Sunday, September 26, 2004
The gray season. It's the time from late September on. If it isn't raining in the Eugene area it's foggy. We are between two rivers, that may have something to do with it because many mornings I can drive the twenty miles north to work and come out of the fog. Lisa of Coming to terms with middle age used to live down here and hated it. I imagine the sun is shining in Scappose this morning.
The thing is, it contributes to the image of this area as wet. We don't get "that" much rain and there is a definate rainy season. This morning is just damp and gray. Most of the spectacular flowers are gone. There's still a few cone flowers and susans. I did get some pictures of spider webs yesterday. I wonder how they'll turn out.
The worst thing about the closed in conditions is that it traps the air pollution. Right now I'm trying to figure out if it's allergies of if it's a cold. I think it 's allergies, most colds don't move this slowly.
Oh, and things that bug me number 4. (this is as I think of them-not necessarily in irritant order) Cable TV and dish TV commercials. Yoo, hoo. I have other things to do. TV is nice but I do have other interests like working.....sleeping.......and my current reading list is looking longer that number 2 nephew is tall and he's 6'2". Unfortunately, the extra channels don't increase the available talent just spread it thinner.
Read a good description of someone with a temper. The writer was referring to Dr. John McGloughlin, rightly called the Father of Oregon. Apparently the good doctor had a bit of a temper. The friend described him "as 6'4" with a seven foot temper." Ouch!
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Story on the news the other night regarding how some schools are discarding recess in favor of class room time. This is primary grades mind you. One interviewee basically gave the impression that he thought recess was a big waste of time. I wonder how he'd like to give up his coffee breaks. I'm sure he could use those two 15 minute sessions more productively. I have five nephews and I remember how antsy they could get at that age. Actually, the 12 year old still gets pretty antsy when the program on the tube is a football game instead of a movie.
A couple of our local legislators are pushing for full day kindergarten. Yo, we're grown up for a very long time. Give the kids time to be kids for a little while at least.
We're not a farming economy anymore. We don't need the kids to help in the fields anymore. It's almost as if children are seen as a waste of money until they're finally old enough to work and contribute to the economy. The sooner the better. Oh, and for those who feel that educating other people's children is a waste of your money: unless you plan on self-surgury when you need it, you'd better hope that somebody's kid is getting a good medical education.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Now that summer is closing I'm being reminded of a real irritant. Fruits and vegetables that are engineered so they can be shipped very long distances and still look good even though they taste like cardboard. 'Nuff said. What's sad are all the folks who think that's what they're supposed to taste like.
That said there is nothing to match a ripe Oregon Strawberry. The season only lasts a month or so, but the anticipation in the other eleven months. :-) And fresh tomatoes. I didn't used to be a tomato fan. Still warm from the garden, I think I just got a glimpse of heaven. If you don't have your own find a good produce stand. Even the canned ones taste better than the pathetic wannabes in the stores. :-)
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Doctors or other medical spokesmen in the media pushing the latest cholesterol lowering or whatever medication. "It only costs two or three dollars a day for most patients." Let me see, take an average of 2.5 x 365. That's just over $900.00 a year on top of whatever else they've got you on. If you don't have insurance you probably can't afford it. If you have insurance, somebody (you and your employer are paying for it.) That's if your insurance covers perscriptons.
Since I don't see our government telling the drug companies "Look you have the equivalent of a regulated monopoly here. You get cost of developing the drug plus 5%." I don't see the cost of drugs coming down anytime soon. Unless we want to just sign our paychecks over to Merck, Bristol Meyers, ect. I guess we're just going to have to figure out how to not need their products.
Like du jour:
Hugs. Need I say more :-) They're one of the things that increase as you give them away.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
I think I'll spread mine out a little and do it in pairs.
High on the list of things that bug me. Reality commercials. I'm not a big fan of reality tv anyway and these commercials bug me no end. American Family Insurance has some real non-favorites. Ok, the little guy with the crewcut seems nice enough but is that a good enough argument for changing my insurance? I really don't care how he grooms his crewcut or what kind of cars he buys. I'm more likely to listen to the co-worker who contacted this company for a quote when she bought her house. Apparently they had all the business they need becuase they couldn't be bothered to call her back until she'd called them several times.
Things that I really, really like.
Pussycats. 'Nuff said.
My brother in law had this posted in his classroom.
The Rules of Combat
1. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
2. Incoming fire has the right of way.
3. Don’t look conspicuous: it draws fire.
4. The easy way is always mined.
5. Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.
6. Professionals are predictable; it’s the amateurs that are dangerous.
7. The enemy invariably attacks on one of two occasions.
When you’re ready for them.
When you’re not ready for them.
8. Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at.
9. If you can’t remember, the claymore is pointed at you.
10. If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
11. Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.
12. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
13. When the pin is pulled. Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
14. If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid,
15. When in doubt empty the magazine.
16. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
17. Anything you do can get you shot. Including doing nothing.
18. Make it too tough for the enemy to get in and you can’t get out.
19. Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
20. A Purple Heart just proves that that you were;
Smart enough to think of a plan
Stupid enough to try it
And, lucky enough to survive.
21. Don’t be the first, don’t be the last, and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.
22. The quartermaster has only two sizes: too large and too small.
23. Five second fuses only last three seconds.
From Heller’s Funnies Index.
And not on this list but a favorite of mine. When you find yourself in a hole. STOP DIGGING
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
land it's at the point with the least population. I'm not sure about the elevations in that
part of the country but it's not like Oregon. We don't have to go very far to get some
elevation. And to get hit with three in a row, unbelievable.
We played host to a fairly disgruntled nephew yesterday. Jon is a redshirt
freshman being groomed for offensive lineman. The U of O lost Saturday. :(
They gained about four yards to the Hoosiers one but couldn't hang on to the
thrice-blasted ball. This is a problem the Ducks go through every few
seasons. It is a fairly young team. When we asked Jon if he thought they'd be
working on ball handling extra hard this week he replied that ball control was what
they worked on first thing every day. Although that's not going to be a focus for him
unless one happens to get dropped and bounce his way. His job will be to take the
player in front of him down and keep him there. Should make for interesting memories
to look back on. Landing on someone or being landed on over and over and over and over.......
On a lighter note, we watched part of the OSU game Friday night. Boise
States' infield turf is the same color as the uniforms. Yes, boys and girls,
the MOVING blue dots are the players. Especially the moving blue dots that
made life miserable for the Beavers. This was not a good weekend for Oregon football.
The blue that doesn't move is the field. It takes a little getting used to. I'm not sure how
I'd react to say, Stanford doing this. Can you imagine a cardinal red football field?
We also were a pit stop and park and ride for another nephew and his buddies. When Chris
bought his tickets that game wasn't going to be televised. The first question through the door
was "when did they change the time?" I guess they didn't really publicize the change. We only
knew because 1) Jon's on the team and 2) our favorite news channel also carries the games.
What the heck it was good to see him however briefly. The cats didn't know what to make of
ten extra feet suddenly appearing out of nowhere.
I'll tell you what's really taking some getting used to. Two of the five nephews can still be hugged
around the neck and number four is shooting up fast.This keeps up and we're going to need to
hire a hall for the holidays.
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Talked about canning last time. Gravensteins may make good sauce but, I found out one fall that they are not a good choice for say, apple butter. Gravensteins are very juicy and you add apple cider to the butter while it's cooking. Then you have to cook it down. I spent the better part of a day cooking that batch of juice down. It was awfully good though.
Our house in Oakridge had an old fasioned laundry sink. Double sink, I think is was cement and it had a built in washboard. Our washer was an open tub with a wringer. You filled the sinks with water and processed the laundry from sink to sink. My grandmother could pop buttons with the best of them and dad joked that she could shrink a house if she put her mind to it. You can imagine what happened to his "woolies" if we weren't careful. Anyway these sinks were great for canning. I poked a lot of cucumbers for pickles and shucked a lot of corn into those sinks.
Anyway, all those goodies came in handy during the winter. Loggers missed a lot of time in the winter because of the weather. I didn't know until much later but some years my folks had about $50.00 left in December after the bills were paid at the first of the month. We still had a lot of fun at Christmas. We made a lot of stuff. If we could just get everybody together for the Holiday was worth a lot. Maybe worth the most. :-)
Sunday, September 5, 2004
The weather is cool enough now that the cats enjoy hanging out wherever they can find a nice patch of sun. Lucky especially enjoys baking her bones as long as possible. See above. She’s just a big wuss who likes to hold “hands” and pat your face. She also likes short, just washed hair. That is she likes to play with it. You know, pat it, poke it, and generally make you wince.
Took our “not working this morning “walk down to the local park. Far more ducks and geese on hand than people, We have the mallards and Canadas. There are also some domestic type geese who’ve probably never seen a farm yard. A couple of them really started squawking, A couple of minutes later a new flock flew in and joined the locals. There were a few minutes of excited conversation while every body caught up with the “gossip.”
Good new entry in Hippies in Yuppiedom regarding the upcoming campaign. I did not watch the Republican Convention. I briefly considered catching the president’s speech. Right up until I listened to ABC’s analysis of Zell Miller’s speech. That did not help my blood pressure. I think we said the heck with it and hauled out Living Planet. This is an excellent set of documentaries from the eighties. It's an eco-system by eco-system survey of the life on Earth. That really didn’t help either. Except to remind us what’s at stake here. Humans are still outnumbered by the other critters on the planet. Unfortunately, we're the only ones with access to a ballot box
I can’t say this often enough. I don’t care how hopeless you think in is VOTE. Repeat after me. “I will vote. I will vote every chance I get.” It may help and it can’t hurt. For those who support Ralph Nader, write in his name, no one is stopping you. If you like McCain write in his name. Heck, if you miss Bill Clinton write in his name.
We still do some canning every summer. We concentrate on things that taste better home canned than the commercial products. Green beans, Blue Lakes if we can get them. Improved Elbertas for peaches and Bartlett’s for pears. Gravenstein apples make great sauce. We generally get late fall apples for the winter and store them in the garage. It stays nice and cool out there. One thing we don’t do anymore is corn. It’s a lot of work when there are only two people working on the pantry.
We have jars out there that we’ve had for years. Mom noticed one theother day with patent date of 1915 on it. If that jar really is that old, I wonder how may times its been filled over the years. Many of them came out of my grandmother’s pantries. In fact, my dad’s mother taught my mom how to can. Needless to say she taught the three of us. It can be messy (as in peach juice running down your arm and finding petrified corn kernels under the cabinets) but it’s nice to find those jars in the winter.
Saturday, September 4, 2004
Well, let’s see.
Saturday morning with sunshine on a three-day weekend. Yup, Promise of sun and mild temperatures all weekend. Yup.
Things still blooming. Canna lilies, Marguerite daisies, bellflowers, little yellow Potentilla ground cover, everbearing strawberries, (those don’t give up until it frosts and then they look like they’re thinking about it), ground cover strawberries. If you’ve seen the ground cover plants they have a deep pink bloom and very small but very sweet berries.
The new huckleberries are getting ripe. Even when those bushes get five feet tall, I’d hate to try and pick enough for a pie. Those berries are tiny! Think the tip of your little finger. Then think smaller.
The two ground cover Oregon Grapes are really going to town this year. One is even putting up a little brother. The andromedas and nandinas are putting out shoots for winterberries and the dogwood is also setting berries.
We have a local thrush that loves the dogwood berries. They are about the size of a robin and very shy. Usually all you see is the little white patch above their tail as they fly away. You never see more than one or two at a time until winter. When the dogwood berries get ripe you get a whole flock of them. They work over the tree until the berries are gone and then move to the neighbor’s holly tree.
The lavender is pretty much gone; don’t see very many bumbles now. Soon the blueberry and dogwood leaves will turn red. Two more weeks until I get my camera back. Waaaaaah. (No choice, really. Every time I changed a lens little pieces of foam fell out.) Mornings get pretty cool now. It can get very foggy in the mornings. Warm afternoons with occasional rain. Most years the wet season doesn’t start until sometime in October. I know we have a rainy reputation but it’s more fog and overcast. We’re in the southern part of the valley and just over the mountains it almost qualifies as desert. Not the sandy kind, the scrubby kind. Trees in Eastern Oregon are shrubs with delusions of grandeur.
Ok, before I end this entry, drum roll please. The scales said 298 this morning. Now the fun really starts. The second hundred. I’d like to do it a year. Reality check here. It’ll probably take two. But, hey, how old will I be in two years if I don’t work on it?
Happy Saturday all!
Friday, September 3, 2004
Actually I'm beyond angry. I ready to spit rivets and throw a sledge hammer.
I listened to the analysis of the Keynote speakers' speech on ABC News last night. How it was accurate up to a very careful point. Some of the claims he was making go back over thirty years. Statements made by a disillusioned young officer who had seen more than he ever expected to see.
There have been ads for a new reality series called the Benefactor. The contestants supposedly have a chance to win a million dollars and they freely admit they'd cheat or stab a "friend" in the back to do it.
If winning is so important that lying, cheating and essentially stealing is what it takes, and if none of the party faithful are calling them on this, then this country is in a hell of a lot more trouble than I thought.
I suppose if we called these guys on breaking the commandment on bearing false witness, they'd claim they weren't in a court of law and hadn't sworn to tell the truth. Let's not even get into the one about coveting.
The only answer I can see is to vote so at least I have the right to bitch, no matter what the outcome and try to keep myself and my little cornor of the world as straight as possible.
Thursday, September 2, 2004
Rather than writing a book in Lisa's comments section I'll toss in my two cents worth here. The Electoral College was seen as a way to protect the small states from the larger states. The founders couldn't have forseen the public education system, population shifts, growth of giant corporations, influence of lobbyists, and the almost instantaneous communication system we have now.
There is a scene early in the movie 1776: John Adams is having a "conversation" with his wife Abigail. He's in Philadelphia, she's in Massachusetts. She asks why he can't come home for a visit. It's only 300 miles to Boston. If "you left tonight, you could be home in only eight days." My sister lives about 300 miles from Eugene. I can be there in about six hours. It might take seven or so if it's winter and the winds are really bad in the Columbia Gorge.
At least if the electoral votes are allocated in some proportional way the candidates will have to pay attention to all of us. As Lisa suggests allocating by a proportion of the total vote mean that they can't count on a majority coming from any one area.
As it stands, at least voting assures me of the right to holler very, very loudly if I don't like the result. At least we get to vote. At least we don't have to worry about somebody knocking on the door in the middle of the night if we don't vote the right way.