

Laurel Battle, 17, can't begin to describe the scene. And she won't. It's just too horrible.


The 22-member soccer team left West Brook about 2 p.m., some surprised they would play in the bad weather, Battle said.

About 45 miles from Humble, some girls had started to curl up for naps.

The team watched the movie "Dude, Where's My Car?" and finished homework when "two huge white things," fell into the road, Huch said.

"Everything was normal. Then I saw that thing in the road," said Huch, who sat near the front.

Battle, like Huch, was on the good side of the bus, the right side. Battle has no lasting injuries; Hutch dislocated her left shoulder.

When the bus toppled to the left, Battle fell on top of three other girls.

Girls sitting on the left side, including the late Alicia Bonura, a senior, seemed to have more injuries. The other girl who died was sophomore Ashley Brown.

Head coach Rachael Scoggin attempted to calm the trapped girls, Huch said. When the bus stopped moving, Battle opened the roof hatch so bloodied girls could climb out.

Battle, sitting near the rear, never saw the piece of foam that apparently caused the driver to steer the bus off the roadway.

Battle doesn't blame White for the accident.

"There was no way she could have run over that (foam)," Battle said in defense of the driver.

The fogged windows unnerved Huch, 16 and in training for her driver's license. Asked a day later, Huch wasn't sure if the defrosters were working. White wiped the windshield clean, Huch said.

"You could barely see out the windows," she said.
jreid@beaumontenterprise.com(409) 833-3311, ext. 428
fakrift@beaumontenterprise.com(409) 833-3311, ext. 413
┬ęThe Beaumont Enterprise 2006


And then a friend of mine sent an email from a student who is trying to tell how things are in the school. This is all so familiar because even though it's been so many years ago when I was in high school there was an incident where some senior boys had gone to the beach and they were all asphixiated with carbon monoxide poisoning. I remember going from one funeral to another, and how the grief and sadness took over the whole community.


From: xxx
Date: 3/31/06 8: 20:37 a.m.
Subject: Fw: FYI on West Brook
FromSubject: FW: FYI on West Brook
Here is an email from my friend who is a Senior at West Brook. I just got it and thought you might want to know what was going on.


I can't even begin to describe school today. In my first period class, our teacher tried to tell us what happened to clear all the rumors, and she started bawling. One of the girls was in our class and although she has pretty bad injuries to her hips, she's having surgery this morning, she was the one who kicked out the emergency window and pulled out 8 to 10 girls. We all sat there in silence for about 35 minutes and then slowly started to talk, and cry, about things. As I sit here typing this, you can hear the clicking of keys sending out emails and searching for imformation, an Among Thorns CD and news casts from the computers and televisions we have in the room.
The halls are eerily quiet. You can hear some hushed conversations, but mainly all you hear is crying and the shuffling of feet. It's so sad that something like this had to happen, but it's slowly bringing us together as a school and that is an awesome thing!
What's even more amazing is the presence of God. Everybody is talking about Him, even the teachers. Text messages were going out like crazy! A girl put one on the chalk board in my 1st period class, and our teacher passed it on to the other teachers. It's really amazing how something that is not allowed to be talked about normally is so strongly present.
2 coaches came to talk to us and they said that most of the injuries were upper body injuries and a lot of people had road rash and really bad ant bites all over from laying in the grass. As of 12 midnight, there was only on girl who's arm they reattached and couldn't be saved. Only 6 girls are still at St. E(Elizabeth) and one is probably going home today or tomorrow.
All you can do in a time like this is pray, so I ask that you continue to pray for the girls families, their friends, and all of us here at West Brook. Pray that we can come together and get through this as a community and that God can start to heal some of the horrific pain we're all facing.
Also, feel free to pass this on as you see fit.
-Katie


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mexican Flag was waving in Texas!

Before I begin my tirade on politics, the homefront was pretty boring, mood pretty melancholy to boot. I did get to sleep late, till 9:00 - which was nice; and have been working the rest of the day, pretty steadily. TC said there's another job she took today that needs to be expedited; so tomorrow I'll have to put this one aside and do it. It's like she said, "Be careful what you wish for."

Tommy hasn't seemed to do too well today. I tried to look at his hip to see how his sore is coming along, but he wouldn't let me. But he has been such a good boy to take his antibiotics. But he's just plain cranky and obviously feels bad. I sure hope I don't wind up having to take him back to the vet. He has been doing so well up till today.

Now for my rant -- guess you heard the news about the lunatic principal in Houston who actually flew a Mexican flag over his school! Good God! What's wrong with people? Have they no common sense at all! He's an educator; but it makes you wonder if he missed school the day they taught Texas history and about the Alamo and The Battle of San Jacinto and how our brave ancestors fought and died to get Texas out from under that Mexican flag!! This whole situation is getting totally out of control! I don't think the families who have been here for decades and have kids should have to go, but I think maybe the rest, the ones without children should and then apply for immigration rights the same as every immigrant has to do. They've got to stop this madness and stop cowtowing to all the Mexicans at the expense of the legal citizens called Americans. If the Americans aren't taking the back seat to the Iraqis, then it's the Mexicans! If our jobs aren't sent to Mexico and India and China, then they bring in the Mexicans in to do what jobs we have left. And then rub it in our face flying Mexican flags! Argh!

Lou Dobbs is about the only voice on the news that's trying to tell people what's happening out there. I think he had a report tonight about how many interest groups have a vested interest - to say the least - in this resolution - though I did miss the report. Maybe I'll read the show's transcript tomorrow.
But of course there's vested interests -- No Doubt!

Remember the old saying, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more"? Where's our ringleader when we need one!
(Click on the picture to take you to the page. It has links for the video or audio only.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Myspace.com

I think I mentioned it the other day, but an online friend kind of got me started with Myspace and and I set it up, I haven't done too much with it. But people will go through and read your profile and send a message asking to be your friend. Your friends accumulate. Some will start trying to just visit with you, get acquainted. Some are maybe bands who probably go through and post to everybody to get people to listen to their music. It's pretty neat. They don't seem to be so interested in the day to day blogging as much as just getting acquainted and putting all the little stuff on their web pages.
This is the site that has been in the news so much about the young teenagers using it. I can sure see how it would appeal to them. I've met some really nice people in my age group, though, from Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Florida, and even some younger people - well, 20s, 30s. I do have one girl who is 16 in my friends now, but I already knew her from another board.
Since they all have their pages all dolled up, I found a site where you can get the frills to add to it and have been messing with that all night. A lot of them have videos on their pages, and I wanted to find a good one for mine, but didn't know where to find it. I looked through Googlevideos and I didn't like any of them. So, I don't know where to find them that will have the html codes so you can use them. At a point of desperation, I thought I'd put the juggling video on it, but I couldn't even get it to work. The song that I added that plays when you load the page has a video to go with it, but I couldn't figure out how to get on my page, only the song part. Anyway, it's a pretty neat little community. Take a look at my page, see what you think.

Today was shopping day. Finally got to the grocery store - well, Walmart. It was rainy and thundering, but somehow it seemed quite pleasant to be out, even in the rain, and hear the thunder and see the lightening off in the distance. Of course I did go through the garden shop and picked up another package of morning glory seeds. I'm determined I'm going to grow some. The others aren't quite dead yet, but they're not too far from it. If any live, it will amaze me.

I did finish the huge job, finally, and will start the other big one tomorrow. By all rights, I should have started on it tonight, but -- well, I didn't. Guess that's it for today. It's definitely bedtime!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday's entry...

Wow, I sometimes wish I could do something else for a living. I never want to complain because I'm thankful for this job, thankful I can be home and not have to fight a 8:00 to 5:00, which I don't think I could do anyway. My stamina wouldn't ever allow it, and I haven't had a real job since -- uh - well, I guess 1969. But this makes me so freaking tired! I can only stay with it so long, then have to get away from it for a bit, and that makes it drag out. I've hardly got out of this chair since 8:00 this morning -- less a couple of hours to cook something for supper and watch Lou Dobbs and part of Olbermann. I've got about six pages left and then all the little finishing touches, but it will have to wait till morning. Then I really must get to the grocery store. There's another big job behind this one. Hopefully it will be a little easier. But like I say, I don't want to complain; because if I didn't have this, I would be in a heap of big trouble. But venting helps a little bit.

Are you following all this immigration madness! I'm having a hard time deciding what side of the fence I'm on with this issue (ha -- get the pun! ) I can see both sides. Definitely I think there is a problem here, and I think we should not allow however many millions of people get a free ride with amnesty. That's totally not fair. What about all those poor souls who lost their lives trying to get here in big trucks where they'd suffocate and all the horror stories. They are taking our jobs - no matter what they say. To say people won't do them is not true. They are driving the wages down. I can see all those justifications to send them all packing. But on the other hand, the ones who have been here for years, especially with children who are US citizens -- well, that wouldn't be a humane thing to do at all. It's a difficult situation. The whole thing got way too far out of hand and now there's not any easy fixes. Seems like this country has way too many of those kind of problems now - in just about every area you can think of!

Well, guess I don't have to try to fix it. They won't be coming to ask me to be Queen for the Day and solve the problem; that's for sure. I just wish these legislators would use some plain common sense. I heard a comedian late last night, a Mexican on Comedy Central - saying how crazy it is throw them all out and build a wall. He said, "Who's going to build it??" Then he said, "I know. Make them build it, then kick them out." He was being funny, but it's almost too true, too sad to be funny.

The one thing about all these demonstrations, though, that's interesting. The media has covered them pretty well. But when there were massive, huge, world-wide demonstrations against the war, against Bush, they barely made note of it. Seems like we're not getting much Iraq news lately either - and people are still dying, still suffering. "Out of sight, out of mind" you think will help Bush's ratings? Um, wonder who picks and chooses what stories we get to hear about!

Gosh, it's been a long day.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"For once; just for fun; for a world out of balance"





title coined by Peter Werbe

Thought you might enjoy this amazing video. I've never heard of Chris Bliss - sheltered world that I live in - but I think I'll familiarize myself with him now. Also, I've never heard of Peter Werbe. Looking at his site, I'd say he's a guy after my own heart -- ha! Ha! Actually a thread on the DemocraticUnderground is what brought this video to my attention and one of the posters referred to the title and that Peter Werbe coined it. So, just in case, I thought I it best to give proper credit. Since the only events for today were finishing up my job, delivering it, watering the plants, and giving Tommy his medicine twice today without incident - this is it for today.Enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What Color is your aura?

Take the test... and let me know what your color is and if you think it fits you.

I stumbled on this little test today, and was a little worried what it might tell me by the way I answered some of the questions - but to my surprise, it fit me pretty well - at least my own perception of me. There was even instructions how to put this on your blog, which I figured out how to embed it in my template. It's at the very bottom of this page -- just scroll all the way down. Their colors are hard to read, so I made some adjustments and reposted it here. (edited 3/28: I deleted it -- decided I didn't want it on my main page - but it was an educational experience of learning how to include it.)
As you can see, I worked hard today at trying to work hard. TC called this morning at barely after 8:00 saying she had just then retrieved her messages and there was a message from Friday requesting her to hustle her bustle on a particular job - which I didn't even have yet. So, I had to put aside the big job I've been trying to get done and work on this one. I got about half of the job done, which is no great feat, but I'm on good enough schedule. I'll do some more tonight so I can knock out the rest tomorrow by mid day.
Tommy was such a good boy to take his medicine. I decided to try something different. Rather than trying to hold him down and restrain is front paws, I just took hold of the scruff of his neck, held his head back, and his little mouth came open and that was it - no stress, no mess -- well, a tiny amount of spitting back, but not bad! It even worked for his afternoon dose. Now I do hope telling this won't jinx the method for his dose in the morning. He even let me look at his sore. It's right under his tail, but thankfully not in as critical a place as it could be. It looked to me like maybe it's draining, seemed open -- which is very good - because that's what they have to do to get well. So, unless something seems different, I think maybe we've dodged the surgery for him.
So much for this weekend.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A little camera play

Tiny Tiger Lilly

Almost Amarillis

I decided to get out my Dimage Z2 for a little bit today, first time I've even fooled with it since the hurricane - last October. I only took a few, but here's a couple of macros I'm finally entering in my DPME MSN group's assignment this month. I'm assistant manager of the group; and we have a little competition every month of a different topic. I collect the votes and announce the winners. It's a fun group. It's just the last several months I haven't been in the mood to enter anything.

The morning glories are doing awful. If they make it, t will be a miracle. My zinnias aren't looking too great either. I definitely tried to transplant them too soon. I feel like I'm having to reinvent the wheel learning how to grow these flowers. In days gone by, I would have these little old lady neighbors who could turn weeds into exotic plants and were always so free with advice and cuttings. I sure wish I had one of those neighbors again.

At least Tommy seems to feel a little better. That's what's really important. I was able to give him his antibiotics today - well, at least half of them because the other half wound up on the floor or in his hair . He's not doing cartwheels, but he does feel better. Sure hope that ol' nasty bite will dry up on its own.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A trip to the vet...

Tommy did ask to go out this morning, but it was evident that he felt like death warmed over. He was cranky if I picked him up, and laid around. I noticed him licking on his bottom and decided to try to see if I could see anything wrong; and sure enough, there was some redness, something wrong there. He didn't want me messing with him and he has a lot of fur and I couldn't see well enough to see what was going on. I'll have to admit, cancer crossed my mind. You always think the worst. So, I called Dr. Crenshaw - the only vet in town that I trust with anything more even mildly serious. They said they'd work me in at 4:00. It was about 1:00 then.

Well, it's not cancer, he said he has an abscess, that he had evidently gotten in a fight and was either clawed or bit. He said the best thing to do would be put him under and drain the abscess and get it all cleaned up, but being late Friday evening, he wouldn't have time and offered to keep him over the weekend. No, I didn't want to do that. But he gave him an antibiotic shot and some antibiotic liquid for me to try to give him this weekend and call them Monday and go from there. He said he should at least feel some better, but as of right now, he's not seeming to feel any better. He did eat a little. Poor Tommy.

He's quite protective of his home, and if a cat comes around, he will challenge the cat to leave. Not too long ago he tangled with one and got a bloody ear from it. It's probably the same cat. Actually, it's not a bad cat, he looks sort of like Tommy. He doesn't have a good home and he'll be looking for some food is all, but Tommy is not a gracious host for cat company. It may not have been that cat. I really have no idea. Maybe some insect or spider bit him? Whatever, it's not pleasant, and if he doesn't get a whole lot better over the weekend, I'll have to let the doc do what he thinks is best. I didn't ask how much this is going to cost, but hopefully it won't be horrific!

Besides that all that, I checked on my little flowers out back and the morning glories looked like they were about fried. Too tender to be in the sun, even if it is cool. At least that was my novice analysis. So, I gently pulled them out of the flower bed and put them back in little pots and back on the patio out of direct sun and wind. Not too many of the seeds germated anyway. Wonder if they're for a different zone or something? Then, to add to my dismay over my gardening efforts, even a couple pots of my pansies in front were about dead from dryness. Dang, these plants drink a lot of water! But it did snap back. So, I was happy about that.

The neighbors who are so messy in the back decided to weedeat the fence, the other side of my bed. And they blew all their trash and grass clippings and stuff on my little baby flowers. Rude men! I've got to get that netting or something put up. But I don't have time now. In spite of the stresses today - and major worry about my little kitty, I did make some headway on work - finished one of the big jobs. There's a continuation to it that I need to get finished this weekend.

If you feel so inclined, say a little prayer for Tommy that he won't have to have that place lanced. He and I both need a break.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Feast or famine

More jobs came in today and more will arrive tomorrow. If I could figure out how to clone myself, I could get ahead -- well, maybe begin to play catch-up for what I had gotten behind at least -- but I'm only one person and I can only do one page at a time. Stamina and speed it the key. I don't seem to have either one.

I suppose it was bad luck for me to tell the story yesterday of how Tommy wakes me up to go out every single morning because when I awoke this morning, looked at the clock, it was 7:30, and Tommy had not been in, I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, he's really under the weather. Eating and drinking hardly at all, laying around, complaining if I pick him up. Only once he got up to go out, and I didn't let him because he's too sick and it's cold today. He didn't insist, used the litter box, and went back to his little bed. This blog comes in handy because I had recorded it before when he got sick, and it was December 27th (last paragraph). He gets this way every now and then. If he's not better tomorrow, I may have to take him out to Dr. Crenshaw and get him an antibiotic shot. Last December he did pull out of it on his own. A year or two ago the vet told me he has really low resistance. Needless to day, it worries me a lot when he feels so bad.

It looks like the USB - parallel cable might not work; but I could be doing something wrong. A couple of times the whole computer froze up and I even got Explorer has performed an illegal function, then a run.dll error once. It wanted me to put the driver on the LPT2 port but it defaulted to LPT1; and all I knew to do was manually change it. I couldn't find the right cable for the parallel printer; but if the key would work, it didn't have to have the printer attached. However, the key didn't work. It would tell me the button couldn't be detected. So, with all the work I have, I gave up, decided maybe some day when I can get back to John's, maybe he can figure it out. Otherwise, it's pointless to waste any more time on it.

I got something in the mail today I want to share. You know, these things that go around talking about how much better times were in the 50s or the 60s, happier, easier times. Boy, were they! If not easier, at least a whole lot less stressful. I always enjoy those and the nostalgia it brings back of a time when life was good. But this one is a little different, but it picks up on a time that our kids and grandkids will never know and a time that the world seems to have long forgotten. In fact, even I was almost born too late for this cherished icon of a feeling of love and security.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It's called simply,

Aprons
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER, Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Funny Cat Video 2

Funny Cat Video 2 -- click on the picture! You gotta just love cats!
I sure wish I could get a video of Tommy's morning routine. Every morning, usually about 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., he will be ready to go outside. Needless to say I'm in pretty deep sleep by that time as it's usually well after 2:00 before I can finally get to sleep, even with the one Tylenol PM I allow myself as a sleep aid. Anyway, he sleeps in my office until he's ready to go out. Then he'll come to the bedroom, get on my night table, sit there a minute looking at me to see if I'll wake up. If not, he will walk across the top of the bed, above my head, to the other side, perch on that night table and see if that woke me up. If not, he will go back to the original side, only this time he will make sure he bounces the mattress a little harder. I've played possum enough to know he'll continue doing this, back and forth, pouncing harder each time, till I show signs of life. As soon as I even turn over, he races to the front door and waits. If I take too long to get there and let him out, he's comes back to see what happened to me and has a very irritated expression on his little face. For a cat, he can definitely get a wrinkle in his brow! Who said animals aren't smart!

Nothing to report today. I worked, did a little better on my production today, though I can't crank it out like I could a few years ago. The weather was cold and rainy. I did get my cable, the USB to parallel adapter - actually I got it yesterday - but I haven't tried it yet.

I never answer unidentified or 1-800 numbers. They rarely will leave a message on the answering machine, but tonight they did, and it was Hewlett-Packard Tech Support checking on me to see if all was okay with my new laptop (dv5020). Remember, I had spent seven hours with them trying to get the wireless router to work and finally it turned out the Linksys people got it working. Actually, come to think of it, I do need to call HP back and tell them. But I thought that was really nice that they would follow through like that. I'm really happy I got the HP. I love it.

I checked on my little baby plants, and all seems to be okay. I'm thinking about where I'll be putting the rest of them when they get bigger. I've got to do something about my ugly, messy back neighbors. Maybe I will go to Sutherland's and look at that greenhouse netting. If it's opaque enough, maybe I should put it up. It's so disheartening. I'll just about guarantee you that Parigi won't be putting up the privacy anytime in the foreseeable future -- well, yeah, on second thought - when all my flowers are really doing great and at their prime of beauty, then they'll come along and dig post holes and trample all my pretty flowers in the ground. How's that for optimism!

Guess that's it for today. Think I'll watch the funny cats one more time. Ah, just looked -- Animal Plant's Funniest Animal Videos is on as we speak. That show always makes me laugh out loud!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Atta girl, Helen Thomas...


-- she made my day. What a gal! If you saw any news today, you probably saw it, but Bush finally called on her and she didn't let her fans down. Here's the video of her confrontation with Bush. She so knew his answer was a bunch of hooey. You might need to let it fully load before you try to play it because when I tried it, it was buffering a lot. But it's worth it if you didn't see it.

Then she was on Wolf Blitzer's show; and again, she came through like a champ. She gently and swiftly smashed Wolf like he was a pesty little fly. She's terrific. And here's a link to a recount of that encounter.

Other than the joy in my heart at an old lady's triumph, I did get to Mom's as planned, picked up my job, got back and started on it before noon. It's pretty big. Then tonight TC called and said she took another bunch of pages of a continuation of the same today, then a different tonight and will be taking another decent size job tomorrow. So, guess play time is over. She also ooh'd and ah'd over the pictures of Robert's house I had emailed to her and told me how she bragged about him to somebody she was talking to today. So, that made me feel good.

During one of my breaks I gave myself, I did plant some of my zinnias. I'm afraid maybe I tried putting them in the ground too early because they're so very tender; but most of them were a few inches high, but just so very delicate. So, I only planted about half of them and am going to wait for the others to get a little more sturdy.

Guess that's it for today.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday report...

Can't say today was anything earth shattering. I went through a huge stack of mail that was 7/8 junk mail. However, my phone bill was in there, and it's not AT&T instead of SWB. Guess I better change that on my bill pay on my bank site. I just straightened up, puttered around. This evening I filled my garden in with the soil I bought and have only one more wheelbarrowful of the clay to move out and wait for my little baby plants to get big enough to put in their new home. It won't be long. I actually had a few bags of dirt left over, so maybe I'll use it to expand the bulb bed.

When I came back in I saw where TC had called and said she had taken a job today and had to go back and take more of it tomorrow and she would drop the job off at my mom's in the morning since it's closer for her. So, I'll have to go get it and get back and --- yeah! So, glad to have a job to do!

Today, on C-Span they covered a live discussion with some of the ex-detainees who had been held for years in Guantanamo. It was so upsetting to me to hear how mean my fellow Americans have been to other human beings. The whole torture, Gitmo, Abu Gareb situation has been appalling to me and has made me ashamed of the conduct of our government. We should be better than that. Believe me when I say what I'm saying now is mild to the outrage in my heart. For the life of me I can't understand these far right people who seem to revel in how justified they are to be so cruel. The thing of it is, none of these people had done anything wrong. It could have been anybody husband, father or son.

Beside that, I've been thinking about how now with Bush's approval ratings being so low, the Republicans and some Democrats are now conveniently saying how horrible a job Bush is doing and though they're certainly not going to get an argument out of me about it - my whole philosophy is it's about darn time people start waking up out of their fog - I just got to thinking how most of them are crying foul now and they were just as guilty as he was when they endorsed everything, gave him the go-ahead for all these things, egged him on and drove up his approval numbers giving him all that "political capital" he was so proud of; now they're complaining things aren't going so good. What hipocrits. When he kept hollering about the weapons and we needed to invade and all that, it was so obvious that it was all one big con job on everybody, ruse of the century to have an excuse to go to war. It couldn't have been more obvious. But no, so many of the senators, and representatives and even John Q Public all saying, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, now they all are saying how lousy Bush has done. Yes, he has, but all those people need to take a good hard look in the mirror. They carry just as much blame.

On a happier note -- I brought my laptop into the living room and set it up on a TV tray and have been setting up MS Outlook to bring in my mail accounts. On my desktop I use Incredimail; but I don't want it on this one; will just let Outlook retrieve it, but not delete the mail. That way it will still collect in the same place, but I won't have to sign into four different accounts. I'm not sure if I can get Outlook to retrieve AOL or not. But it's okay. I can just log into AOL.

Well, think I'll try to get to bed early - at least for me. Hopefully I can pick up my job in the morning and get back and get started on it before noon.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Very happy news from my kids...

... Robert and Ranya in Virginia! They bought a house - a townhouse. Wow!! Three levels, only four years old -- best word I know to describe it is "elegant." I'm so happy for them. I was hoping that they would find jobs maybe in Houston, but they're established with their employment up there, and they did try looking for something comparable down this way; but I guess it wasn't meant to be. They've been married over ten years and now have little Sarah, who will be a year old in May; so it's time they start building some equity. They'll finalize and take up residence in April. Gosh, how exciting - their first home and it is a beauty!!

In the meantime, back to reality of my simple little life, my flower garden construction continues. This morning I got the morning glories section done. Some of the seeds were duds, so there won't be a whole lot of them. Then Mom and I got out for a while, ate lunch, and loaded up another bunch of 40-lb bags of potting soil that I hope will finish up the bed.


I couldn't resist more seeds; but this time I got perennials - which I know nothing about. Ha - I know nothing about any of this venture.
(Heliopsis, Scabiosa, Rudbeckia, and two varieties of Hollyhock)
Some I knew what they were, some I didn't, just thought they looked nice, especially the Scabiosa. TheRudbeckia is black eyed Susans. Anyway, after I got them home and read the backs of the packets, they don't flower till the 2nd year. Shoot! Well, we'll see how it goes. This time I bought the Jiffy Mix stuff to plant them in as is recommended rather than dirt. I also got a packet of poppies and even two packets of hot peppers.

Who knows where I'll find spots to plant all these if they all grow. I didn't realize what I was getting into with the perennials. Maybe I can put some in containers.

I borrowed Mom's wheelbarrow and moved about half the pile of clay clods to the far back behind the shed against the fence. Slowly but surely...

Oh, and I got some azalea food and fed them as per directions - but I forgot the mulch. Oh, well.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday's achievements...

Sweet peas move into their new home...

My very young and tender sweet peas now have a home. I doubt I'll keep the fence thing up around the front, but I put it there just to protect them while they're so fragile. Yes, I know the background is ultra ugly. There's not too much I can do about that at the moment. You know the commercial on TV for the windows where the two ladies are admiring the windows and the homeowner shows her friend how she lowers and raises the blinds inside the windows and the hubby is almost setting himself on fire in the yard but they don't look through the window -- well, that's how I have to be about my backyard. Don't look past the fence.

This angle makes the bed look longer than it is. The section I finished for the sweet peas is about a fourth of the bed I guess. It's still most definitely under construction. Maybe by the end of the summer I'll have it all finished! But this much is an achievement.

I had to call Shell's Nursery today about my azaleas. It seems they are requiring a whole lot of watering. One didn't really snap back real well today, and it scared me. He told me they need watering from the base rather than top and that I should get a soaker, put it on a timer, put mulch around them, and also feed them with some azalea food. So, that's a project to take care of tomorrow. I really don't want to kill these azaleas. I love them and besides, I paid about $20 a piece for them. I rewatered the one that looked the worst, like he said around the base, and I think it did help, but it's dark and hard to see.

Other than all this gardening preoccupation, I again deserve some sort of pat on the back because I got out all my income tax junk and completed my first rough draft. There will be some rechecking and looking, but at least I have an idea how much I'll have to pay. Being self-employed and never sending in the right amount on quarterlies, I never have the luxury of getting any money back.

Well, it's early enough, think I'll pull up my Yahoo TV schedule and see what's on that might hold my interest for an hour or two.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Paddy's Day

The day was almost half over before I realized it was anything other than another ordinary day. Since I didn't even leave the house, no, there was no celebrating. I do have a little Irish ancestry, mostly Breckenridge on Dad's side and Clark on Mom's but neither was even within the last 200 years. There's probably a few others undetermined at present. The vast majority is German and English. Still, it's a nice little holiday; and I'm sorry I wasn't prepared with the corn beef and cabbage.

I finished up the job I had started the first part of the week, and TC came by to get it, promising we're going to get into high gear come Monday. She doesn't even know if she has a job Monday, but I hope she's ready to start cranking out some work.

Good news for me finally -- little event that it is. I was able to get my cell phone to download to the computer. I'm not even sure what I did, but just messed around with it, and -- surprise -- it works now! So, all seems to be in good form.
Of course, good news is always flanked with bad, and that is that the eMachine is getting more and more sluggish and every now and then I'll get a run.dll and app has encountered a problem and some other error messages, which generally means, start getting things backed up and ready. It's not far a' comin'. (sigh)

I watched Lou Dobbs - God bless him!! - and then went outside to work a little on my flower bed. I'll have to catch Olbermann on the 11:00 rerun - if he even will rerun tonight. The bed is now right at 20 feet and long enough, I think. I spent some time breaking up the clay -- (as opposed to real dirt - lol) into small clumps to put back and then top off with the top soil and sand I bought. A tiller would have been handy - if it could have cut through the gumbo. Oh, well. What clumps are too hard to break I'll use in low spots in the yard; but my wheelbarrow is still broke. Hopefully I can at least get the sweet peas planted this weekend since they're just about ready to get in the ground.

An Internet acquaintance of mine who is active with the Democratic party in Nevada, circulated an email today. Thing of it is, I suppose this is supposed to be funny -- but it's all too true! Here's a few:
"Things you have to believe to be a Republican today."

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him,
a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.


Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war
in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

Have a great weekend. I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tying up a few loose ends

What a great visit with my kids! Way too short but such a wonderful breath of fresh air!

So, now it's back to the grind. This little guy seems to have the right expression for how things went the rest of the day!

First thing I had to do was return the USB/Parallel adapter to ECP because it was wrong. They didn't have what I needed, but he gave me the name to ask for - USB - DB25.

Then I stopped at Home Depot because my cordless drill power supply went caput; but they didn't have one. So, on to Lowe's to see if they did -- nope, said it was no longer being made, etc, and so I just bought a new drill. The power supplies are about as much as the whole darn thing anyway.

After I got back home, I found the USB - DB25 on the web, called them to be sure I was getting the right thing, and ordered it.

Next was to get through all the registrations on my laptop, router, mouse, and Care Pack, and get the rebate form. Well, easier said than done. The router was a joke! Sign up, okay. Did that. Register -- you have to be signed up. I did! Sign up again. "You don't have anything registered"! No joke Dick Tracy. Ring around the rosey with that and then I called the only 800 number I had for Linksys - which was tech support. On hold, menus, another phone number - foreign accents - finally after an hour of tenacious determination, I got it registered.

The mouse wasn't too hard, but the Care Pack (extended warranty) was. Again, after a fight with the web page, I called HP and they convinced me to mail in the written form would be the best and then told me where to find the rebate form.

Of course all this needed printing and my black ink cartridge was empty. So, I had to stop and take care of that, put the printer through the alignment. Now all that's left is to find the bar code and get it in the mail. Jeesh!

Next desired task to do was to set up my network. Oh, boy. No, I had no idea what I was doing. It said everything had to be hooked up to each other, and I don't know what that meant. I unplugged the router and printer from the desktop and plugged them into the laptop and had to name each computer and the network. I don't think it took at all. It will have to wait till John can have some time to help me - or I can get somebody. Maybe HP will help me - but not now!

After that I wanted to set up my external drive to do a scheduled backup on the laptop. I have the directories all named the same as they are on the desktop; so if something changes on one, it will just overwrite. If the external drive isn't available, Iomega will find a place on the C drive to back it up files until the external drive is attached again. Boy, that little device was well worth the money. (um, it's gone up since I bought mine - or else I got a good sale.)

So, that's about it. I did find my cable to my cell phone, and maybe now I'll sit here and see if I can get it to work. Then again, maybe I'll try to focus in on the news, though they're not covering much that I'm interested in right now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just checking in

Don't want to ruin my daily accounts by missing a day of my online diary. There's nothing earth shattering to report other than I spent the day with Sheridan, which is special in itself. She had a whole disk of pictures she wanted emailed to her so she could have them on her computer that's at her home so they would be already in the mail and she could forward them. I guess she doesn't quite know how to get them off a CD; so we tried sending them full size, and her email account quickly hit its limits. So that didn't work. We messed with that project all morning and finally I did resize them but it was still over 3 mg in size; so to make a long story short, the way she wanted to handle it is email them all to her mom's account and then her mom mail them to her AOL account where she had room. I could have sent them there, of course, myself, but both her parents have all her email accounts where only approved addresses can get an email to her, and her mom just hadn't put me on that particular account.

Even though child predators have always been with us, the Internet has made their sick pastime so much easier. It's sad too, because the kids can't really enjoy the email attachments and fun things that get sent around because of all the filters and protection settings. But I sure don't blame her parents for having the protections on. Then today there was the horrible story of the child porn rings sting. It's so sick.

After we got resolved to her satisfaction, we watched Hook. If I had seen it before, it was long forgotten; so I enjoyed seeing it a lot.

Other than that, I wanted John to try to could figure out my cell phone upload program and see about the driver. I had misplaced the disk and found the program online, but not sure about the driver. Problem now is I can't find the blasted cable. I know I had it! Where did I put it!!! I really hate myself when I do this. I swear, there's a goblin hanging around that takes great joy in hiding things from me.

Tomorrow our precious visit will end. It's always such a joy to spend time with my kids. All the time they were growing up, I took it for granted that they would form their families and have their jobs in town and we'd have weekend visits or barbecues and babysitting and shopping together. That just wasn't in the stars. I have to admit, it's hard not to be envious of people whose kids live next door or at least nearby and have daily visits and get to share life. So needless to say what time I do get is always cherished time. So, it will be time to get back into my routine of my projects and my own responsibilities. There's certainly enough to keep me occupied.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Virtualization

It's a pretty neat set up. John put it on my laptop, and now I can do a couple of clicks and I have Win 98 at hand, can minimize it and still have XP right there. Very cool. The problem I have now -- of course to think this would come off without a hitch was folly -- is the USB to parallel adapter is the wrong kind. So, I still can't use my work software on here. There's a device, called a key, that opens the software, and it plugs into a parallel port, which the laptop doesn't have. And the software won't run on XP; so I have to have pre-XP operating system for it. If I can't get it to work, it will be okay, but it would sure be nice. Reality is I should upgrade to a newer version, but this version is serving the purpose, and it's very expensive!

Visiting with John and Sheridan has been great. I missed all the news shows, but that's okay. We've had delivery pizza and Dr. Pepper and ice cream. Right now I'm watching "Kim Possible" with Sheridan. There's all sorts of shows she watches that I've never seen. I'm sure out of the loop, I'm afraid.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Back to basic routine

At least for today. Puttered around the house, though I should have done more housework than I did. There were a few tweaking issues I did with the laptop. So nothing new on the homefront or any of my projects.

Well, other than I did take the Dimage Z2 out back and tried to take a few macros, and -- geez, I've forgotten a lot! It was too late, and so the light was bad; so there's a little bit of an excuse, but talk about rusty! Ever since it broke right when we were all coming back from evacuation, I've been using a fully automatic HP Photosmart - nothing to do but click. Going to take some practice to get back to speed - at least where I had left off. Nothing turned out worthy to post here. Even remembering how to delete them all off the memory card taxed my brain for a few minutes till I figured it out.

Tomorrow I'll be getting with John and Sheridan. So, it will be nice to see them. I'm anxious for him to see my new toy, and see how he's going to set the virtualization up. It sounds intriguing. Hope it will work and I'll know how to handle it.

My neighbor called me today, the one on the other side of the one that moved out. She said they're moving the 28th of this month, and did I know anybody who might want to buy her house. Well, no I don't; but I did have one suggestion that I doubted would pan out. I never did get too close with these neighbors, only a few talks in the yard a few times. She's the one that was going to let me have the storage shed. But it's always scary when neighbors move out because you don't know who will be moving in behind them. There was another house across from her that was moved out today. I didn't know that lady at all. But it's now a vacant space. All I can do is hope for the best or make the best out of whatever happens.

I'm not using the laptop to blog with right now, but the desktop. And it is still doing that delayed screen refresh thing. I'm working on a job on a different computer; and when I came back to this one, the screen saver wouldn't release for several seconds, acted like it was frozen. This computer has been doing that for a while now. I guess when I get a breather from computers for a few days, I'm going to have to do a recovery on this one. No doubt the registry has all sorts of trash in it by now. That really sucks. I hate doing this. boo-hoo!! It always takes so long. I do have the Ghost set up for this, but I won't use it because there are things I'll not want to put back. Thank goodness for the external drive. That's about all I can say!!

Well, adios for tonight. Hope you all have a good evening.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Finally - laptop in operation


What a task this has been. Three days, but that's not unusual for me when I'm setting up a computer, either if it's new or a recovery. There's always snags that stump you and take time to figure it out. But I think for the most part everything is on, working, I think all the registrations are done. Don't you hate when you've had a software for years and you still have to register it if you install it again. The only thing that's not working at present is my cell phone cable driver. And for all I know it is working but I can't figure out the how to do it. Doesn't matter. I can email pictures, and I don't do it that often anyway - hardly ever. Maybe John can get it working when he puts the virtualization on it next week.

I've got all my filters installed on Photoshop and got all the videos working on the iTunes. I still haven't downloaded Real Player yet, but that's okay too.

There's some things I don't know yet - like where the volume control is. Of course I went to Control Panel and it's selected to show on the taskbar, but it doesn't. I don't know what a couple of the expansion port is for or the S-video out jack is for. I can see that some of the keys can be used as a numbers keypad, but I don't know how to activate that, or what some of the sub functions of the f-keys do or where the print screen key is. There's a way to watch a video without turning on the computer or something with Quick Time. I haven't tried that out yet. But all in all, it's more familiar to me and I'm really glad I got the brite screen feature. There is a reflection of the light behind you, but the resolution is really nice. I need to calibrate it, but it seems to need one setting for day and another for night!!

I'm also glad I got the HP. I've had lots of HP computers and other products, so, it's a familiar brand and has earned my trust. So, short of a lot of work getting the details like I want them, it's been kinda fun, though frustrating at times.

Here it is midnight, and last night I think I went to bed about 2:00 a.m. Fortunately, Mom and I did get out for a little bit today and got lunch, sat there at Roger's Park to eat a sandwich. That poor park is still showing the Rita wear and tear, but they're working on it because there's ugly muddy ruts all around the trees where they've had trucks I guess getting stumps up and stuff. There's still blue roofs - more than you would want to think, not only on poor houses that you would think, but nice places, big apartment complexes. Hope they all get them fixed before we get into hurricane season again.

It's time to shut this all down and go to bed. See ya' tomorrow.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Laptop saga continues..

It's not all bad today, though. I called Road Runner first thing this morning, barely before a decent cup of coffee. The man had me go through plugging in and telling him about lights, etc, and he said it was not Road Runner but the router and gave me a phone number for Linksys. So, I called them, and she had me do a couple of pretty much easy stuff -- pings among a couple other things -- and -- wa-la! -- I was online! I was so happy!!

So, the rest of the day I have been installing programs and getting different things set up. I'm just about through now except for hooking up my external drive to get all my data files and a few programs that I have stored as .exe files or .zip files - different free programs I've downloaded that are useful for different things. I'm not putting everything on the laptop that I have on the desktop, but especially my photo editing programs, Quicken, Family Tree Maker, Word, my camera drivers. I have a cable to hook up my cell phone to the computer to download pictures, but I can't find the stupid CD for it. It's nowhere. I keep losing those blasted things somehow. I did find some software for it on the web, same thing, but no driver - or else I forgot how to do it. It's a real cheesy program at the best of it.

I'm getting accustomed I think to the smaller print on the monitor, but I do have the settings at large fonts, which helps some. But I really like this wide screen. I didn't think I would, but it's really nice. The bright screen isn't going to be a problem, I don't think, but you do have to position yourself just so or the colors will get too dark, especially if you're looking at a picture.

It's hard to explain how I've been at this all day, but I pretty much have. I've visited some with my friend up in Canada on the MSN messenger and he's helped me out some, too. Of course, I've had to download things like the messengers and winzip and updates and all that. Lord only knows what I've forgotten.

Well, one thing I forgot was my poor azaleas. I went out tonight and looked at them and oh, my, I darn near killed them! They were pathetically wilted. Made me feel terrible! So, I gave them a good healthy watering; and they're snapping back. My housework has certainly waited on me, and the flower bed is turning into a life-long project. Oh, well, it will all get done when it gets done.

Maybe if I can endure a little later tonight, I'll get the external drive hooked up and then I'll be about through moving in.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Seven hours on the phone...

I am now just about best of friends with Mike at HP support in India! Gads! I got my laptop early this afternoon, got it all unpacked and fumbled through putting the battery in and trying to figure out how to even get it open. Geez, I've been on computers so long, and I felt totally foreign to it. But I prevailed and hooked it up to dial up and AOL running enough to get it registered, Then proceeded to unpack the router and start the process of trying to get online.

Well, it didn't work. So, I unplugged everything and put it on the PC, and it didn't work. Over and over, trying this and that, called HP, first call was a long time, doing all these things they tell you to do; last step was to put it through a check that took 20 minutes for the computer to go through. So, we hung up; and I called back when it finished. I got Mike back. Now, let me tell you, I'll bet you any amount of money "Mike" is NOT his real name. His English wasn't too bad if he would speak slowly. And his understanding was a little rough around the edges. I had to repeat my phone number at least four times, and each time, he would get a number wrong. That was before we ever got started. But, all in all, he was patient, and I was, too - at least outwardly. I got sooo tired and disgusted. I did so many restarts, I told him the next thing they would have to do is replace my restart button. At one point I even called John and he tried to walk me through a few steps -- same ones Mike had done, too; but just in case. John didn't know what to think about it.

Bottom line, I can get on the Internet with the cable modem plugged straight into the laptop; but not through the router. He had me disable Norton's firewall and even uninstall the virus protect; built new winstocks -- oh, lord, I don't know what all. I asked him to send me all that we did in an email. He said he would. I hope he keeps his word. Anyway, now I have to get Road Runner out here to see if it's something in their configuration -- which will be Monday. If not, then the only thing left is to do a whole hard drive recovery. For joy, for joy!! So, what really sucks about that is there's no point to start moving into it if there's such a real possibility of having to do a recovery anyway. Why me!!!

I even missed all my news shows. But at least they rerun them all night; and I doubt I'll be able to sleep anyway.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shoppin' n bloggin'

Pretty much that covers my day. With the anticipation of my laptop coming tomorrow and wanting to get a bag and the USB to Parallel adapter, after it quit raining I took off. I knew ECP Computers had the adapter, and I needed to ask them about a driver, but as I was driving there, I realized if I just installed the parallel printer, that should be enough driver to recognize the port. After that, I went out to Office Max. I had heard they were closing, but had forgotten it. Big signs, everything on sale - store closing. So, I took my time and went up and down rows aisles if I saw something useful and a good price, I would get it. I did pick up some more CD-Rs, a CD case, found a plenty nice enough laptop bag for $20 before the discount, and a USB bus because I was afraid two wouldn't be enough and it was seriously cheap. The worse I had to buy was ink cartridges for my printer. They were only marked down 10% and I really don't think it was a deal at all on those. I would think to empty out their stock would be better than 10% but that's about it.

After I left there I went to Wal-Mart with two items specifically in mind. My Skil 12 volt drill battery charger doesn't work. The thing you plug into the wall doesn't get power. Well, they didn't have it. They don't make that kind anymore. Of course not. Silly me! She said maybe Lowe's might have it. I'll try Lowe's another day.

Then I went to the garden shop to see about a wheelbarrow. Actually mine had an 800 number on it and I called them to see if I could get a replacement wheel; but they don't make that anymore either. The cheapest wheelbarrows Wal-Mart had were about $50 and I didn't want it that bad. But I did get some more seeds of Nasturtium this time, and one more package of bulbs - blue bearded iris, has two bulbs. Since I'm not going to put the English ivy on the fence in hopes they really will put up a privacy, I got some cheap hanging baskets to put them in.

I swung thru Wienerschnitzel for a couple of chile dogs with sauerkraut - better than a hamburger any day - and headed home. Still thinking about the drill and the wheelbarrow, I stopped at M&D and all I wound up with there was a couple of little wood trellis things to put my sweet peas on. But I did have an idea of getting a rod and two wheels and making my own replacement for the wheelbarrow. One of the clerks there will be able to help me once I take the old parts back in and we'll match it up. That will be better than buying a whole new one and a lot less expensive.

Then home, and microwaved my hotdogs. And like a kid with a new top, darted back outside and began potting my bulbs and my ivy and my seeds - dug a few more feet of my bed -- it's now up to 15 feet long and 42 inches wide. I want to go 5 more feet - ugh. Getting tired of this! But best not to stop now.

I mentioned blogging in my title. Well, I've noticed a few references in my site meter of a site called Technorati that apparently - well, I'm not sure what it does exactly. But you register your blog with it, and put in keywords and I suppose it helps to get traffic to your blog. Also, you can put other's blogs in your account, and it will tell you when they update their blog. So, I think it will be pretty handy once I get used to it. I did register Lumoto's Woes with them. So, we'll see.

Then a friend of mine is blogging with MySpace; and before I knew I had signed up with them, too. I'm so new, I don't even know what my address is for them yet. If I figure it out, I'll come back and edit here later. I can't keep up two blogs, for sure. I'll see what MySpace is about and then decide. Maybe I could just copy what I put here and post the same thing there. Evidently there's a different population that visits each blogosphere. It might be a place to meet some new friends.

Tomorrow my laptop will be here! Hooray!!! So, I will be "in hog heaven" moving into it and getting acquainted with it. It will seem much different from my desktops. Of course, I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Laptop update

Change of plan -- since I will be seeing John next week and he is going to put Virtualization on my laptop, I need it before I see him. So, I called Gateway to see if we could expedite by a couple of days, and she told me it's coming from China. The problem they were having was, quote, "Held for ODM Configuration Issue." I have no idea what that is but it has to do with the whole startup I think. So, I called HP and told her straight out the situation and she pretty closely matched the specs and I can have it by Friday. So, I am now going to get an HP dv5020 instead and called Gateway back and canceled. The HP is a true 64 bit whereas the Gateway would have been able to handle 64 bit but it was still considered a 32 bit. That's all over my head. I'll have the same size hard drive (80 gig) and still the 1024 RAM and 15.4 inch monitor. This one does have the ultra brite, but most of them do. I guess it will be okay. The only thing this one doesn't have that the Gateway did is a 6 in 1 card reader built in, which would have been nice, and it only has two USB ports, which seems too few, but we'll see. I can get more if I need to. I think it will be fine.

Otherwise I worked on my flower bed. I've decide that if I were smart, I would take all those clumps of clay, spray paint them white or red, and use them like rocks and make a rock bed!!! I hauled what I had dug out -- some of it, haven't finished -- to a low place in my yard. And of course, my stupid wheelbarrow wheel broke. So, I had to make a few trips with one wheel. Yes, it had two wheels as opposed to the standard type with one in the middle. So, it was lopsided and hard to drag. At least I did most of it. I think we have rain in the forecast and I would have liked to have been finished before it rains, but it doesn't look like I'll make it.

Other than that -- I wounded myself trying to prepare my supper. Unfortunately, I didn't have my left middle finger totally out of the way of the knife when slicing an onion. So that really sucks. It's right by my nail and is fairly deep, but not gouged. So, I doctored it up and typing with the end of my finger bandaged isn't too easy. That's what I get for trying to do something domestic like cooking! lol

Well, almost time for Olbermann. I hope he'll focus on politics tonight and not so much sports. Lou Dobbs is putting him to shame right now! After that, maybe I'll watch a movie if I can find one.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Texas Primary Election day...

What a lousy citizen I am. I didn't go vote. I'm registered and all, but to be real honest about it, I don't keep up with local politics much, and I've seen so few ads or anything that I didn't know who was who. I just looked through the list of some of the races on the KFDM TV website (graphic also links to their web page.) If the R's re-elect Tom DeLay then they deserve what they get. I hope I can remember to turn on local news at 10:00 to see how things went. There's a couple of judges I'd like to see win; but for the most part, one name means no more to me than the other. I noticed Kay Bailey Hutchinson isn't opposed - imagine that.

As usual, Bush follows suit with his "didn't know" theme -- and had to make a trip to Texas to vote since he "didn't know" to get his absentee vote in on time. Geez. Another waste of our tax dollars! A postage stamp versus a whole entourage on Air Force One. Well, at least he voted I guess. Wonder if he voted for DeLay.

Nothing new here - did the little job I had, will get in a couple in tomorrow afternoon. Worked some on my flower bed, but not very long. I had a bag of lime here and sprinkled it over the clay clumps hoping it will break them up a bit. I don't know how much you're supposed to put or if you're supposed to water it. I just sprinkled it over the top. I'll see what it looks like tomorrow. Maybe it ays on the bag but the print is too little. Wish I knew somebody who knew about all this stuff. The people I knew who know are now either dead or gone. Guess I could look it up on the web, but I'm not in the mood to read at the moment. So, with a wing and a prayer. Maybe I should try to find a message board somewhere. Anybody know of one?

I did pot my tiger lilly bulbs and amarillis. They were already sprouting a little bit on top; so I assume that part was supposed to be above ground. Hope they make it. The little seeds that I thought weren't going to make it are barely peeping up through the soil -- tiny, tiny, tiny! They're so cute!

Well, that's it for today.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Woe is me - laptop on back order...

My expected delivery date was set for the 7th -- tomorrow. So, I called Gateway to see if it's on schedule and the recording said it was being processed and would be delivered on the 7th. HA! Well, no, it won't be here overnight if it's still being processed. First I checked with my MasterCard to see if it has been charged - no, it hasn't (their web page isn't working today; so another phone call for that.) Then I called Gateway back to get hold of a person; and sure enough, it's back ordered, something about the configuration, and now the target date is the 16th. I told her I wanted to just cancel it and go to Best Buy or somewhere and buy one. She offered me an extra year service policy if I'll stick it out. So, I reluctantly said okay, with the understanding if I change my mind, I can cancel.

So, I checked the Sunday paper fliers for Circuit City, and Office Depot, called ECP and Best Buy. Best Buy had to call me back, and a cell phone person called back. "No, not a cell phone - a laptop." lol Anyway, bottom line, none of them have pre-packaged laptops at a comparable price with the same components as I have spec'd out. So, bad as I hate to do, I'll wait. But it irritated me that it was on back order and they didn't bother to let me know that. She assured me she would keep daily contact with me via email as to the status; so, okay. Needless to say, I'm disappointed but at least satisfied I am getting good value for my money.

Also, I called Parigi's today to find out if that back fence is mine or belongs to the company behind me. It's the company's. But she did say they do have plans of putting up a privacy, as I had heard, but she doesn't know when. I explained to her about the dumpsters that have been added back there and all the other junk. I even mentioned the junky storage shed and pile of junk behind it on the now empty space beside me. So, I don't know if she'll turn in a complaint on that or not. But we agreed I better not put anything on the fence without at least asking the company first. So, I'll proceed with my flowers and maybe use those little trellises for the sweet peas; but I won't hang the netting on it or plant the English ivy on it.

Other than these frustrating phone calls, I did do all my Quicken posting and downloaded TaxAct to begin those nasty taxes, got my name and address filled in. It looks like I'll have plenty of time to work on it because TC is going on vacation all next week and will be cautious of not taking jobs this week that will need a quick turnaround for fear she won't have it out before she leaves. So, here I sit...

Well, Lou Dobbs is already on, so guess I'll watch him and see if there's any good news in the political arena! I won't hold my breath for that.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday daily log

I'm going to have to scoot the time set back on this since it's after midnight while I'm writing this, and it would register Monday. I'm not usually so late doing my blogging.

I watched the Academy Awards. They were pretty good, nothing special or spectacular. Didn't see any outrageous clothes or anything. The "gay cowboys" montage was kind of funny, though some of those dead actors probably rolled over over that one. And I liked George Clooney's acceptance speech talking about how Hollywood has been "out there" on issues that eventually the rest of the world caught up with. I haven't seen even one of these movies, but now that I've watched this, I'd like to see the major ones. I thought Jon Stewart did a fine job hosting it. And Dolly Pardon was great. She looked terrific. Her outfit was so flattering to her; and I hadn't heard her song, Traveling Thru, but I liked it a lot and wished it would have won. I suppose it was a bit to "Christian" to win. Did you notice that - a song about a pimp won over a song about faith. But Hustle and Flow sure were estatic; so it's hard to begrudge them their win.

Earlier today I did get out of the house for a while. Mom and I went to eat and did a little shopping. I bought the soil for my flower bed - twelve 40-lb bags of topsoil and four 40-lb bags of sand. It was "dirt cheap" -- 98 cents a bag for the topsoil. Also, I decided to get some bulbs - a package of tiger lilly bulbs - 3 bulbs (my absolute favorite flower), and a package of red amarillis - only one bulb for $3. But they're so gorgeous. Since I have no idea if they'll grow or if I'll kill 'em, I decided that would be enough to see how they do.

I drove the van around back, and bless Mamma's heart, she helped me unload them. Some of the bags had taken on water at some point and were quite heavier than some others and it took both of to lift them. But we managed to get it all unloaded and stacked.

After I took her back home, when I got back I decided to see how hard the soil was, if I could dig it myself; and it wasn't bad at all. So, I got a good start - about 7 feet long and 30 inches wide - before it got too dark and I got too tired. Besides it was then time for the Awards to start.

I'm not sure how long I'll make it. My original overall plan would have been about 40 feet; but I might stop at 20 and then add to it if I need to. I'm thinking the 30 inches width should be enough since the section between the fence and the patio is so narrow. I doubt I'll need my yard man's help to do this. In fact, the soil that I've dug out so far doesn't seem so bad that I can't mix it with some of what I bought rather than moving it away.

These pictures were taken in the dark with only the flash; but here's the progress on my seeds and the beginning "construction" of their new home. The petunas aren't coming up or the cleome or most of the green zennias -- but the rest seem to be doing okay. They're so tiny. The ones is the back that are a little bigger is the English ivy. Those didn't start from seed. As you can see, something has to be done for the "view"; thus my thinking about the black netting fabric. I don't know yet. Whatever it is, it has to be cheap and easy.

Well, it's late, and I'm tired. Since I don't have a job to work on at present (sigh), I think I'll get started on income taxes. When I get cross-eyed with numbers, then maybe I'll work on my flower bed.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Saturday...

How do you like the quaint, eye-catching, filled with suspense titles I come up with! ha!
Well, dear diary:
Today my yard man came. The grass was actually looking a little ragged from such a mild winter. When I went out to greet him (and pay him) I noticed my azaleas were quite wilted and I had just watered them I think yesterday. So, since I hadn't put them in the ground, I thought that maybe that would be prudent. Sure enough, they were getting somewhat root bound. But I was smart to start the project while he was around, and he, like a gentleman, helped me!

I took him around back and discussed with him my flowerbed idea; and asked how much he would charge. It will be a couple feet wide and about 20 feet long. The dirt has to be dug out and spread around the yard because it's so rock hard, and then bags of dirt to fill it up. We figured about $100 with dirt and labor. So, unless I decide to do it myself, I'll have him do it maybe end of next week. There's also some banana trees in the empty lot that he said he would move for me since they'll probably just get mowed down anyway. Let's hope my zennias and sweet peas and all my little seeds will flourish! They're getting a new home!

Since there's no news on tonight -- weekends are horrible for news junkies -- I'm going to watch a movie. AMC channel is airing Civil Action (1998), John Travolta and Robert Duvall. Actually it's just getting started now; so, I'm going to cut this short since there's nothing much going on and curl up and watch it, even though I saw it a few years ago. Have a great evening.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday report - and asking a favor

First, before rambling on about nothing, I want to ask a favor. I was going to listen to Paul and Heather McCartney on Larry King but they were talking about clubbing seals and trying to stop a specific hunt about to happen in Canada. They were showing all kinds of video of it and I couldn't handle watching it. But Humane Society is also fighting this and is asking people to sign this petition. They have a countdown to the hunt - 25 days, however many hours and minutes. So, time is crucial for them to stop such a cruel and barbaric practice. PLEASE sign it. I can't handle hearing about cruelty, whether to people or animals, and am adamantly against any kind of hunting and government sanctioned torture! There's so much of it in the world, and I try to shield myself from hearing about it because I can't do one thing about it than sign these petitions and pray people won't be so cruel and sadistic. So, I admire the McCartneys and those like them who take action to try to stop these horrid things.

Okay, with that heavy, heart-wrenching plea out of the way, there's really not too much to report again today. Guess I'm going to have to do something to get things moving around here again. I did manage to get out and pay my rent and get my microwave. Beaumont pretty much sucks as a town in a lot of ways, but it's home and people are friendly.

While waiting on a clerk to come to the service desk, I overheard an elderly man talking to his wife about maybe they needed to go back and move the TV and hook it up to the DVD player, etc. Then they turned to me and told me all about their problem, they bought a new DVD and it worked just fine and their TV worked just fine and they couldn't get audio through the TV. They were probably in their 70s. Then they told me how they had stayed together for so long because he was a truck driver and was gone a lot, and how maybe having five kids and neither would have wanted full custody of those kids -- they lived in Jasper and their daughter called from Orange where they were supposed to have met up to go dancing, but they had decided not to go. Really nice couple, years of love and affection was so obvious. And they were as open and friendly as you would want to meet.

Then there was a man, probably about my age, commented about his kids, and would be glad when they were moved out and I commented how I missed mine. He explained he had a late life child who was now 15 and was giving him a run for his money. Funny, you talk to people in these situations, learn more about them than you know about your next door neighbor.

Anyway, there was so much traffic. I guess construction toward Vidor must have had lanes blocked because I-10 was backed up for miles and I was thankful I wasn't needing to route that way. I always wonder where all the people come from and where they're going. Every street was bustling with people and cars. Well, it is Friday. But it was about 11:00 so, a little early. I was glad to get back home.

This afternoon I was reading all over the net about O'Reilly threatening a caller to his radio show because the caller just mentioned the name Olbermann. Listen to it here. It's not long. Oh, it's a riot! So, I was quite anxious to see Keith Olbermann tonight, and he didn't fail his viewers. He played the clip and commented that by his air time, it had been taken down off O'Reilly's web page. Evidently he has his radio show on his site, but I think you have to have a subscription for it so I don't know. Anyway, I'll try to catch O'Reilly on the rerun tonight and see if he says anything.

Back to my own little world, my little flower seeds are mostly doing pretty good. I've been trying to keep them watered and putting them out in the sun. What's come up so far is tiny. I need to get some pictures soon. There are some that may not come up; but I think I'm going to have more flowers than I'll know what to do with. I might have to enlarge that flower bed maybe sooner than later. In fact, I'm thinking about trying to make one along the fence and then maybe buy some of that black netting cloth that they put on roofs of greenhouses and tack it on the fence to hide that ol' ugly business behind me. Sounds pretty ambitious, doesn't it! I wonder how much my yard man would charge me to dig the bed? Oh, well, it would be exercise. We'll see. At least it's something to think about.

Well, if I'm going to work tonight, guess I better get to it. Talk to you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Laying low...

Finished up one job this morning with plans of going to run errands, pick up my microwave from Conn's repair shop, and some other stuff, and decided I just wasn't in the mood. I do have another job to do, but I'm ahead and could afford to let it sit there for today.

My quilts came for my couches finally. I had gone to the front door to see about Tommy, and there was the large box with Tommy lying down on top of it - protecting it no doubt. But they're great. The colors brighten up the room; and even though they weren't paired up with the curtains to be sold together, they work very well together. So, that was a little bright spot.

I more or less just puttered around, went through that stack of mail I picked up the other day, paid a couple of bills on the web. Posting isn't done, but everything is paid up at least and the stack is gone. Of course, now there's another collection of mail waiting for me and then round and round we go. Never ending. They don't have to worry about global warming destroying the planet. All these papers will weight our precious Planet Earth off balance and right out of orbit.

Even the politics aren't getting me too excited today - though I have to say, a trade of sensitive nuclear technology for Indian mangos is -- well, I can't even get mad about because it's so ridiculous. I mean, how much worse can things get. When you think things are about as low as they can get, then this -- it's just plain unbelievable. Nobody could make this stuff up for a novel! Watch the segment from Lou Dobbs' here -- it's short.

The other day I posted a link to Olbermann Watch and didn't read past the day in question so I didn't have a handle on what the page is. Evidently he's no friend of Keith; somebody who is -- well, not an Olbermann fan. I almost posted on his blog to ask him why he doesn't just watch Fox and spare himself all the aggravation. But he has plenty of people telling him he's full of it. So, I passed on the opportunity.

As far as my opinions of Keith Olbermann, I know he's trying. I really think they might have "tempered" him some on his politics, but at least he's making an effort to expose things, my guess is within the limitations he's having to work under. So, I'm grateful for whatever he can do and support him wholeheartedly.

Also today - as a rarity, I cooked -- nothing real healthy or anything, but I was hungry for plain ol' rice and gravy; so I cooked some meatballs with gravy (that's good diet food, huh?) It turned out pretty good, but I will admit, I've lost my touch on making a good rich, brown gravy. There was a time I had it down to a science, but it's been too long. Still, it was waaay better than the instant gravy and it satisfied my little craving.

Guess that's it for today. If I have any sense, I'll go to bed early. The insomnia has been pretty bad and I just haven't been resting.

By the way -- I tried setting my display at the 1024x768 and set the font size at large (120 dpi). And ever since then the screen refresh has been way slow. If it's coming out of screen saver, or I've noticed even typing this, the cursor will become still, and if I keep typing, the letters are going to memory, not on the screen, and when whatever catches up, it will then lay out the letters I had typed. Weird. It will be nice when I get my laptop and get all moved in. I think once I'm sure everything I want is either duplicated or backed up, I might have to do a hard drive recovery on this machine. Gosh, how I hate doing those. For now I guess I'll have to put it back to 800x600 and normal size fonts and see if that will get it to performing like it's supposed to again.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wednesday -- March -- already!

How time flies when -- well, so much for cliches. My kids seem to think I use them too much anyway. But what's fascinating - well, not fascinating but maybe troubling - is how fast time does go by the older you get. My dear Daddy - God rest him, used to tell me that if I thought time was going by fast then, it would be nothing compared to how it will seem when I get older. How true, how true! You wake up and find a year or two has gone by. It's just plain scary.

Last night, very late, on C-Span (insomnia again) Bill Clinton was addressing the governors and he's starting some kind of national program to try to get kids to eating more healthy diets and getting more exercise. Apparently the fast-food places - -he specifically said McDonald's, is trying to figure out a way to frie the french fries without the trans fats. Scientists are beginning to study the composition of our foods and the effects on our bodies.

Now, in my opinion, that's the ticket right there! I firmly believe the biggest problem (no pun intended) is the composition of our food. I mean, think about what chemicals they use now and all the steroids they feed the animals and we're even eating cloned animals! God only knows what we're eating. And that's not counting the pollution that is in our ground waters that our plants feed on and all the pollution in our oceans to poison the fish we eat and all. This is a world problem - not only a U.S. problem!

Exercise is nice and it's good to make you feel better and all that (I don't get enough - at all!!! understatement), but that's not the real problem with the whole world having this humongous weight gain. I mean, look at some police officers and nurses and ambulance drivers -- I've seen some really hefty ones! Those people definitely get exercise. I hope I'm still alive when they figure this all out and "invent" the cure. The problem hasn't escaped me, for sure. Granted, I could do some things to improve matters, but I know from my own past experiences with this that it's more to it than just calories and exercise that's outside of a person's control.

Anyway, he was talking about trying to make schools get healthier foods in the cafeterias, available to the kids, and get physical education back in school. Now, I remember when I graduated in 1965 we had healthy menus in our cafeterias, milk or orange juice to drink. To have candy machines or Coke machines at school -- we would have thought we died and were in heaven. Totally not allowed. And I remember when they decided to allow these things in the schools thinking that it was soooo wrong to make all the junk food so readily available to our youth. The village does -- should --raise the child. President Kennedy had started a physical fitness program that continued for a few years that you HAD to take P.E. You HAD to do so many setups and run around the football field at least twice to pass the grade -- not just the P.E. class. It was mandatory!

Now, I could come up with excuses along with the best of them to get excuses to not take part in P.E. I could handle the sit-ups just fine -- could do those all day long, but running was never my thing. So, that requirement almost did me in. I remember Ms. Davis, "Come on, now, come on, keep going, you can do it! Not much further." And there was my friend Kay sprinting around the field about four times waiting on me! Shoot, even then my legs didn't do what was asked of them. Speaking of Ms. Davis, she wasn't no trim and slim lady and she was a PE coach. But she was great! Now, all that was 42 years ago when I was a junior (I took Distributive Education when I was a senior. So, that got me out of PE) -- but I can remember it like yesterday. To say "42 years ago" sounds unbelievable. But to remember to turn the lights off in my car, to remember to take the keys out of the front door, to remember to get my glasses before I leave the house -- well, that's another story. About the only good thing about approaching senior status is you begin to remember things from years ago that you had long ago forgotten. I've been asked about something that happened that I don't remember, and say, "Give me another year or two, and I'll remember every detail like it was yesterday."