Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Other Christmas gift from mom. Again, we actually picked it out together. I think it's fantastic. However, I got the feeling that outside of BIL#1 (brother in law), nobody else in the family has any idea why I would pick out either piece.

I have always loved wolves and some of the ancient Welsh saw the heron as symbol of the Creator. When I saw this plate I got a definite impression of someone or something saying "pick me, pick me." So I did. It was up near the ceiling in the shop, in an out of the way cornor. The pictue doesn't really do it justice, but it was love at first sight.


Christmas gift from mom. Actually we picked it out together. The shot really doesn't do it justice. The colors are so much brighter in the flash shot but you lose most of the pattern. So take my word for it, the wolves have intensely  blue eyes and the effect is almost hypnotic. The shop where we got this had several different "spirit" animal type suncatchers, but this one spoke to me the most. the soaring eagle is a wonderful touch.

It isn't traditional stained glass, it's a painting on a glass oval. Trouble is, if I put it in a window like I'm supposed to I'll never get to see it. I think I'll try getting a plate holder and put it next to a lamp.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Jack Ohman is the editorial cartoonist for the Portland Oregonian. I think he has razor soup for lunch at least once a week, if not oftener. I stumbled onto a website that has access to daily cartoon strips and editorial cartoons and took full advantage of the opportunity. This one definitely speaks for itself.

I know I'm posting like a madwoman today, but I kept getting error messages everytime I tried to add or post a picture yesterday, so I'm makiing up for lost time. LOL At least I didn't have to reinstall Javascript or something like that.


Found this link on a private journal so I won't leave a link here. I didn't realize I was so daring. Hmmm when little Jackie goes out to play, I guess shes really goes out to play. A love of chocolate and thinking reindeer bungie jumping sound pretty cool goes a long way.


                                   You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?


Whoo. Happy Christmas night. We had eleven people (mom, me, two sisters, two brothers in law, five kids) oh and six puppies around for Christmas. The Portland contingent brought down their boxer pups along with the three six foot plus nephews. The puppies are so cute. About six weeks old and all but one is spoken for. And that one doesn't have anything to worry about, push comes to shove. Good thing they have a really big yard.

My other sister and her family made it over for a couple of days, too. My brother in laws' mom lives all of two blocks away from us. Christmas Eve dinner with them. Christmas dinner with us. We are so well fed at the moment, it's embarassing.

We've been putting out bird seed and other goodies for the locals and the yard has been absolutely alive these past few days. It was fairly warm yesterday (in December, anything over 55 degrees is warm) and there was a real birdie carol sing yesterday afternoon. I was surprised to hear so many birds singing on a December afternoon. Come of our crocuses are peeking up, they'll be blooming by the end of January. The huckleberries are budding along with the elder and some of the azaleas. It's the waiting time right now.

Then mom and I went to the carol service at church last night. Beautiful church, lovely service, aching knees. From now on I either sit in the back or right up front where the floor is level. Ouch! It was nice though. There must have been over two dozen kids up front with the pastor listening to him tell the Christmas story.

Unfortunately, it started raining last night and it's been raining since then. It's been a very wet December and it looks like the last week of the year isn't going to change. Muddy, muddy, muddy. Going to be interesting for the folks going home over the next couple of days.

Tomorrow is also my sister's birthday. She wanted pumpkin cheesecake. She got pumpkin cheesecake. And pretty good pumpkind cheese cake it was, too. What we didn't finish went over to other mom's after Christmas dinner munchie sessions.

Ok, I'm ready for a cup a tea and a couple of celebratory MASH episodes. Hope everybody had a good, safe holiday.



And a Happy New Year.

I found the central graphic on the web several years ago. I forget where. but the picture is called Polar Peace.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I found this in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook.  I was actually looking for something else but I got sidetracked. That happens. LOL  So with Christmas around the corner and the seasonal insanity increasing I pass this along.

At Christmas time I believe the things that children do.


I believe with


English children that holly placed in windows will protect our homes from evil.


Swiss children that the touch edelweiss will charm a person with love.


Italian children that La Befuna is not and ugly doll but a good fairy who will gladden the hearts of all.


Greek children that coins hidden in freshly baked loaves of bread will bring good luck to anyone who finds them.


German children that the sight of Christmas tree will lessen hostility among adults.


Dutch children that the horse Sleipner will fly through the sky and fill the earth with joy.


Swedish children that Jultomte will come and deliver gifts to the poor as well as to the rich.


Finnish children that parties held on St. Stephen’s day will erase sorrow.


Danish children that the music of a band playing from a church tower will strengthen humankind.


Bulgarian children that the sparks from a Christmas log will create warmth in human souls.


American children that sending Christmas cards will build friendships.


And I believe with all children that there will be peace on earth.


By Daniel Roselle


Sunday, December 17, 2006


A bit more than tongue in cheek actually.


Go to the local story for the background. They've managed to raise a hefty chunk of change for schools in the Junction City. A small community about twenty miles from where I live. Mom sent one to my uncle a couple of years ago, we got another one this year, he got a real kick out of the last one. After all some of the guys on the calendar are almost as old as he is. LOL

What's really funny are some of the locals' reaction to the calendar. It's definitley a satire of the beefcake calendars, it's meant in fun. Something we're really short of these days.

I will admit that the gentleman on the left end of the fence is dangerously close to revealing all his ummmmm assets. :-)

Anyone curious about the local Long Tome Grange or thinks the calendar might be fun for the next year go to the grange calendar website.


Sunday, December 10, 2006


Been feeling a bit down this week. Part of it stems from something very sad that happened here in Oregon just after Thanksgiving. You may have caught it in the news. A family of four traveled up to Seattle for the holiday came. Afterwards they headed back down I5, planning to head over to the coast from Grants Pass in southern Oregon. They never made it. The wife and daughters were found after about a week. The husband was found two days later. He tried to hike out and find help for his family, he didn’t make it. He managed to hike sixteen miles, on the ground. And ended up about a mile from his family at the bottom of a river canyon about a thousand feet lower down than he started. There was an excellent story in the Oregonian that brought it all together. You can follow this link to the story. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1165652726218920.xml&coll=7#continue


It'll probably take awhile to work through it, but I think it's worth it.


I’ve been following the boards. Turns out there are a lot of people out there who know next to nothing about good old Oregon. I'll be honest I know next to nothing about some of the other states except that Texas is very hot in the summer, Florida gets a lot of hurricanes, that sort of thing. I won't bore you with the entries on the boards. The good ones were good and you can imagine the worst ones.


Some of the entries were down right insulting either to us, the victims or both. So, being me, I tossed in my two cents worth.


First a topographic map of merry Oregon.



Anyway here's my two cents worth.


This seems like a good place to post some things about Oregon.


By size Oregon is the ninth largest state. If you folded Maine down towards the rest of New England you could probably put the the whole thing in Oregon and have room left over. We've got counties bigger than some states. Over 90,000 square miles most of it mountains or high plateau over four thousand feet above sea level.


But, by population we're number 28 with about 3,400,000 people and about one third of us live in the northern part of the Willamette Valley around Portland. There are fringes of fairly level ground along the coast, along the Columbia west of Portland; the Willamette Valley is the largest section of fairly flat ground in the state. That’s that little green triangle up at the top of the map. There isn't very much of it, is there? Then there's the freeway corridor heading for Idaho. As you can see there is almost none of that nice green color down in the southwestern corner of the state where the Kim family went missing.


Folks, the rest of the state is mountains or high plateau. We have the dubious distinction of having the hardest seaport to reach, Portland. The Columbia Bar is nicknamed the Graveyard of ships.And the name is well earned. And we have one of the most treacherous sections of the whole interstate highway system at Siskiyou Pass on the California border, at 4,000 plus feet and it loses over 2,000 feet of elevation in about seven miles on the Oregon side with some sections of nasty curves. Several of the highest peaks in the Siskiyous are over seven thousand feet. About the middle of that little green square I put in is where Grants Pass is and straight over is Gold Beach. As you can see, this part of the state is seriously rough country.


The southwest corner of the state has the south end of the coast range, the Siskiyous and the Klamaths. Once they'd traced the Kim's to Grants Pass, which way did the go? Head for the coast? Head for the wildlife refuge at Klamath Lake? Take a side trip to the Mount Ashland ski area? I'm just trying to say that this is one area in my home state that I would not want to get lost in. From what I've read it's hard enough to run SAR in any conditions on fairly flat ground. Trying to run one in this country would be a nightmare. Once you figure out they might have headed for Gold Beach on the coast then what? If it's say 40 miles to the coast and forty miles to the state line where in that 1600 square mile haystack is the needle you're trying to find. 


The mom and kids were found by a local who really knows the country and just happens to have a helicopter. Maybesomebody's guardian angel was pointing him in the right direction because he just had a feeling, but it took him at least three trips over two days and the fact that Mrs. Kim was waving a pink umbrella. I think he'd run into trouble on that road himself and got to wondering what if?  


I guess I'm trying to say is that living or traveling in Oregon is a little like porcupines making love. It can be beautiful, but sometimes you have to be careful.


Anyway, thanks for coming along for the ride.

Sunday, December 3, 2006


These are the graphics I worked up this weekend for my Christmas cards. The central graphics were downloaded from the net over the years. Since I didn't make the pictures I'm only posting them on my journals.

I have a good friend who loves cardinals

Cardinals aren't usually found on the west coast. We have the beautiful deep blue Stellar's jays. I haven't seen any art work with them.

Even the animals get into the act.

And Santa has special gifts for the other children too. Even if they have four legs and wings.

The backgrounds were done with multple layers in Photoshop. But I had fun making them. And even some fun printing them. My old Epson printer does a good job but it does need a little coaxing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Read this story first. http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/giant-prehistoric-fish-had-a-fierce/20061128213509990005 Man is this a long address or what? Thirty three feet long, that's longer than our house is wide or one tenth of a football field and with such a lovely "smile."

So naturally all the fundies are all over the story like white on rice. One poster’s entry was so misspelled and the grammar was so bad that only someone who really knows how English works would have even a slim chance of understanding what he or she was trying to say. Add in the ignorance of how science is really done and the result is appalling to put it mildly. And probably goes a long way to explain the generally f#$%ed up state of the country these days.


I know I’m sounding like an elitist, I’m not trying to be. But, it’s terrifying that someone this ignorant may be eligible to vote.


Ok, for the bazillionth time, the Bible is not a historical document. It is a wonderful and terrifying record of men and women trying to understand their relationship with God and each other. It is not History. In fact, many of the creation and flood stories are similar to Babylonian mythology only the biblical writers mislaid a couple of zeroes in their time lines. The Babylonian time line stretches out about 430,000 years instead of the Bibles’ 4,300 years. By trying to force it to be something the writers never intended you freeze it in time and it becomes truth with a “small” t.


The universe is old, very old and the earth itself is between four and five billion years old. Try wrapping your brain around this. The rocks at the top of the Grand Canyon were laid down just before the dinosaurs exited center stage Say, seventy million years old. It’s a vertical mile to the bottom of the canyon. By the time you reach the end of the day and the bottom of the canyon you are standing on rocks that are nearly a billion years old. I mean, wow!


And if that doesn’t give you a tingle, try this. The atoms in us were forged in countless supernovas. The earth, the other planets, the asteroids, everything around us is made of star stuff. When God/dess said “let there be light” there was one hell of a bang and creation keeps unfolding every day. Just because our physical lives are a flicker in time compared to the scale of galactic time doesn’t make us any less special. All the people who live on this planet now and of all the ones who came before us are and were unique. A one off, no copies allowed. Every time a life ends too soon or doesn’t reach it’s full flowering something unique and irreplaceable is lost.


I don't know about anyone else, but I find this extremely painful and full of sadness.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


On January 6, 1941, president Roosevelt gave a speech before congress. The finale of the speech came to be known as the Four Freedoms. January 1941. Western Europe was under the Nazi boot, the Battle of Britain was just over, Hitler and Stalin were eyeing each other over the shattered remains of Poland. It would be nearly a year before the US was officially involved in what would become a world wide war.

FDR gave voice to a dream and Norman Rockwell put it on canvas. The paintings not only graced magazine covers but were used for campaigns supporting the war effort. I've always loved the faces of the people Rockwell used in his paintings.

 I think this might be a New England town meeting or something similar. Flannel shirt, battered jacket, workworn hands; he's just as free to speak and the guys in the suits. Times have changed. Not all the faces would be male and white these days.

Pretty self explanatory, and we're still working on it. The whole world is still working on it.

My grandmother used to wear those little cotton dresses. Probably Thanksgiving and the table isn't nearly as ample as we're used to. Fresh fruit and vegetables weren't nearly as available out of season as they are now.

Instead of working to free us from fear, our elected hired help has done a real number on the American people. Scared to death of the things that probably won't happen to us. While we're convinced that we can't do anything about the fears we should be working on; the war, weapons control, decent medical care, decent wages, uncontaminated food, honest government. I wonder what FDR would have to say now, and what kind of pictures ol' Norman would paint.


We the People of the United States, in order to


  • Form a more perfect union,
  • Establish justice,
  • Insure domestic tranquility,
  • Provide for the common defense,
  • Promote the general welfare,
  • And secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,
  • Do ordain and establish this

Constitution for the United States of America.


This is the Preamble of our Constitution. The men who jockeyed back and forth, argued, compromised and prayed during that hot summer in Philadelphia had a dream. If they could come back today and see where that dream has taken their children; what would they say to us? Would they tell us, “job well done” or “uh, kids, you’ve got a hell of a long way to go, better head back about three or four forks in the road and start over?”

Thursday, November 23, 2006


And a Happy (if wet) Thanksgiving to everybody. Including the squirrels and the various birds that were having their own soggy Thanksgivings today. Seriously, it can dry out for a day or two anytime. At least we haven't had any high water down here. Something for us to be thankful for.

Hope everyone had a good day, I know we did. I’ve taken a couple of vacation days this week, one to help get ready and an extra one to recover. Seriously, there isn’t much to recover from.

Mom and I baked up a storm yesterday. Two people can work in our kitchen at the same time if you plan ahead, clean up between projects, and take your time. So we did and we had almost as much fun in the making as the eating. Dinner rolls, some seriously sinful cinnamon rolls (actually I think they were the best I’d ever made and I was very happy to send them OUT the door) and three pies. The extra trouble on the pies was worth it when the berry lover spotted the marionberries. Kid’s an atheist or something. He doesn’t like pumpkin pie. LOL


They passed out turkeys at work so we did the traditional turkey thing. I think I may be an atheist or at least an agnostic. I don't really like turkey that much anymore. I kept wanting to dose that bird with a load of garlic and some nice Italian or Southwest type seasonings. And a nice batch of dried tomato basil foccacia. Ah, the sacrifices we make for our families. :-) Seriously, it was good if a little............bland. And thankful to have it.


My brother in law teases sis once in awhile. He tells her he married her so he could get a shot at mom’s apple pies. So part of an apple pie headed north along with assorted goodies. Hey, he spent part of his day keeping track of two boxers and their seven pups. And from what sis said that’s it, for the puppy production. She doesn’t want to put too much stress on Daisy and that’s a good thing. ‘Cause she’s a real sweetie.


So we waved good by to most of the goodies when my sister and the kids took off this evening. Sis came down with the two younger nephews. Wah! 5'6" me can’t hug any of the kids around the neck anymore unless they bend over. Way over. Even N#5 is over six feet tall now, and he’s only 14. Sis’s oldest, N#2 topped out at 6’2” or so. He’s the football player. Oregon and Oregon State are playing their Civil War game tomorrow so he only had the afternoon off today. With luck they won't get drowned tomorrow afternoon during the game in Corvallis.


Anyway it was fun to watch the boys catch up with each other. Between practice and classes their big brother has barely been home all term. Then the guys did some serious channel surfing. What is it with guys and the inability to stick with a TV channel for more than five minutes? And I definitely found myself keeping my comments to myself. I had to bite my tongue to keep from offering opinions on the movies they were skipping through. As in “somebody actually got paid to make this?” You have got to be kidding. I’ve seen better acting in my junior high Thanksgiving skits. Definitely a time to just smile and grab a good book.


So we were well fed, had a good time and then made sure most of the leftovers went out the door. Heck, the fun is in the making and the sharing. This way sis doesn’t have to make dinner after the game tomorrow and somebody who has to put in some serious study time Sunday will have a good supply of munchies to carry him through. Anyway I hope everyone else had a warm, safe day. I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I can almost, almost, feel sorry for Bush. Once the other Republicans found out that Bush was actually planning to fire Rumsfeld before the election, but “didn’t want to skew the election” the elephant fertilizer has hit the fan. Goddess what a stink! Actually, it’s one of the few smart things he’s done. Not because Rumsfeld did such a great job, but because we cast our ballots assuming that he would still be screwing up.


Seeing Newt Gingrich, now on wife number three, trying to pass himself off as an elder statesman was enough to nearly separate me from my lunch yesterday. Listening to some of the ranking ‘Pubs complaining “I’d be chairman of such and such if only” was embarrassing.


You still don’t get it do you? The war in Iraq is one thread in the whole unraveling tapestry.


  • Enron
  • Abramoff
  • health care
  • insurance costs
  • fuel prices
  • hands caught in cookie jars
  • inappropriate contacts between middle aged men and teens
  • evangelists who don’t do what they preach
  • the environment
  • homeland security that isn’t
  • disaster aid that turned into its very own disaster
  • Immigration reform (a problem that could have been dealt with years ago if big agriculture and certain other businesses  weren’t dependent on cheap illegal labor to keep our own minimum wage workers in line and Mexico wasn’t dependent on the safety valve of money sent from the US
  • treating your fellow citizens as if they are invisible because they don’t share your politics
  • trying to tell us the constitution is “just a piece of paper”
  • telling the rest of the world the treaties we’ve signed aren’t worth the paper they’re  written on                         
  • claiming the one man can declare anyone an enemy with no recourse to the law.
  • And on and on and on……….

The list is getting longer and seems endless.The tapestry that is the United States is in shreds. This mess has been building since the Nixon years and the “dirty tricks” of the ’72 campaign. I just hope it doesn’t take over thirty years to clean it up because I don’t think we have that long.

Sunday, November 12, 2006



I’m fairly happy with the election results. In spite of the screaming and bitching from the right instead of the left. The newest complaints are coming from the one who believe that if Bush had fired Rumsfeld before the election the Republicans wouldn’t have lost so bad last Tuesday. Just keep telling yourselves that guys. I think the problems go a little deeper than that. And Iraq wasn’t at the top of the list at the exit polls.


What I’m really happy about is the number of ballot measures here in Oregon that failed. Many of the states that have the initiative process are being used as labs for their pet projects such as term limits and lowering taxes. Out of all the measures the only one that succeeded concerned the use of eminent domain powers to seize private property and make it available to other private developers to increase the tax base. Something that has not been a real problem in Oregon. All the others went down in flames. All got on the ballot using paid signature gatherers and were financed by out of state interests with most of the money coming from two individuals. Neither of whom lives in Oregon. Hell, one of the money bags is a millionaire real estate developer who lives in NEW YORK. I’ve got no problem with asking us to vote these measures. But, damn it, come here and live with the results and quit treating us like lab rats. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a majority of my fellow Oregonians agree with me.


For the first time in years the Dems not only control the governor’s office but the legislature. I don’t know if it will help but the Oregon legislature has been a joke for the last couple of sessions. Same problems with rabid partisanship that the rest of the country has been seeing. One example has to do with civil unions. Oregon passed a “defense of marriage” initiative a couple of years ago. It was implied during the campaign that some kind of civil union measure might be possible. When more liberal legislators tried to bring a civilunion bill in the legislature last session the Republican speaker of the house blocked it, wouldn’t even let it be debated, on the grounds that the “voters had spoken” in the initiative vote. A lot of people were not happy, including me. I can live with a no vote, I won’t be happy, but I can live with it for awhile. But to not allow any kind of vote at all that’s not right. She got re elected but won’t be speaker next session. Yippee, yippee, yippee.


One result did surprise me. We had term limits on the menu again and our own little lobbyist scandals just before the election. The majority said no to term limits this time. Last time we passed them the judges threw them out on a technicality. I suspect that some voters exercised term limits of their own at the ballot box for some of the legislators involved in the lobbyist scandals. Which is as it should be. We have term limits, it’s called voting for the other candidate And we probably have a window of a session or two before it comes up again. Maybe we can get the worst of the messes cleaned up before then. Hope springs eternal.

Friday, November 10, 2006


This is the text of Maureen Dowd's column in the paper today. Granted the humor is really pretty dark, but it's kept me smiling most of the day. The gal does have a way with words. Too bad they didn't have this illumination on the road to Damascus moment BEFORE we invaded Iraq and ended up to our brass in quicksand.
As you might guess, I'm cautiously optimistic about the way the election went. However, the little flag stays flying upside down for awhile. We're not on the road yet, we haven't even made it to the exit onto the freeway.
I managed to watch a couple of minutes of the coverage on The News Hour before I hit the mute button. I'd had a wonderful home made taco salad for dinner and, well, I think you get the picture. I could not believe how these two had managed to convince anyone they should be trusted with anything more complicated or dangerous that a bottle of soap bubble solution and the little thingy you blow on.
A Come-to-Daddy Moment 



Published: November 9, 2006

Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they’re taking it back.

They are dragging W. away from those reckless older guys who have been such a bad influence and getting him some new minders who are a lot more practical.

In a scene that might be called “Murder on the Oval Express,” Rummy turned up dead with so many knives in him that it’s impossible to say who actually finished off the man billed as Washington’s most skilled infighter. (Poppy? Scowcroft? Baker? Laura? Condi? The Silver Fox? Retired generals? Serving generals? Future generals? Troops returning to Iraq for the umpteenth time without a decent strategy? Democrats? Republicans? Joe Lieberman?)

The defense chief got hung out to dry before Saddam got hung. The president and Karl Rove, underestimating the public’s hunger for change or overestimating the loyalty of a fed-up base, did not ice Rummy in time to save the Senate from teetering Democratic. But once Sonny managed to heedlessly dynamite the Republican majority — as well as the Middle East, the Atlantic alliance and the U.S. Army — then Bush Inc., the family firm that snatched the presidency for W. in 2000, had to step in. Two trusted members of the Bush 41 war council, Mr. Baker and Robert Gates, have been dispatched to discipline the delinquent juvenile and extricate him from the mother of all messes.

Mr. Gates, already on Mr. Baker’s “How Do We Get Sonny Out of Deep Doo Doo in Iraq?” study group, left his job protecting 41’s papers at Texas A&M to return to Washington and pry the fingers of Poppy’s old nemesis, Rummy, off the Pentagon.

“They had to bring in someone from the old gang,” said someone from the old gang. “That has to make Junior uneasy. With Bob, the door is opened again to 41 and Baker and Brent.”

W. had no choice but to make an Oedipal U-turn. He couldn’t let Nancy Pelosi subpoena the cranky Rummy for hearings on Iraq. “He’s not exactly Mr. Charming or Mr. Truthful, and he’d be on TV saying something stupid,” said a Bush 41 official. “Bob can just go up to the Hill and say: ‘I don’t know. I wasn’t there when that happened.’ ”

Bob Gates, his friends say, had been worried about the belligerent, arrogant, ideological style of Rummy & Cheney from the start. He fretted at the way W.’s so-called foreign policy “dream team” — including his old staffer and fellow Soviet expert Condi — made it up as they went along, even though that had been their complaint about the Clinton foreign policy team. A realpolitik advocate like his mentor, General Scowcroft, he was critical of a linear, moralizing style that disdained nuance, demoted diplomacy and inflated villains. In 2004, he publicly questioned the administration’s approach to Iran.

While Vice went off to a corner to lick his wounds, W. was forced to do his best imitation of his dad yesterday, talking about “bipartisan outreach,” “people have spoken,” blah-blah-blah — after he’d been out on the trail saying that electing Democrats would mean that “the terrorists win and America loses.”

“I share a large part of the responsibility” for the “thumpin’ ” of Republicans, he told reporters. Actually, he gets full responsibility.

W. has stopped talking about democracy as a standard of success in Iraq; yesterday, he said that Iraq had to “govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself.”

He was asked if his surprise at the election results showed he was out of touch with Americans. “I thought when it was all said and done,” he replied, “the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security.”

So it was just that the American people were too dumb to understand? W. also managed to bash Vietnam vets, saying that this war isn’t similar because there’s a volunteer army, so “the troops understand the consequences of Iraq in the global war on terror.” Is that why W. stayed out of Vietnam? Because he understood it?

An ashen Rummy was also condescending during his uncomfortable tableau with W. and Bob Gates in the Oval Office, implying that he was dumped because Americans just didn’t “comprehend” what was going on in Iraq. Actually, Rummy, we get it. You don’t get it.

“Baker’s no fool,” a Bush 41 official said. “He wasn’t going to go out there with a plan for Iraq and have Rummy shoot it down. He wanted a receptive audience. Everyone had to be on the same page before the plan is unveiled.”

They don’t call him the Velvet Hammer for nothing. R.I.P., Rummy.


Monday, November 6, 2006


I didn’t get a chance to read the story but there was a headline in the local paper this morning concerning how many ballots in Oregon’s vote by mail that haven’t been turned in yet. I suspect that one reason is sheer mental exhaustion. Between the national scandals and the local low jinks a lot of my neighbors are getting that glazed eyed, retreat into my turtle shell look on their faces.


For the record mom and I filled out our ballots last night and she’ll drop them off at one of the local drop stations today.



Sunday, November 5, 2006


Lucky is big ol' softy, but not as big as she used to be. She's round. Round head, short round feet, and so on. Being a softy, she likes warm, cushy places. The back bedroom doesn't get a lot of use so she's staked out a couple pillows. The one in the corner is another soft pillow. I have found her using it as a pillow just like we would.

When Misty's feeling a little put upon she stakes out the top of mom's recliner. She hangs on like a limpet and you could rock her into next Christmas without her letting go.. She reminds me of the old Peanuts cartoons where Snoopy is pretending to be a vulture. She doesn't quite have the "gimlet" look here, but that one didn't turn out.


We can go from frost to warm overnight sometimes. Last week we lost the dahlia foliage and the last of the peppers and tomatoes. This morning in temperatures in the low sixties we played in the mud.

A variety of Acorus called fall magic. It's yellow and green striped and is supposed to keep it's colors through the winter we'll see.

A blue fescue  variety called blue boulder. It's supposed to be about a foot across and a foot tall. A lovely fine textured blue green mound.

A smaller acorus variety called Japanese rush. It's supposed to be semi evergreen and produce a tiny bloom and berries. I'm looking forward to summer.

Another talller grass called avalanch. Behind the silver santolina. Odd how the foliage looks a lot brighter in the shot than it did when I took the shot. The grass is striped green and almost white. The santolina is silver blue.

A variety of New Zealand flax. The stripes are red and dark green. It may get as tall as three or four feet and almost that much across. Fingers mentally, permanently crossed.

Anyway this is how it all looks after we spent about an hour and a half getting them in. Mom planted some wild bleeding hearts along the wall and fence. They come up a pale pink and are delicate and quite pretty. I'm keeping my eyes open for some kind of garden art for that empty space in the middle. Maybe one of those three part dragons peeking through the grass, we'll see.



I take more shots of Bandit because she sleeps inside while the other two are out on the enclosed, very comfortable deck. Three busy cats having a blast at two in the morning is a little more than we want to face at that time of the morning.

She came padding out of the back bedroom about ten last night with a clothes pin. It ended up on the plastic pad by the computer desk and it didn't take long for her to discover that if you put the right "spin" on the pin it "spins" instead of rolls. You can have fun without losing your new toy under the chair.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006


To the junior senator from Massachusetts: way to go chowderhead. Thanks for giving free ammunition to Dick "I've got better things to do with my time and multiple deferments" Cheney and G W "I manged to go AWOL from the air guard without sanctions" Bush. So help me. I'm so freakin' disgusted with both sides right now.

Don't even bother to think about running in 2008.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Word's character count apparently doesn't agree with AOL Journals. Ok, fine, whatever. Please read the previous entry first. It contains the first half of Keith Olberman's excellent article.



We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a

man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done


We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted gain that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values.” And who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.


We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-America citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere-anywhere-but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere-anywhere.


And if you think thishyperbole, or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.


And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this” If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”-exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?


This President now has his blank check.


He lied to get it.


He lied as he received it.


Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?


“These military commissions will provide a fair trial” you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush “In which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.”


“Presumed innocent,” Mr. Bush?


The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain “serious mental and physical trauma” in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva conventions in their own defense.


“Access to an attorney,” Mr. Bush?


Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.


“Hearing all the evidence, “ Mr. Bush”


The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.


Your words are lies, Sir.


They are lies that imperil us all.


“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of theend of America.”


That terrorist, sir, could only hope.


Not his actions, or the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.


Habeas corpus” Gone


The Geneva Conventions? Optional.


The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.


These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of Amerca.”


And did it even occur to you once sir-somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, international, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11-that with only a little further shift in this world we now know-just  a touch more repudiation of all that for which our patriots died-did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office some irresponsible future president and a “competent tribunal” of lackeys would be entitled by the actions of your own hand to declare the status of “unlawful enemy combatant” for – and convene a Military commission to try – not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?


For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And doubtless, Sir, all of them-as always-wrong.




I found this article on the web last week, but the journal won't let me cut and paster directly. I like it enough to copy it so I could post it. A smart man Mr. Olberman and very articulate.


Published on Thursday. October 19. 2006 by MSNBC Interactive by Keith Olberman


‘Beginning of the End '


 Olbermann Addresses the Military Commissions Act in a Special Comment


by Keith Olbermann


We have lived as if in a trance.


We have lived as a people on fear.


And now-our rights and our freedoms in peril-we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing.


Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American legacy.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:


A government more dangerous to our liberty than the enemy it claims to protect us from.


We have been here before-and we have been here before led here-by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.


We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail news paper editors.


American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America.


We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch use that Act to prosecute 2,000Americans, especially those he disparaged as “Hyphenated Americans,” most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.


American public speakers in American jails for things they said about America.


And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted the Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress:” It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen-he is till a Japanese.”


American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America.


Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them claimed to be fighting.


Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.


Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell.


And Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined.


The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


In time of fright, we have been only human.


We have let Roosevelt’s’ “fear of fear itself: overtake us.


We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”


We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.


Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.


Or substitute the Japanese.


Or the Germans.


Or the Socialists.


Or the Anarchists.


Or the Immigrants.


Or the British.


Or the Aliens.


The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And always, always wrong.


“With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?”


Wise words.


And ironic ones, Mr. Bush.


Your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act.


You spoke so much more than you know, Sir.


Sadly-of course-the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you.


We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.”


But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.


You, sir, have now befouled that spring.

You sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.


You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.


For the most ital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And-again, Mr. bush-all of them, wrong.



Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The Republicans are big on 'personal responsibility." But, I've noticed that
this tends to come into play mostly when it involves paying pensions, social
security, workman's comp, union representation and welfare. In other words,
the things that, as a society, we do to take care of each other. For example the actions that Jesus said would separate the sheep from the goats. See Matthew 25:31-46. While I’m not really big on the last judgment bit, many faiths stress some aspect of caring for the least among us. The Golden Rule, Karma, the Five Pillars of Faith in Islam includes charity, and on and on. And unfortunately there is also the other side of the coin. Sometimes I’m afraid that coin isn’t worth a plugged nickel.

I don't hear personal responsibility stressed nearly as often when it

Gaming the system a la Enron to jack up prices and rip off the consumers.

Cleaning up the pollution your company leaves behind. Somehow that ends up
getting done on the taxpayer's dime, if it gets done at all.

Valuing the natural world for what we can extract from it and attach a price
tag. In other words a tree is only valuable if it can be cut, milled and
sold. The value that a dead tree has as habitat, fertilizer for the next
generation and as a food source for the organisms that break it down can't
be entered on a balance sheet and therefore doesn't exist.

Valuing the necessities for survival; food, clean water and clean air as
commodities. Again with a price tag attached and if you can't pay tough

Valuing health as a commodity. Yes it costs money to treat the sick. But,
again, if you don't have the money, you're out of luck. And since more can
be charged for medications for chronic conditions than for antibiotics and
vaccines, these become the priority for research.

Continuing to advertise and sell products that you know are harmful. Certain
drugs pulled off the market in the last few years spring to mind. Knowing
there's a problem, but hoping to get some of the investment back before
anyone catches on.

Lying to gain and keep political power.


I’d rather see the Ten Commandments engraved on the hearts of those who claim to follow them than hanging on a wall collecting dust.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


I don’t know if I’ve posted this recipe before, so what the heck.


Herbed Focaccia


2 ½ to 3 cups of flour, plus additional for kneading

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

1 ½ tbsp olive oil


Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the water and set aside. Combine the whole wheat flour and ½ cup of the all purpose flour, the salt, rosemary, water, olive oil and dissolved yeast. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the flour a couple of handfuls at a time while stirring it in. Continue until you have a soft dough. Knead in the rest of the flour a handful at a time. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough may still be a little tacky but that’s ok. Here’s where I depart from the recipe. Wash out the bowl and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Put the dough back in the bowl, coat with the oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a quiet place to rise. Let double in size, punch down and put to rise again until doubled. If you follow the recipe you then put the dough in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Let rise until doubled again and use your fingers to make indentations in the dough. Brush the dough with a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle a teaspoon of rosemary, black pepper and a little salt over the top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until nicely browned. Turn out on a rack to cool slightly and cut into 16 squares. That’s how the recipe says to do it. Here’s how I do it. Oh, and guess what? You can use cold water and set the bowl on the counter in any old place and the dough raises just about at fast as if you use warm water and put the bowl in a warm place.


The original recipe only calls for one raising but french type doughs can raise up to five times and you get a better texture and flavor.

Dad what always bringing home gadgets and unique cooking utensils. One was a cornbread pan.

As you can see, it isn't a non stick pan. Getting corn bread batter in the pan is no problem, but getting it out, well crumbs anyone?  Ok, it's not that bad, but still messy. However, this little beauty makes great bread wedges.

And I'm just obessive enough to weigh out the dough, there's about three ounces of dough per roll and each one makes two servings. They go very well with one of my other projects. Love that crockpot. .

Really love that crockpot.