Sunday, July 29, 2007


Bandit, number three and the youngest member of the group, has not been much of a lap cat. I think she's starting to adapt though. Not in the lap yet, but sharing a chair. And getting in the territory of the lap lovingest member of the menagerie. Lucky.

Although it might look like it, Bandit is not hissing or anything. Just keeping an eye on Lucky. Lucky probably spent ten minutes coming and going. Looking over the edge, going away, coming back and giving a general attitude of "I can't stand it."

After about ten minutes Lucky made her way to mom's lap. Bandit kept an eye out for the minute or two and then started sawing logs. Lucky is currently comfortably sprawled and the bandit continues to make z's. I expect that by the time winter is over we will have three lap cats. And that's just fine by me. Over the years it's been interesting to see the behavior change with the cats. Getting closer and closer to us. Lucky especially has turned into a "patter." She'll reach up and pat your cheek. And she does it very gently.

This is a great improvement. When I first got my Mac, which sits on a desk, she would give me so long and then give me a goose in the hip pocket. "You've played with the one eyed monster long enough. Play with me now."


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This will be an itsy bitsy rant. There is a summer series on PBS called The Pursuit of Excellence. Now, this is PBS. But this isn’t the old educational PBS, this is the new and improved PBS. So, is this excellence in foreign languages? God knows we could use all the experts in Middle Eastern languages we can get. Excellence in mathematics? Nope. Excellence in any of the sciences? Sorry. Great designs for the next space shuttle? I’m kidding, right? Fantastic new musicians? RLMAO. New windmill technology for alternative energy? Go catch Climate Change on the Weather Channel. Anything that would actually help solve the huge pile of problems facing not only the United States, but the entire world? I'd laugh, but it's just to keep from crying.

And I have to admit that I couldn’t even dare watching any of this without throwing something at the TV. So far they’ve covered synchronized swimming, breeding ferrets and tonight, (drum roll, please) hairdressers. What is this, the Twilight Zone? Or is this when Arthur Dent discovers that earth was actually populated by the cast off real estate agents, phone sanitizers, massage therapists, and hair dressers from another planet?

And I don’t really have anything against synchronized swimmers, ferrets or hairdressers. I think ferrets are bright, cute and probably a lot of fun. And one would probably rule the roost at our house.

The grad schools in math and science in this country are busy. Trouble is a lot of the students aren’t from Oregon, Utah, the Dakotas, Kansas, Ohio, or Maine. They hail from China, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, or Brazil. Countries where people know that solving the problems that face us will take everyone working together. Just not in the swimming pool or the beauty shop. Remember the story about Nero and the fiddle?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Portland Oregonian cartoonist Jack Ohman's take on the Michael Vick fiasco. Per the sports section this morning, the NFL has told Mr. Vick not to report to the Falcon's training camp at this time. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


Sunday, July 22, 2007


I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Just ran into some bumps in the road this week. The main one involves my historically sensitive skin. There are times when I wish I had a hide more like, say a pumpkin rather than a peach. Usually lots of showers and talcum powder keep me fairly happy. Occasionally things get out of hand (for reasons I’ve never been able to catalog) and I end up with an “irritation” in an area you really don’t want irritated. And it got out of control. Didn’t help that we had an office meeting this week. And the usual location is literally two buildings over and about a block away. Like an idiot I soldiered on, by Friday I was seriously sore. Rats. Shot this weekend to hell.


The marathon knitting session is over. Managed two shawls in two and a half weeks. Interesting thing, nobody has heard of prayer shawls or the ministry some churches and small groups have. Added a couple of cards with an explanation of “what this is.” Hopefully a couple of people will end up  with big fuzzy hugs and maybe somebody else will try to do it too.





Spent some time Sunday making a frame for the card. Went to website for the Lion Brand Homespun yarn I love to use. Used the pictures of the different yarns and Photoshop Elements to craft the frame. This isn't all the colors but it's a good representaion of the colors available. Thought it would go well with the shawls.


Totally pissed off with the story of the dog fighting quarterback from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Atlanta. Yes, I can understand that he hasn’t been convicted of a crime yet. But, this happened on his property. Even if he never bought or fought a dog hewas involved. Either that or he’s guilty of terminal stupidity if he tries to claim he didn’t know what was going on. Rather than demonstrating in front of the Falcons headquarters maybe the fans should announce that they’re boycotting the team until the SOB is at least suspended. I wonder if part of the problem is the whole macho sports culture in this country. We had a problem in Portland a few years ago with a Trailblazers player and dog cruelty charges. Also OSU football players and rape charges-over several seasons. (This was a few years ago) A culture devoutly to be avoided.  But while it makes so damn much money involved these turkey’s aren’t going to be held accountable for anything.


Two things that I simply can’t wrap my brain around. One, how can anyone treat an animal this way? Either fighting them or using other animals “bait?” I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. Second, the supporting stories about police raids have some interesting details. The spectators manage to escape but property gets left behind. Including children’s items. These jerks are bringing their kids to these “contests.” I definitely don’t get that.


The flowers are beautiful, the beans are growing, and we’ve gotten our first tomatoes. Mom lucked out and managed to get the tail end of the cherry crop for canning. If you buy seventeen pounds of cherries to can you will handle every last cherry before you’re done. But, they will taste really good in January.


On the whole there are more plusses at the end of the week than minuses. I can be thankful for that.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


This is another wonderful passage from A Man for all Seasons. This one has to do with the law. The characters include Sir Thomas, his wife Alice, his daughter Margaret, future son in law William Roper (in the course of the play he goes from enthusiastic Lutheran back to enthusiastic Catholic), and Richard Rich. I’m not sure if the actual Richard Rich was quite as morally slippery as he is portrayed in the play. Here he is a young academic seeking preferment and not unwilling to sell out a friend to obtain it. Sir Thomas is still Lord Chancellor and could order someone arrested. Or at least very strongly suggest it.


Rich: I would be steadfast!


More: Richard, you couldn’t answer for yourself even so far as tonight.

            (Rich exits)


Roper: Arrest him!


Alice: Yes!


More: For What?


Alice: He’s dangerous.


Roper: For libel; he’s a spy.


Alice: He is! Arrest him.


Margaret: Father, that man’s bad.


More: There’s no law against that.


Roper: Yes there is. God’s law.


More: Then God can arresthim.


Roper: Sophistication upon sophistication.


Me: (I think he’s referring to philosophical hair splitting. In fifth century BC Athens sophists were known as itinerant intellectuals who used verbal arguments to convince people of their arguments. Some have come down in the writings of their antagonists as using verbal trickery to achieve their successes).


More: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper the law. I know what’s legal not what’s right. And I’ll stick to what’s legal.


Roper: Then you set man’s law above God’s!


More: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact-I’m not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can’t navigate. I’m no voyager. But, in the thickets of the law, there I’m a forester. I doubt if there’s a man alive who could follow me there, thank God.


Alice: While you talk he’s gone!


More: And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!


Roper: So, now you’d give the devil the benefit of law?


More: Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the Devil?


Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!


More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you-where would you hide Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws-man’s laws, not God’s-and if you cut them down-and you’re just the man to do it-d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the devil the benefit of law, for own safety’s sake.


It’s that last sentence that’s stayed with me since I read the play for the first time. And doesn’t the “cut down all the laws that keep us from…….” sound painfully familiar?

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Jack Ohman of the Oregonian has been busy since the Fourth of July.

The Mike Royko of cartoonists.

Need I say more. Pictures are indeed worth paragraphs.

Images downloaded from the Go Comics Website.


Sunday, July 8, 2007




To quote Patrick Henry in the PBS series, Liberty; “I begin to smell a rat.” We were inundated last week with stories about claims on behalf of the Vice President that his office doesn’t have to comply with certain executive orders issued by the Current Occupant earlier in his administration. The orders require reports on how offices within the executive branch handle sensitive materials. The reason for non-compliance, the vice president is not part of the Executive branch. Hunh?


When the constitution set up the office of vice president, it assigned the occupant of the office two responsibilities. To become president if necessary, and to act as president of the senate. And as president of the senate, the Veep has only one responsibility. To cast the tie breaking vote if the floor vote is tied. Ergo, the argument went, the Veep is really part of the legislative branch. The claim wasn’t pressed that hard once the uproar started. It pretty much faded by the end of the week. But, oh my, in the meantime, most of the media and the cartoonists had a field day with their outrage at this ridiculous claim. And most of us overlooked something.


We’re dealing with an administration that has media manipulation down to a science. I’m betting that Dick Cheney never believed that claiming that the VP is part of the legislative branch was going to fly very high. So while we’ve all been desperately trying to keep track of the purple pea in the shell game where did all other colored peas go? And I got taken in too. I forgot that the more outrageous the claims this administration makes, the less likely it is that they really believe them and the more likely they’re hoping we’ll react like one of Pavlov’s dogs when it smells a nice, juicy steak. And most of us did.


I’m not sure which administration opinion of the American citizen is more contemptible. The apparent assumption that most Americans would actually believe this crap? Or the cynical (and apparently accurate) assurance that the attention of majority of the media and the American people can be diverted, again? By then, what’s really being hidden has been successfully consigned to a closet in the basement. Preferably behind a moat swarming with hungry piranas and seeded with land mines. And if we get too close to the hiding place, another off the wall claim is made and the pack is off again, barking noisily and industriously up the wrong tree. Again.


Frankly, it’s getting damned embarrassing. 

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Realized while I was catching up with various journals this morning that July 4 was the third anniversary of this little piece of the web. What a ride it's been. And will continue to be.

And I've neglected to thank Kas for nominating me for the Thinking Blogger Award and Cin for mentioning me when she was journaling about Rocking Girl Blogers. Thanks ladies. We'll keep the torches lit.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Goddess I seem to be in a crappy mood tonight.



And you say that the battle is over
And you say that the war is all done
Go tell it to those
With the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of the gun

And write it on the sides
Of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wind in their eyes
It is they who must die
And its we who must measure the loss

And you say that the battle is over
And finally the world is at peace
You mean no one is dying
And mothers dont weep
Or its not in the papers at least

There are those who would deal
In the darkness of life
There are those who would fear down the sun
And most men are ruthless
But some will still weep
When the gifts we were given are gone

Now the blame cannot fall
On the heads of a few
Its become such a part of the race
Its eternally tragic
That that which is magic
Be killed at the end of the glorious chase

From young seals to great whales
From waters to wood
They will fall just like weeds in the wind
With fur coats and perfumes
And trophies on walls
What a hell of a race to call men

And you say that the battle is over
And you say that the war is all done
Go tell it to those
With the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of the gun

And write it on the sides
Of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wind in their eyes
It is they who must die
And its we who must measure the loss
With the wind in their eyes
It is they who must die
And its we who must measure the cost

Words and Music by David Mallett


This song appears on two of John Denver’s albums, and was first released on The Autograph album, and has also been released on The Wildlife Concert album as a live track. This was released in the nineties and frankly it hasn’t gotten any better. They just can’t compete with Paris and Brittany. Soldiers are dying and families are crying but it only makes the news when the casualties are local. The Republican senator from Oregon has his faults, but at least he calls the families of the soldiers from Oregon and talks to them for awhile. It’s something at least. Not enough, but it is something.



So the Current Occupant believes that sending "Scooter" Libby (Lord a guy with gray hair going by Scooter in public :-P) to prison is too harsh. This from the man who signed off on a record number of death penalty convictions while he was governer of Texas. Including a defendant with an IQ in the seventies and the communication skills of a seven year old and a defendant whose lawyer kept falling asleep in court. Frankly words fail me.


Sunday, July 1, 2007


Wolsey: Very well then.......England needs an heir; certain measures, perhaps regrettable perhaps not, there is much in the church that needs reformation, Thomas. All right regrettable! But necessary to get us an heir. Now explain how you as Councilor of England can obstruct those measures for the sake of your own, private, conscience.

More: Well.....I believe that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

Exchange between Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons.

These lines may be more true now than when Robert Bolt wrote this play in the fifties. I hauled out my copy of the film over the weekend. How often do we hear, "I don't really agree with this but we need to............................" only to find that events don't go the way we thought they would, that we we thought was true wasn't, or that we just plain screwed up.

A prosecutor insists on keeping a rape case going with no good evidence and finds himself not only having to drop the charges but sanctioned, disbarred, and facing a civil suit. Members of congress give public support to a war either out of honest belief, party loyalty, or fear of being labeled "soft on terror." Now they spend their energy trying to explain away their earlier support and the war goes on. We're faced with candidate after candidate, all trying to be everything to everyone only to be seen as empty shells. They only succeed in being no one to no body.

For some reason the words just aren't coming tonight. So, I'll leave it with this. You either follow your conscience or you don't. And I truly believe that every time you don't a little piece of yourself gets chipped away. Do this often enough and there won't be any you left.