Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Old Horsetail Snake's Pile

Hoss' trying to raise a pile makes me think of ways to try to help him.
Here's one way to make a pile, fastPosted by Hello

My American Job

Barbara from California has had a lot of discussion on her site about outsourcing, and buying things made in America, and so on, which has had me thinking about that all day.
For the most part I think that things made in the USA are well-made. We're hard workers I believe. I believe that labor unions are a good thing. Without the original labor unions we would not have retirement plans, paid health insurance, vacation time, sick leave, etc.
At the same time, perhaps American workers relaxed a bit too much. There is a lot of "It's not my job," attitude out there. Did our employers desert us first, or did we desert them first? Which came first? Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

What Would Betty Do?

I've referred to Betty Bowers in the past, but that was before I knew The Pope.

I need to ask him if he's bothered by the fact that according to Google, the internet's #1 site for "Christian Advice" is Betty Bowers. Betty's site says that "thousands of lost souls turn to Mrs. Bowers for her tart, sage advice every day. And while Mrs. Bowers is vaguely cognizant of the fact that her guidance is probably the only thing standing between her readers and the sulfurous pits of an everlasting Hell, hair appointments at Jonathan Sahag Workshop in Manhattan..." and other good things, "keep her from answering all of her mail (unless, of course, it contains a tithing check that exceeds the monthly payment on one of her Bentley leases).

Betty gives loving Christian advice to unsaved trash and other hell-bound sinners. She answers questions such as, "If red is outside my palette, do I have to wear it in hell?" and discusses subjects such as the perils of allowing heterosexuals to dress you. Betty says that Rosary beads are always a fashion faux pas. The Pope could take a hint there. She also has a gift shop.

If you haven't already, check her out!

Memorial Day

All these Memorial Day celebrations have reminded me of my childhood.

I’m thinking of my father, who was in the Navy during WWII. He left my mother when I was 10, for another woman. I was never close to him even before that, as he was generally away.

But I do remember visiting him in the Veterans’ Hospital when I was just a kid. The hospitalized servicemen were in barracks. There must have been 100 men in a “room.” Two long continuous rows of cots against the windows on either side of the rectangular room, with a wide space down the center. Nurses would bustle up and down with carts, and the men (the ones whose wives and kids weren’t visiting at the time) would call out flirtatious remarks to the young pretty nurses. It was summer, and of course nothing in those days was air-conditioned, so there were big oscillating fans everywhere. My father’s illness was considered service-related, but he was not wounded in the war.

Many, many, years later, he died in a Veterans’ hospital, of lung cancer. He’s buried in a military cemetery.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results. " Anon.

What do YOU think?

 Posted by Hello

Boston MA

Boston Posted by Hello
We had a beautiful day here in Worcester MA, so Aral suggested that we drive into Boston and see the Capitol Building. So we did.

We had been in Boston several times when Aral was in grad school, but somehow had never gone to the State House there. We also toured the old State House. Does that count as two "collected" Capitols? Nah. I guess not. We ate at a very good Italian Restaurant. What a fun waiter. Very old and very Italian. Dressed in a tux even. The prices were cheap for a big city. Amazing.

We saw two different street entertainers, both very good. Then went to Faneuil Hall and walked around, had coffee, etc. Ended up in a book store where I bought two books. I brought two books with me on the trip, but had finished both.

Friday, May 27, 2005

New Hampshire

I've been talking about Vermont and Maine, but of course we traveled in New Hampshire as well. We had been in New Hampshire before, but had not gone to Concord.

Since we "collect" Capitol Bldgs., we decided to hit New Hamphire's capital and see the state house. It's very nice on the outside, not very showy on the inside. Still nice. Godlessmom has seen more Capitols than we have, but we've seen quite a few. We've now been in every state in the "lower 48" except North Dakota. In some of our travels we didn't go to the capital city. Oh, well.

New Hampshire is an interesting state! They don't have a sales tax, or an income tax. They pay their state senators and representatives $100 a year, period. That's it. They get no benefits at all. They get the privilege of serving. The reps don't even get a parking lot. We drove right up to the building and walked right in. No special security, etc. If you have been to any Capitol since 9/11, you know how unusual that is.

We walked into the governor's office, accidentally. No one thought that was a big deal. The receptionist just asked if she could help us! Very refreshing. The Senate was in session, and the public can watch. Truly a welcoming place. They finance the schools with a statewide property tax, which seems more fair than PA's system of a local property tax. In our PA system, a rich area can spend far more on the students than a poor city. I was impressed with N.H.

We enjoyed Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, but as usual, I'm happy to be going home soon. . Posted by Hello

Some Vermont stuff

In Vermont we saw the Porter Music Box Museum. It was so enjoyable! I like music boxes, but I really didn't think I would like a museum of them so very much. It's a great little place. Beautiful things there. EVERYTHING is a music box. Many of them are very old, well over a hundred years old.

They also make music boxes of course. The box pictured here is a table and it plays double disks, so the music is lovely, not tiney at all. The music boxes aren't just pretty, they play good sound as well. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005


We saw this lighthouse a couple of days ago. It's Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Today we saw another one, Nubble Lighthouse. We've had fun, but the last few days we were in rain most of the time. So we're going home this coming Sunday. Never mind 'cause we've had a LOT of fun!

I have missed blogging, but mostly I have missed READING your blogs. All of you out there. I read a bunch of them even if I don't comment on them all. So I'm happy to be able to get on a PC today! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Still on the road

We're in Vermont at a Best Western Motel in White River Junction (I think.) We've seen a Maple Museum, the first marble quarry in the U.S., the largest marble exhibit in the U.S., Robert Todd Lincoln's home (Hildene), Bennington College, plus a LOT of beautiful scenery. Of course we're eating too much, etc.

We'll drive to the capital today to see the Capitol Bldg. Then in the next days we will go on to Maine, where we will stick to the coast. Of course we have to see the capital in Maine since we "collect" Capitol Bldgs. (Notice I don't even attempt to spell Montpelier. Spelling is not my strong suit.)

Everything is going well. Oh, Godless Mom sent me my jeans and phone charger. Someone tell her that they showed up in my ice chest of all places! Thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Black Holes

Niks and I are sharing a bedroom (of course) at our daughter's home. So all our stuff is in that one room, right?

So why can't I find my stuff. It's crazy. I mean at home of course you lose stuff in the black holes that abound in all homes/offices/cars. But if all your stuff is in one room, how can it disappear? This morning it was my jeans. I saw them, then 10 minutes later when I want to put them on, oops. They're gone. No where to be seen. What's up with that?

Now I need to re-charge my cell phone. Can't find the charger. Whoopie ding dang.(I want to say oh, S**t, but this is a PG13 blog. Sort of anyway. Well, maybe not so much.) Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

On our trip

Niks and I are at Aral Peppermint Patty's now. On the road to Maine and Vermont.I've spent enough time on her PC, so I won't post much.
But I have to say that I am so addicted to all of your blogs, that I'm suffering withdrawal pains. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

My good side

I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use, and the friends I have.
Apparently it's National Girlfriend Week. Wanta be my girlfriend?
This photo is taken from my good side.  Posted by Hello

On the Road Again

"On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world be turnin' our way
And our way
Is on the road again"

Niks and I are about to hit the road for a while. We've taken lots of nice trips since I retired. This will be a shorter trip, but still nice. We've been to all the states in the "lower 48" except for three. So we're going to cover two of those three, Maine and Vermont. On the way, we will visit Aral Peppermint Patty Pez and family. I hear she's housecleaning to prepare for that. I cannot imagine that anyone would clean house just because the parents were coming to town. LOL Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tom DeLay

I got this information from MoveOn.com, a good organization.

A month ago it looked like the scandals surrounding Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay couldn't get any worse. Newspapers were breaking new stories every week about lobbyist-paid golf trips, the $500,000 paid from DeLay's political coffers to his family, and back-room deals DeLay was cutting to save his hide. Then, it got worse.
The latest scandal connects DeLay to sweatshops in the Mariana Islands making apparel with "Made in the USA" labeling while avoiding U.S. labor laws — exploiting Chinese immigrant labor.
But a growing number of Republicans are going mute on DeLay's ethical abuses. They're afraid of far-right organizations — who are staunch DeLay supporters — and of retribution from DeLay himself.

The thing that will push Tom DeLay out of his leadership role is a public outcry and pressure on the Republicans who gave him that office. That's where the public comes in. We should all contact our representatives.

Among his offenses, Tom Delay:
·Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill legislation they opposed
·Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign government in violation of House rules
·Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign contributions
·Helped sweatshops in the Mariana Islands at the behest of a lobbyist.
·Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate donor
·Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare
·Allegedly used corporate money given to his PAC to finance Texas campaigns in violation of state law
·Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with Democrats in Texas
·Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish celebrations at the Republican convention
·Threatened retaliation against interest groups that don't support Republicans
·Stacked the House Ethics Committee with representatives who have contributed to his legal defense fund
·Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics Committee by purging members who had rebuked him
·Pushed for a rules change for the House Ethics process that paralyzed the panel
·Sought a rule change that would have no longer "required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted"
As Majority Leader, DeLay is the second-ranking leader in the House of Representatives. He is responsible for developing the Republican issue agenda and sets the legislative schedule by selecting which bills the House will consider.
P.S. Here is the link to the brief that was used to document DeLay's abuses. It includes links to news reports with the specific background on each of the assertions made above. "DeLay's Dirty Dozen" from the American Progress Action Fund

 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Occam's Razor

I've become interested in Occam's Razor because of the book Straight Man, by Richard Russo.

Quote from The Skeptic's Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll.) " 'Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate' or "plurality should not be posited without necessity." The words are those of the medieval English philosopher and Franciscan monk William of Ockham (ca. 1285-1349). Like many Franciscans, William was a minimalist in this life, idealizing a life of poverty, and like St. Francis himself, battling with the Pope over the issue. William was excommunicated by Pope John XXII. He responded by writing a treatise demonstrating that Pope John was a heretic."

Ockham didn't invent this principle, but he used it so often that it was his name that was finally linked to it. The way the phrase is used now it means "Keep it simple."

Author F. Heylighen says that "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything." Or as the cops would say, the simplest solution is probably the correct solution. I like this explanation: "Of two alternative explanations for the same phenomena, the more complicated is more likely to have something wrong with it, and therefore, other things being equal, the more simple is the more likely to be correct." (William P. Clement)

Somehow, I have missed this principle being called Occam's Razor. I've heard of the general principle, but not this name for it. I'm too old to be so stupid. I should read more. A lot more.

I do have a couple of questions:
1. Would Pope Joe have excommunicated William of Ockham if he had been Pope at that time?
2. Is there a rock group named Occam's Razor? There should be.
 Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

Straight Man

Having a nice day again. Beautiful weather. dddragon's surgery went well, so that's the most important thing by far.

I'm reading Straight Man by Richard Russo. It's a great read. Funny. Very funny, and somehow sweet. Lucinda lent the book to me, but it's a BookCrossing book, so I will release it after I'm finished. The hero, or maybe anti-hero, of the book is witty and sarcastic. I love that. http://www.BookCrossing.com/ Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I Remember Mama

My mother was a sweet and tiny thing. I was taller than she was when I was 10, and weighed more too. She was funny, without meaning to be. We still speak of her, the way she talked back to the TV, and how she sang along with the rock group, "Twisted Sister." She died several years ago, in her sleep, at the age of 91. Beautiful ending.

Today, I had breakfast with Lucinda and her husband Ekim. Very nice. Then at church I got to see daughter dddragon and her twins, kiddie A and kiddie B. Later daughter Aral called, and also Mron.

Perfectly beautiful day. Life is good. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Just another day in paradise

Yesterday was taken up with church activities. First Niks and I went to our own Unitarian Church to pick up donated items to take to the halfway house for female offenders who are trying to start anew. Then we had lunch at a funky little off-the-beaten-path Mexican Restaurant. Food is pretty good, place is shabby.

In the afternoon we went to the grandtwins' confirmation in the Catholic Church. Whoa! It was almost two hours long---and I do mean LONG. When you are a Unitarian, these ceremonies really seem bizarre. Grown men in gowns and funny hats, kissing scrolls and such, blowing smoke (literally and I guess for me figuratively).

I don't mean to make fun of anyone's religion, but I have to wonder if people were just repeating stuff by rote, and not actually feeling the words at all. There were about 1,000 people there for about 160 kids being confirmed. The place was packed, and the parking was try-to-find-it. It was amazing. I can't complain about the number of people per kid, since there were nine people there for our two kids. (In addition to the family members there were "sponsors" for each child being confirmed.)

Luckily I was seated next to Lucinda, so I could talk to her some of the time. When we were on the 6th (yes, sixth!) page of the program, and we had been there for an hour and a half or longer, we noticed that we still had TWO INCHES of program left! Oy! Who knew how long two inches of program could last? They still had communion to do. But they really sped up the communion-I have never seen communion go that fast for 1,000 folks. We slipped out to go to the girls' room while they were singing, "Take and eat, take and eat...", ugh. Ghoulish. "Take and drink, take and drink, this is my blood..." Oh my. Communion is not my thing.

The girls were beautiful as usual. I feel for them. I know that they had to say, "I do," to things that they don"t actually believe. Sigh. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Dang! I knew it! Posted by Hello

Here Kitty, kitty, kitty

Cat Diary Human Translator

Means humans want to take you somewhere, most likely the Vet. Avoid it.

Probably left over human food they were about to throw out.

Most likely another foil wrapped appeals-to-a-human Madison Avenue concoction.
Real kitty treats are usually opportunities when no one's paying attention and you get to lick the ice cream in the bowl, or jump on the table for that great piece of meat loaf.

You are about to rub noses with a human. They can never get enough of our tiny fur-coated bodies and irresistible faces. Human noses are sooo warm. Ugh.

You picked the right spot. You are right where you should be.

You left your hair out in the open where humans can see it and properly clean it up. Good job.

Means you were caught. Remember exactly where you were and get back to it -- once they leave the house.

Do not take this personally. It's usually the first thing they say after you wake them up by sticking your backside in their face.

They want you to come over. If they want me, they'll come get me. Otherwise, get a dog.

Means just that. No translation needed here. And we love you, too.
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Permanent Wave, as they used to say.

Forgot to mention that I got a perm. That's why I'm having a good hair afternoon. Posted by Hello

What makes you think anyone is looking at you?

I was having a bad hair day yesterday, so I called my regular salon and lucked into an appointment today with my usual stylist, Yoko. She's great. So now I'm a happy camper. Little things like good hair make a girl's day. With good shoes, good hair, and a nice dress, a woman can go places. 'Course, all I've got is the hair. And it's hair today, gone tomorrow after a night's sleep. Oh, well.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


A friend of mine just informed me that in Massachusetts it is illegal to feed ducks between 5AM and midnight while humming. So I became curious as to what other laws I should know about when we travel in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. I found that:
In Maine:
.After January 14th you will be charged a fine for having your Christmas decorations still up.
·You may not step out of a plane in flight. (fair enough)
·Shotguns are required to be taken to church in the event of a Native American attack. (harsh)
In Massachusetts:
·At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.
·Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.
·An old ordinance declares goatees illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.
·Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts. (back seat is fine)
·It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath.
·A woman cannot be on top in sexual activities.
·It is illegal to reproach Jesus Christ or the holy ghost.
·It's illegal to keep a mule on the second floor of a building not in a city unless there are 2 exits. (two exits in the city or the building?)
·It's illegal to sell fewer than 24 ducklings at a time before May 1, or to sell rabbits, chicks, or ducklings that have been painted a different color.
·It's illegal to allow someone to use stilts while working on the construction of a building.
·It's illegal to drive Texan, Mexican, Cherokee, or Indian cattle on a public road.
·No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car. (guess the front is ok)
·Children may smoke, but they may not purchase cigarettes.
·Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder. (well, duh, this is New England.)
·Quakers and witches are banned.
·Bullets may not be used as currency.
·Defacing a milk carton is punishable by a $10 fine.
·It is illegal to frighten a pigeon.
In Vermont:
· Whistling underwater is illegal. (not to mention hard to do)
· It is illegal to deny the existence of God.
· At one time it was illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole.
.Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.
I'm not trying to pick on these states. Just trying to get the facts.  Posted by Hello

Nothing but fun!

Is there anything more fun than a mammogram? I had one at 8 AM today. Good way to start the day. Wakes you right up. They found no problems, which is very nice.

Have you all had your yearly mammograms? They aren't fun, but in our family, they are absolutely necessary. So never, ever, skip getting a yearly boob job. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 02, 2005

Lazy Day

I just spent the laziest day of my life. I did manage to get up early and walk my two miles, but then I came home and just lazied around the rest of the day. Napped off and on. I mean I was a blob all day. And I'm not sorry. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Time to clean my own house

The Church yard sale is over! Yea!
Now I need to clean my own house. I've been at the church all day, every day for a week, taking in stuff, cleaning it, sorting it, arranging it, pricing it, etc. I'm tired!
We made $4,500, which is very good. We didn't have any "big-ticket" items. Most things were priced at a dollar or less. I'm amazed that we were able to make so much. Happy about it. Hope I never help that much again.
I'm skipping church today. We're going to a birthday dinner tonight, and then it's rush off to church for our "COUCH" group. (we're devided into small groups of 8 or 10 to meet twice a month.) Posted by Hello