Friday, February 27, 2009


My favorite blogs are ones that make me laugh or tell great stories. I can't seem to come up with either humor or tales. I've reached the conclusion that one of the aspects of a great storyteller is the ability to draw out a situation with colorful descriptions that draw the listener in. I tend to be short and concise. I often edit out what I feel are non-essential words to get right to the point. Hopefully this blog will let me express myself in a more meaningful manner.

I've been up since about 7:40 this morning. Retirement has its benefits. I stayed awake until 1:00 or so last night. I've taken Tylenol PM the past three nights trying to get a good night's sleep. I think its helping in that I may still wake up several times a night, but at least get right back to sleep instead of staying awake for an hour or more. Reading helps make me dozy but the minute I turn out the light, I'm wide awake again. Hate that.

Lots of birds at the feeders this morning, especially redpolls. They really seem to get the two parakeets (budgies) in the bedroom worked up. Bandit, a mustache parakeet, appears to have a growth on her head. The avian specialist that we use is gone until the week after next. We're going to wait unless it seems to be growing before taking her to a strange vet.

I know this is boring. Sue me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

History Repeating Itself

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

This is not meant to be a political blog. It's supposed to be about me, me, me. Unfortunately, I can't seem to hide under a rock and keep finding interesting historical comments that apply today.

Two viewpoints:

“History informs us of past mistakes from which we can learn without repeating them. It also inspires us and gives confidence and hope bred of victories already won.”
William Hastie

“It is not worthwhile to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.”
Mark Twain

I think Mark had it right.

I just wish I was smart enough to have originated something worthwhile to add. I guess it's all been said before.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bottom Line of the Stimulus Package

From AP article

National debt:

One thing about the president's $790 billion stimulus package is certain: It will jack up the federal debt.

Whether or not it succeeds in producing jobs and taming the recession, tomorrow's taxpayers will end up footing the bill.

Forecasters expect the 2009 deficit — for the budget year that began last Oct 1 — to hit $1.6 trillion including new stimulus and bank-bailout spending. That's about three times last year's shortfall.

The torrents of red ink are being fed by rising federal spending and falling tax revenues from hard-hit businesses and individuals.

The national debt — the sum of all annual budget deficits — stands at $10.7 trillion. Or about $36,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Interest payments alone on the national debt will near $500 billion this year. It's already the fourth-largest federal expenditure, after Medicare-Medicaid, Social Security and defense.

This will affect us all directly for years, as well as our children and possibly grandchildren, in higher taxes and probably reduced government services. It will also force continued government borrowing, increasingly from China, Japan, Britain, Saudi Arabia and other foreign creditors.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dear PBR and Versus

I am but a simple woman confused by the intricacies of your programming. Would it be too much for you to publish the date of the event you are broadcasting? Apparently the event we watched Saturday actually took place on Friday. I think Sunday's was "live" but am not positive. It would be oh so helpful if your announcers would mention "Saturday night's ride" instead of "last night's," when what I watched on Saturday was actually Friday and Saturday was not televised at all.

Next Saturday you are going to broadcast the Oklahoma event on NBC for an hour and a half, then later in the day broadcast Oklahoma on Versus for two hours. I think that the one on NBC will actually be Friday's competition. Does that mean the Saturday broadcast on Versus will be Saturday's? Your announcers incessantly refer to rides and events that we, the viewers, haven't been privy to.

Sometimes I go to the PBR website to try to figure out what is really going on but invariably I will find out who won an event that I am waiting to see. That kind of kills my interest. I still enjoy the great rides but most of the anticipation is gone. I do not enjoy sporting events when I know the final outcome ahead of time.

You know what would be fantastic? Showing the events on the day they occur. Heck, we already subscribe to Center Ice for hockey. How about an "all bull riding all the time" channel that would show all your events, not just the Built Ford Tough series? I'd pay to watch Discovery, Challenger and Enterprise. Heck, throw in the CBR's events also. Now that would be awesome!

Oh yeah, what ever happened to the Versus bull that you had the "Name That Bull" contest for? I don't remember what the winning name was, but I don't think he made an appearance on the BFT series last year. Inquiring minds want to know...

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Call Bullshit

An article in the Anchorage Daily News states:

A judge has ruled that the state needs to provide pre-kindergarten education in schools turning out under-performing students.

In the Yupiit School District, identified by the state as one in trouble, 75 percent of entering kindergartners lack beginning reading or writing skills, according to testimony by the district's assistant superintendent, Diane George.

Education experts say there is a strong link between early literacy and later academic achievement.

I did not go to pre-school, nor did any other kid that I grew up with. My total pre-kindergarten education consisted of Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room on television. Sesame Street didn't exist. Kindergarten was looked upon as an easing into the idea of being away from home for a half day. There was a morning session and an afternoon session; mornings for the kids born during months that would make them slightly younger once entering first grade. The afternoon session was for "older" kids. Kindergarten taught us how to play well with others, obey the teacher's instructions and generally how to act in a civilized manner.

The alphabet was not even presented until first grade. We practiced our reading and printing skills for the first two years of school. Cursive writing was introduced in the third grade.

I took to reading like a duck to water. I consider myself a literate person. I believe I can articulate better than many a young adult I speak to. The grammar and spelling of many are atrocious (and I'm pretty darn sure they went to pre-school). I, at least, know how to use spellcheck.

Much of the dumbing down of Americans rests at the feet of the parents. Has anyone seen a TV show called The Principal's Office? I rest my case.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Funniest Thing I've Seen (so far) Today

It was about 10 below zero F when I let the dogs out this morning. One of them always does his business as fast as possible (actually sometimes I wonder if he goes at all) and then runs back to the sliding door to be let back in the house. I've discovered over the years that it's better to wait until everyone shows up at the door. Otherwise, they stop in the middle and run back to get let in also. They just know that there's only one chance to get back inside and if they don't make it the first time, all is lost. So Mr. Ants in his Pants is spinning and circling frantically to get back inside while I wait for dog number two to return. Dog one seems to have feet that are especially sensitive to extreme cold and starts lifting one foot, then another and holding it in the air. He finally sits down and holds both rear feet up. Then the fronts were cold so he lay on his side and took turns holding various feet airborne. Lest you think I'm the world's cruelest owner, this all took place in the span of about five minutes.