Monday, October 31, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pure Politics (and some rambling)

Hillary gives a speech and criticizes Bush.

That's certainly no surprise, but I really hate when politicians give speeches like this one that throws out all kinds of statements with no real thought or substantiation.

"Borrow and spend, borrow and spend, that's all we've done the last four years," Clinton said.

Well, Ms. Rodam Clinton, you fail to recall that much of the spending that's been done is due to the tragedy of 9/11, in your own 'home' state. Instead of blasting Bush for it, perhaps you could show a little gratitude. But, no, that won't do since you don't want to give ANY credit where credit is actually due. You same people who want to blame the federal government for the fiasco in New Orleans turn around and complain when the federal government wants some money to 'help'. Make up your damn minds.

I realize that politicians make speeches like this to get people fired up and rally support, but it seems to me that it is so much more effective to present real and valid issues than to make up inflammatory crap. Are the speech writers in control here, or what? Everyone is bellyaching about the divisiveness in our country these days, but no one seems to want to change the way they interact and speak of each other. Where is someone who will tell it like it is but not be afraid to give the 'other side' some credit? If I could make a wish for our country I would wish for a leader to emerge who can truly bring our country out of this divisive funk. We have so many reasons to come together and support each other instead of tearing each other down.

It looks like the 'Me Generation' has reemerged in their mid-life push to make some big impact on the world before their time is up. Isn't that what the midlife crisis is all about? People realize that their youth is gone and they have only a few more years to really enjoy life before their bodies begin to fail. (I'm not dissing anybody in the midst of a midlife crisis because I'm in the beginning stages of my own.) Unfortunately, it seems that Me Generation has learned little in their time that has changed the way they want to impact the world. It's still all about the 'me' and screw everyone else.

I'm not a BabyBoomer. I was born just a little too late for that. And I'm not really a Generation X. I was born just a little too early for that. I have some in common with both groups. I don't really know that many people who are my age exactly, so I don't really know how other 36-38 year olds feel about things. We seem to be strangely scarce. I should look up birth rates to see if that has anything to do with it. Most of the people I tend to connect with are either 28-34 or over 40. Maybe I'm just weird and have been left out of the mid-thirties loop? Maybe most mid-thirties people are too busy to be 'seen.' I don't know.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Words of the Day


Main Entry: im·peach
Pronunciation: im-'pech
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English empechen, from Middle French empeechier to hinder, from Late Latin impedicare to fetter, from Latin in- + pedica fetter, from ped-, pes foot --

1 a : to bring an accusation against
b : to charge with a crime or misdemeanor; specifically : to charge (a public official) before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office
2 : to cast doubt on; especially : to challenge the credibility or validity of (impeach the testimony of a witness)
3 : to remove from office especially for misconduct -


Main Entry: in·dict
Pronunciation: in-'dīt
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: alteration of earlier indite, from Middle English inditen, from Anglo-French enditer, from Old French, to write down

1 : to charge with a fault or offense
2 : to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a jury (as a grand jury) in due form of law -

Refresher for Perspective

For all of the Bush haters who are salivating and creaming their britches over the Libby indictment, let's take a look at some recent history.

Bill Clinton was impeached, meaning charged with and tried for obstruction of justice and perjury. He was the President at the time, not a Presidential advisor or aide or whatever. The President.

The Senate voted on the Articles of Impeachment on February 12, 1999, with a two-thirds majority, or 67 Senators, required to convict. On Article I, that charged that the President "...willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury" and made "...corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence" in the Paula Jones lawsuit, the President was found not guilty with 45 Senators voting for the President's removal from office and 55 against. Ten Republicans split with their colleagues to vote for acquittal; all 45 Democrats voted to acquit. On Article II, charging that the President "...has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice"..., the vote was 50-50, with all Democrats and five Republicans voting to acquit. (this paragraph is an excerpt from

I just want to remind those with short and selective memories that while Clinton was not convicted, he was still impeached and given the chance for a 'fair trial'. Let us give Libby the benefit of any other person who is charged with a crime. He is innocent until proven guilty. Yes, that rule really does apply to everyone, even conservatives. For those who might suggest that Clinton's impeachment was over something silly or frivolous, well, you could say the same thing about Libby's indictment. However, I am not excusing or minimizing the charges of anyone obstructing justice or committing perjury. Those are very serious crimes and should be punished more severely than Martha 'Cupcake' Stewart's short 'prison' term and mansion arrest. I'm just putting things in perspective here.


Here are some of my deep, dark secrets:

1. Karl Rove gives me the creeps.

2. I'm beginning to seriously think that we are the End Times, for real.

3. I never liked Ronald Reagan or George Bush Sr.

4. I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 despite knowing in my gut that he was an immoral liar.

5. I think Hillary Clinton looks like my mom and that's why I have a hard time hating her.

6. I think that modern Christianity has got more wrong than right. (Please be gentle, this is a serious concern for me.)

7. I'm very wasteful with water but not electricity.

8. I don't recycle paper and plastic anymore because it's 'too much trouble.'

9. I would love to be able to shoot bad drivers.

10. This list could be a lot longer, but some secrets just aren't ready to be shared.

Moon Lodges

Every time I get hormonal I think of the Native American 'moon lodges.' Some Native American groups (I'm not sure which ones and I'm too lazy to look it up right now) made the menstruating women stay in the Moon Lodge for the time that they were on their periods. It's been said that the men thought that it was bad luck for menstruating women to touch stuff and all that. I think they just didn't want to deal with the drama. But also, from the women's perspective I can see why it might not be so objectionable to hole up for that week. I know I would like to just go somewhere quiet where I can be alone and not have to put up with anyone for a while when I'm hormonal. I'd say the Moon Lodges were pretty cool places where the women could hang out and not be bothered by the men and children. Oh, I know I'm romanticizing it, but that's what we do when we look back at old traditions. And it was probably one of those situations when the women 'complied' so that the men thought they were in control, but the women knew that they were really the ones in control. I think that's true a lot of times. We do things to let the men think they are in control, but in reality we are the ones holding the reins. Don't ya think?

And apologies about not making it around to comment much this week. On top of the moon cycle I've got another UTI, so I've not been up to much.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dear Harriet,

(I had written a different version of this letter earlier this morning, but blogger was having problems and wouldn't post it. I've modified it now that I've heard that she has withdrawn her nomination.)

Stay strong. Don't let all the mean people get you down. The media and other talking heads just talk to hear their own voices and don't seem to care that the people they put down are real, living, breathing people with feelings. If you really don't want to put up with all the crap there's no shame in deciding that it's not worth it. I was hoping you wouldn't withdraw, but it's okay that you did. Some people will criticize you no matter what you do. Some people are just that way. They will find something wrong with what you do regardless. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. But you know all of that, I'm sure.

I know you are strong in your Faith and that will carry you through whatever happens. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I can't help but feel a little responsible for what you're going through. (I admit that sometimes I suffer from fantasies of grandeur.) You have to admit that it does seem a little odd that President Bush would choose to nominate a non-judge after I made my little fuss about it. I'm sorry about that. But I also have to admit that I'm glad it was you and not me on the receiving end of all that vitriol. I don't mean that I'm glad you are suffering through it. I'm just saying that I'm glad that I'm not because I don't really have what it takes to handle it.

As I said earlier, stay strong no matter what happens. And know that you are an inspiration to women regardless of what people might say to the contrary. Good luck to you!

Rae Ann

PS I wish I had said this before it was too late, Just remember, Sex Sells! I was going to suggest that you might want to run by Victoria's Secret and pick up a couple of lacy pink bras. They look pretty good under those robes. Oh, go ahead and go shopping anyway. A new pretty bra or something is always a good thing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Multiple Choice Quiz

What would you do?

1. Your spouse is enamored with a display of chrome plated gears from a transmission, your response is:
A. "You are so weird."
B. "That's so cool that you appreciate that."
C. "It's just a transmission."
D. you don't say anything

2. Your spouse takes great care of and pride in something special you bought him/her so you:
A. Feel good that you've made him/her very happy.
B. Tell him/her that they love it more than you.
C. Threaten to take it away because he/she is too happy with it.
D. Don't notice one way or the other.

3. Your spouse has a recurring medical problem that might be related to your habits so you:
A. Try to do things different to help alleviate the problem.
B. Complain that spouse is too 'fragile.'
C. Blame it on someone else and imply spouse's wrong-doing.
D. Do nothing and don't care.

4. Your spouse brings home take out food that is the exact same thing that you had for lunch, so you:
A. Eat without complaint.
B. Grumble about being tired of whatever kind of food it is.
C. Refuse to eat it.
D. Make yourself something else to eat.

5. Your spouse made a big mistake in the past but has bent over backwards to make amends for it, so you:
A. Forgive and Forget.
B. Forgive but remember.
C. Pretend to forgive but make constant 'jokes' about it intended to make spouse continue to feel bad.
D. Tit for Tat.

6. Your spouse would like to improve his/her life by making some big changes in lifestyle, so you:
A. Offer encouragement, support, and praise.
B. Wonder why spouse wants to make changes.
C. Sabotage changes because you are afraid of spouse becoming empowered.
D. Do nothing.

7. Your spouse likes a neat, clean house so you:
A. Pick up after yourself.
B. Hire a house cleaner.
C. Leave all your dirty clothes and dishes where-ever and let spouse pick them up if they care so much about the house being clean.
D. Call spouse 'too picky' and criticize in other ways.

8. Your spouse is prone to letting clutter pile up so you:
A. Leave it be. It's not hurting anyone.
B. Bitch and moan about it while leaving your own piles of clutter everywhere.
C. Offer to help them get more organized.
D. Throw all of spouse's stuff in the garbage when they're not there.

9. Your spouse enjoys an activity that you don't so you:
A. Pretend to let spouse enjoy it but put it down every chance you get.
B. Try to learn to enjoy it.
C. Call spouse selfish for spending too much time doing it.
D. Find your own activity to enjoy.

10. Your spouse wants to go on a solo vacation so you:
A. Help spouse make plans and arrangements.
B. Accuse spouse of looking for 'strange meat.'
C. Refuse to allow it, period.
D. Buy spouse one-way ticket.

This is just for fun. Leave your answers and I'll 'score' them later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. Can we get naked now?.

Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him.

I really need some of that St. Momma's Wort. And I'm allergic to Menicillin which makes me dangerously susceptible to getting infected by the crush virus, especially from men who say nice things to me.

A Message From a Folgers Plant Manager in New Orleans

(Somehow I got on the Proctor and Gamble mailing list. This is from an email they sent out last week. I didn't know that Folgers was located in New Orleans like JFG.)

Hello. My name is Emory Zimmer, and I'm the plant manager for Folgers in New Orleans, where we proudly roast, grind, and package our coffee.

Along with over 500 of my co-workers at Folgers, we and our families call New Orleans home. With the events of Hurricane Katrina, our lives, like so many others along the Gulf Coast, have been greatly affected. On behalf of my team, I'd like to thank everyone who has offered so much support, time, and energy to those in need.

Due to disruption at our plant and our rebuilding efforts, it will be necessary to temporarily package our product in our classic metal canister, but be assured our product will be delicious as always. The Folgers family is equally dedicated to contributing to the Katrina relief effort by making donations to the American Red Cross.

Thank you again for your loyalty and patience.


Emory Zimmer

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday Me Me

Your Inner Child Is Sad

You're a very sensitive soul.
You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.

Wow, I'd say that's very accurate. For all my bravado and 'laying it all out' I have to admit that deep down I really am very sensitive and easily hurt. And the retreating to the comfort zone is true too.

Our weekend road trip was great! I'll have much more to say about it soon. I'm trying to catch up on reading everyone's blogs today.

Oh, and apparently I've devolved back to a slimy mollusk. But actually, squids and octopussies are smarter than fish. So there.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Road Trip!!

I'm so pleased to announce that I am going (finally) on a road trip. I've wrangled David into going with me. We'll leave tomorrow for Bowling Green, KY, to the National Corvette Museum (link in header). I've also reserved us a tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant which is where all Corvettes are built. After all the car stuff I'm not sure where we'll go or what we'll do for the rest of the weekend. We like to explore new areas and see where the roads take us. I'm not planning to take a computer so I won't be blogging Friday-Sunday. But I'm sure I'll be full of stories when we get back. The weather might be a rainy over the weekend, but that won't bother us. If you see a red Corvette convertible on the road it might be us!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Magic Words for Magic Wands

Corpus Spongiosum

Corpora Cavernosa

Those sound like some of the spells that Harry Potter would use, like "Petrificus Totalus" or "Wingardium Leviosa." But they're not. I guess you could adopt them as incantations though. The results might be interesting.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Madness

Hoe in the City

This morning I had to go downtown to our accountant's office to pick up our tax return. Today is the deadline for second extensions. His office is on the 19th floor of the tallest building in Knoxville (27 floors). The elevators always make me really dizzy because they go so fast. Every time I go downtown I get a little pang of anxiety. I'm just not a city girl, not even a small city. But I do harbor fantasies of having a loft/studio downtown because that seems so cool. If I ever win the lottery maybe I'll buy a loft apartment or a whole building to renovate.

Lunch Date

Since I needed David's signature on the tax return we decided to have lunch together. We don't do that often because he usually eats lunch en route to a job instead of taking time to stop somewhere. He was working in West Knoxville so I drove out there to meet him at the Ice Chalet where he was dropping off some bills. I picked up some brochures on lessons so maybe I will take the kids if they are interested. We decided to go to the Olive Garden since we hadn't been there in a very long time. By the way, the Olive Garden is at the intersection where the red-light runner crashed into my Corvette in March. When I thought of that (we were in the Corvette) I told David, "Well, we'll be driving right through the intersection of pain." We got to the Olive Garden without incident and had a lovely lunch.

Two Kinds of Women

We walked back to the car and put down the top and got in. Then I looked up and thought, "Whoa, that truck is way too freakin' close to my car." I got out and sure enough, it was mashing in the front of my car. I'll admit I was about 3 inches over the line (the space in front of me was empty when we got there). I yelled to David, "That asshole hit my car." He got out and looked and said, "Pull back and see if there's any damage." I said, "No, if there is damage they won't believe that they did it. Go in the restaurant and get them to come out here." He saw that they had a sign with a phone number (Eddy's Tile & Natural Stone) on the side of the truck, so I handed him my phone and asked him to call it. He did and I could tell that whoever was on the other end was being an asshole because I heard David say, "Well, I really think you need to come out here and see it." David has a nice, authoritative voice when he needs too, unlike my too soft and childish voice even when I'm mad. He hung up and I asked, "Well, was he an asshole about it?" He said, "She was real bitchy sounding. She said that she was having her lunch (imagine a very snobby tone), but she's coming out here." Right off the bat she said, "I didn't do that." What? I sure as hell didn't drive my car into her truck. We got there first. Stupid bitch.

She said, "There's the line. You are over the line."

I said, "Being over the line doesn't give you the right to drive into my car."

She, "I didn't feel it. I didn't hit it. I didn't feel hitting anything."

Since when do people drive by feel?

David told me to pull it back. I told the snotty bitch that I wanted her to see it before I pulled out because it was my word against here's if there was any damage.

I pulled back and thankfully the nose cone wasn't cracked or scratched. Thankfully they make them out of flexible plastic that gives a little under those circumstances.

She continued spewing her snobbish, catty remarks as I was getting out of the car to look. She asked, "Do you want to call the police?"

I said, "No, it doesn't seem to be hurt."

She was so malicious and bitchy and would not accept that she was in the wrong. She said lots of hateful things to me and David and called us 'fatsos' (she should take a look at her rear end, it was all pocked and bumpy and saggy and nasty looking). She muttered something about 'not driving a Corvette (Aha! Jealous much?)' and about 'her lunch'. David had about as much as he could take so he reared back and kicked the steel bumper of her Dogde Ram (dark blue, extra cab, short bed -- I've very observant). It did nothing to it, but it was just the 'tit for tat' kind of outlet he needed. Well, she just screamed, "I'm calling the police! I'm called the police! I saw you do that!" We just laughed and took off. She might have gotten my tag number, but I'm sure she didn't really call. And what can they do anyway? She has no proof that he kicked it because it didn't even leave a foot print. STUPID BITCH.

So, fellas, any of my married male readers, I think you know what I mean when I say there are two kinds of women. There are Evil Bitches (Pitchforks) and Normal Women (Hoes et al). And you know what your wife is. If any of you are married to Evil Bitches/Pitchforks, I pity you. I pity the man who is married to the Tile Bitch, if she's still married even. Men who are married to Evil Bitches are embarrassed by their wives' behavior, but they are so under their control that they can't speak up. Men who are married to Evil Bitches don't buy their wives Corvettes. Evil Bitches are very jealous of Normal Women and the blessings they get by being nice. Women know if they are Evil Bitches or Normal Women. I know with 100% certainty that I'm a Normal Woman. I have bitchy moments, and sometimes whole days, but they pass. Evil Bitches are evil all the time to everyone they know. Women who know they are Evil Bitches don't care about anyone but themselves (and their lunch). Men rarely admit if they are married to an Evil Bitch, but men who are married to Normal Women are happy and emboldened and quick to defend them if threatened. David is my hero. Not because he kicked a truck, but because he was defending my honor.

To any Evil Bitches out there, don't underestimate a Normal Woman. And don't tread on her Karma. It comes back to you threefold.

My last words to the Tile Bitch as we drove away were, "I hope you get sick on your lunch."

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Games People Play

I'm not a poker player. I'm too easy to read. It goes against my nature to keep all my cards close to my chest. I like to lay it all out and say, 'take it or leave it, this is it, do what you will.' I guess that's not much fun for some who are more interested in finding out your secrets some other way. I'm not saying that's a bad approach, but it just isn't how I like to play. I like games like chess that you see all the pieces and moves and go from there. Though I do like Scrabble, where you don't see each other's letter tiles, but winning in Scrabble isn't usually determined by knowing what the other person is holding. You are more likely to win by wisely using your own pieces. I don't understand the appeal of all those poker shows on tv now. It seems like almost every cable network has a poker show now, especially the sports channels. Since when was playing cards a sport?

It's not that I don't like mysteries. I do, but I get frustrated when the process is slow. And I also get frustrated by my own slowness in picking up on clues. Maybe that's another reason why I don't like poker. And I'm prone to misreading clues that are too vague. I've never been a big fan of the game Clue. I like to investigate things but on my own terms. I don't like chasing carrots hanging from sticks. I'd rather follow a path of crumbs. And if it leads me to the old hag waiting to shove me into her oven, well I'll deal with that when I get there.

I'm reminded of the line from Fleetwood Mac's song Dreams, "players only love you when they're playing." Growing up I never really understood that line. I was thinking playing as in sports. But now I know it's not about sports but about games. There's a big difference. I'm also reminded of one of mr g's posts that was about the game of bullshit. In it he tells of his former boss telling him, 'don't shit a shitter.' That's good advice. I think my dad has said that before too. And it's kind of the same as 'don't try to play a player.' Maybe the lesson there is to know when you're out of your league.

I'm just not much of a player. I never have been. To be a good player (and gambler) "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done." None of those are my talents. That's why I don't gamble much, and if I do it's usually slot machines. At times I've lingered too long or started counting my 'winning's' too soon. The few times I've gambled I've been very conservative and cautious. Somehow I think that defeats the purpose.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Two truths and a lie- Revealed

This MeMe hit the blog and email circuit a while back, but I don't think I ever posted it anywhere. Each set of three statements contains two truths and one lie. Which is which?

1. a. I like goat's milk. LIE.
b. I hate goat's milk.
c. I have eaten dirt.

2. a. I've been to Alaska.
b. I've been to Hawaii.
c. I've been to Mexico. LIE.

3. a. I love to eat potatoes.
b. I love to eat.
c. I love to eat coconut. LIE. (though I do like a pina colada)

4. a. I'm a trouble-maker. LIE.
b. I'm a second wife.
c. I'm a peace-maker.

5. a. Sometimes I'm 'psychic'.
b. Sometimes I'm 'psychotic'. LIE. (sometimes I wonder though)
c. Sometimes I'm 'horny'.

6. a. I'm an artist.
b. I've studied art extensively. LIE.
c. I've had artwork in a New York show. (It wasn't quite as prestigous as it sounds.)

7. a. I watch tv all the time. LIE.
b. I watch as much tv as I want.
c. I watch very little tv.

8. a. I've never gotten a speeding ticket.
b. I've never served on a jury. LIE. (I was on a jury when I was 19.)
c. I've never been arrested.

9. a. I've been paid to stuff envelopes.
b. I've been paid to pick nits out of hair.
c. I've been paid to wipe butts. LIE.

10. a. I've been fired from a job. LIE.
b. I'm currently employed. (I'm on our payroll for book-keeping.)
c. I've slept with my boss. (David is my boss. hehe)

That's all I can think of right now.

Right Brain/Left Brain

Saw this at kat's:

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

Your Brain's Pattern

Structured and organized, you have a knack for thinking clearly.
You are very logical - and you don't let your thoughts get polluted with emotions.
And while your thoughts are pretty serious, they're anything from boring.
It's minds like yours that have built the great cities of the world!

I had a really hard time deciding between those two images. Both appeal to me equally.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Things I like...

1. Those cute, tiny miniature perfume bottles. I have a large collection of them.

2. Velvet anything. Anything.

3. Tools and gadgets.

4. Glitter and sparkle. It can make anything pretty.

5. Powder. There's just something about that silky texture, and it has to smell nice too.

6. Candles. We'll never be in the dark if the power goes out.

7. Driving. I do my best thinking when I'm driving.

8. Chocolate. Needs no explanation.

9. Beanie Babies. I only have a few, but they are just so gosh-darn cute.

10. Old pictures. Doesn't matter if I know the people or not.

11. Lamps. I've posted about this before. I'm like a moth, drawn to sources of light.

12. Pens. All kinds. But especially now I'm loving glitter and metallic gel pens.

13. Books. Mostly reference books. I like to be able to look up stuff.

14. Bath and shower gels. I like to be clean and smell good.

15. Small boxes. Cute, pretty, exotic, plain, whatever. I like them all.

16. Flowers. What an amazing and beautiful way to reproduce.

17. Blankets. I carried a security blanket until I was 4. To this day I still buy any blanket or throw that is soft and comforting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

From John J. Duncan

This is one segment from the "Washington Report" that Tennessee Congressman John J. Duncan sent out recently. You can also read it by clicking on the link above.

Defense Waste

One of the most honorable ways anyone
can serve this Country is in our NationÂ’s
armed forces. I have great admiration
and respect for those who serve. On the
other hand, the military is by far our
biggest bureaucracy, and like any
gigantic bureaucracy, it wastes many
billions of dollars each year. It would
be unpatriotic and a real disservice to
our taxpayers not to speak out against
this waste. If we do not criticize waste
in the military because of excessive
patriotic fervor, this waste will
inevitably grow. The Government
Accountability Office (GAO) recently
reported that the Pentagon has misspent
$35 billion in Iraq and that another $9
billion could not be accounted for at all
In a separate hearing, the GAO also
reported that the Department of
Defense DODD) wasted $2.2 billion
replacing items that were in new,
unused, or excellent condition.
On one
occasion,DODD sold 172 pairs of new
cold weather boots valued collectively
at more that $23,330 for just $69 (not
$69 each, $69 total). That is less than
the cost of one pair of shoes. GAO also
found thatDODD purchased at least $400
million of identical items during this
time instead of using the materials
available. It is humanly impossible to
really comprehend how much one
billion is. However, a person would
have to make $100,000 a year for
10,000 years to make one billion.
David Walker, Comptroller General of
the U.S., has been testifying in front of
many Congressional Committees,
including one I am on, warning about
what one columnist called the financial
“tsunami” we’ll see as baby boomers
retire. Mr. Walker says the Defense
Department has “absolutely atrocious
financial management. If it were a
business, it would be out of business.

I think that clearly illustrates that there is plenty of money going to the government. We don't really need to completely eliminate come programs, as some suggest, or raise taxes in order to pay for things and reduce the debt. What really needs to happen is better use of the money that is going to the government. How can you 'lose' $9 billion? That's enough to fund the EPA for 2006 ($7.6 billion) or the Social Security Administration ($7.7 billion) or the Corps of Engineers ($4.3 billion) or 'Other Agencies' ($6.6 billion). Figures are from Table S-3 of the 2006 Federal Budget. It's mind-boggling to think of the waste and misuse of our money. And it is our money. More people need to start paying attention to and getting mad about it being so poorly managed.

I think maybe we should reinstate the Draft but with a new twist. Either you can serve your country in the military for 2 years (is that long enough?) or you can serve your country by having to manage a business (or maybe a government agency?) and keep it from going broke for two years. That could be called the Business Draft. Maybe that way more people would learn to manage resources while getting federal spending under control. The Business Draftees would have to go through Business Basic Training that would instill in them the proper work ethics and attitudes for business success just as the Military Basic Training prepares people to be soldiers.

Running a business is much harder than most people think. Fifty percent of new businesses fail within four years. The reasons range from voluntary ending of business to bankruptcy due to mismanagement. Mostly it's the mismanagement that is the problem. Maybe we should think more about teaching our kids how to live within their means instead of squabbling about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design.


Here is your horoscope for Tuesday, October 11:

You have a vision. Sometimes people don't pay attention to you when you talk about it, though. Well, try again now. If you ever wanted to make your voice heard, this is your chance.

I just thought that was funny, the part I italicized, because it's so true!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Why, why, why?

Why do aging celebrities think that looking like a skeleton with innertube lips is attractive?
picture 1

picture 2

And why do so many women think that having water balloons stuffed into their breasts is attractive?

Why do people think it's better to be expressionless with botox injections than to have laugh lines and crow's feet?

I might end up being one of the last of the completely natural women in the world. No implants anywhere, no artificially stretched skin, no shots of bacteria to paralyze my facial muscles. Sorry! If that's 'letting myself go' then I'm taking the trip of a lifetime.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another from the Nostalgia Series

I have no idea who these people were, but they apparently were important enough to warrant a photo saved with all the family photos. I love the old signs in the background. I think this was taken in Detroit, MI, sometime in the 1940s.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

(My mom had this framed and hanging in our house when I was growing up. It always helps me put things into perspective when I'm struggling, and it pretty much sums up my approach to life.)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Copyright 1952.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Blast from the Past

For whatever narcissistic or egotistic reason I went back to the beginning of my blog and reread some of those first posts. I was doing pretty well at staying with the Hoe theme, but I guess I lost it somewhere along the way. Here's a repeat from May 9, 2005:

%@&#!!! Pitch Forks

In case anyone is wondering why Pitch Forks are so bad I guess I should fill you in. It goes way back to an old tool shed feud between the Pitch Fork and Hoe families. And of course it originated with accusations of cheating and illegitimate hybrids. Now, all of this happened long before these kinds of conflicts were played out on Jerry Springer's stage. But if there had been a Jerry Springer back then you can be sure that the old P.F.s and Hoes would have been on there hootin' and hollerin' and dukin' it out to the cheers of an audience of wayward lawn and garden tools. I can't really go into great detail because the feud was finally settled in court and there was a clause that all descendents of each family must not discuss certain details. I know that spoils it for all the voyeurs out there, but I don't really want to get into trouble for running my mouth too much. But let's just say that an old Pitch Fork was living up to his family's heritage.

Let's talk about Pitch Forks in history. They are bad news. They always have been. How do you think the Devil ended up picking a Pitch Fork for his tool of choice? That was a match made in Hell, that's for sure. And how many stories have you heard about some unsuspecting kid jumping into a haystack where a Pitch Fork was hiding? Lots, I know. And the poor kids always ended up impaled by the nasty Pitch Fork. Most of them died because of it. You've never heard any tales about Hoes killing kids like that. It just doesn't happen. Hoes generally stay out of haystacks to begin with. We don't like that texture of straw, and it's really messy too, which brings me to the jobs that Pitch Forks usually do. They really aren't good for much except moving hay around. That's about it. Honestly, and this isn't slander, it's the truth; Pitch Forks just aren't very useful. I think that's the root of their evil. They have such low self esteem about that it makes them mean. We all know that type.

Okay so that's a little background on that whole evil Pitch Fork thing. I'm sure I'll think of some other bad things they've been responsible for over the years, but that's enough for now. Just mark my words. Beware the evil Pitch Forks. They might appear harmless or at least non-threatening, but just remember, Pitch Forks are very dangerous.

I should change my listing of 'Bad Seeds and Noxious Weeds' to include Pitchforks. I had forgotten my distaste for them until last night when we went shopping for Halloween costumes. My daughter and I decided to be matching devils. She'll be my Mini-Me. We both got small, red, plastic (a plastic pitch fork is about as useful as any other), glittery pitch forks to go with our costumes. Too bad they don't make glittery hoes too. I'd so have to have one.

In the News...

A few weeks ago I did a post about alternative fuels, particularly biodiesel. Last night there was a segment about it on the local evening news. Click here to read the story online. There is also a link to a list of East Tennessee stations that sell it. David is thrilled about this because his work van runs on diesel as well as his Ford F350 dually and the tractor.

I'm working on a post about the sad state of health care in Tennessee. Here's a link to an interesting story to get the ball rolling. I have no problem at all with the state giving money to faith-based clinics to provide care to people without insurance. As long as the clinics remain ethical and prudent in their practices (medical and financial) I think this is a good alternative to state provided health insurance. I can see that some groups might object to the faith-based aspect, but people need to look beyond that to see that this is a way for people to get health care they wouldn't otherwise get.

Bugs in the news: "The longest-lasting copulation, according to University of Arizona biologist John Alcock (interviewed for an August Knight Ridder story), is that of the lowly “stick insect” (of the phasmida family), which goes on for several months at a time, even though, he said, it is “not clear this is welcome to the female.” The male attaches himself to the female’s back, which allows her to continue with her daily routine during the mating, while also discouraging competitor males. According to other biologists, some ticks spend up to eight hours on what resembles foreplay, and butterflies, snakes and houseflies can also go on for hours." (from the Metropulse News of the Weird) I've personally witnessed the long copulation time of butterflies. I've seen them connected for an entire afternoon. Another great reason to love butterflies! And there was a stick bug on my back deck the other day. Perhaps he was looking for a little action, but he didn't find it, at least not that I ever saw. You can't tell from the picture but the stick bug was about 5 inches long, not including its antennae.

Spell-check fun: it recommended replacing 'copulation' with 'splitting' (is that related to lickety splitting?) and 'foreplay' with 'fireball' (that makes a lot of sense! LOL)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Words of the Day

Fixation, derived from Fixate, also from Fix

Pronunciation: fik-'sA-sh&n

Function: noun

: the act, process, or result of fixing, fixating, or becoming fixated: as a: a persistent concentration of libidinal energies upon objects characteristic of psychosexual stages of development preceding the genital stage b: stereotyped behavior (as in response to frustration) c: an obsessive or unhealthy preoccupation or attachment

Main Entry: fix·ate
Pronunciation: 'fik-"sAt
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): fix·at·ed; fix·at·ing
transitive senses
1: to make fixed, stationary, or unchanging
2: to focus one's gaze on
3: to direct (the libido) toward an infantile form of gratification
intransitive senses
1: to focus or concentrate one's gaze or attention intently or obsessively
2: to undergo arrestment at a stage of development

I like the sense of definition 2: to focus one's gaze on. It's a little like the visual aspect of obsession, which is something that haunts or excessively preoccupies the mind. I guess you can fix your hearing on a particular sound, but that's harder for me than to focus visually on one thing, or to focus my mind on one subject. And focused I have been.


Function: noun

1: a position of difficulty or embarrassment : PREDICAMENT
2 a: the position (as of a ship) determined by bearings, observations, or radio; also: a determination of one's position b : an accurate determination or understanding especially by observation or analysis
3: an act or instance of improper or illegal fixing
4: a supply or dose of something strongly desired or craved; especially : a shot of a narcotic
6: something that fixes or restores

It's interesting that fixations can get you in a fix or make you want a fix.

Main Entry: fix
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin fixus, past participle of figere to fasten; akin to Lithuanian dygti to sprout, break through

transitive senses

1 a: to make firm, stable, or stationary b: to give a permanent or final form to: as (1): to change into a stable compound or available form (2): to kill, harden, and preserve for microscopic study (3): to make the image of (a photographic film) permanent by removing unused salts c: AFFIX, ATTACH
2 a: to hold or direct steadily b: to capture the attention of
3 a: to set or place definitely: ESTABLISH b: to make an accurate determination of: DISCOVER c: ASSIGN
4: to set in order: ADJUST
5: to get ready: PREPARE
7 a: to get even with b: to influence the actions, outcome, or effect of by improper or illegal methods

intransitive senses

1: to become firm, stable, or fixed
2: to get set : be on the verge [we're fixing to leave soon]
3: to direct one's attention or efforts: FOCUS; also: DECIDE, SETTLE -- usually used with on
synonym see FASTEN

I frequently use 'fix' as a verb with meaning #5 (prepare, or get ready). This is a Southern thing. When I'm 'fixing' dinner it doesn't mean I'm repairing dinner. Actually, someone else might need to repair it since I'm not a great cook.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A planet by any other name...

I just read an interesting essay in the NY Times about the problem astronomers are having with deciding what is and isn't a planet. There is much debate about what newly discovered objects qualify as planets and what to call them. Some suggest that Pluto shouldn't be called a true planet, and others suggest dropping the word 'planet' all together because they are having to add adjectives to distinguish 'major planets' from 'minor planets.' What's wrong with adjectives?

My favorite quote from the essay is, "Basically physicists are too undisciplined to let anyone else tell us what to name something," said Gordon Kane of the University of Michigan. I wonder if 'undisciplined' is a good choice of words there. The point being made was that physicists have no problem inventing terms for their newly discovered particles, as opposed to the hoopla that astronomers are making over the term 'planet.' Some fun names of particles are 'charm', 'strangeness', and 'quarks.' It seems at least the physicists have some sense of humor.

Last Friday night we bought a telescope. The guy who sold it told us that we would be able to see all 13 planets. I always thought there were 9, but I have been aware of newly discovered objects that could be considered planets. I didn't say anything because the guy was pretty long-winded and had a tendency to talk down to us as if we didn't know anything. (Yes, I know what Messier Objects are {galaxies, nebulas, etc.}. Yes, I'm aware that new planet-like objects have been discovered. Yes, I know what constellations are. Just sell me the damned telescope.) I am surprised that our 9 year old didn't correct him and tell him that there are 9 planets, but he wasn't really listening to the lecture.

I certainly hope they don't decide to completely drop the word 'planet.' Do we drop the word 'apple' just because there are many varieties of apples?

From 1913


Ola Anderson Vinson, daughter of Melvina Howard. I'm not sure what her relation is to me. Both my father's mother's and father's families had Howards. Yeah, they were cousins who married, but in isolated rural areas that was common because there just weren't that many people to choose from. My grandmother's father was the brother of my grandfather's maternal grandfather. That would be like one of our sons having a daughter who ended up marrying David's brother's son. Weird.

Anyway, I really like that picture.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Official Business

I've removed my Supreme Court campaign picture and withdrawn myself from consideration. There's just no way I can compete with a woman named Harriet. But I have to say President Bush has got some big Texas balls to choose someone with 'no judicial experience.' I guess that's as close to me as he could get. LOL

Monday MeMe

Borrowed from rainypete.

Things I have done in my lifetime, as of today:

Smoked a joint - yes

Been in a wet t-shirt contest - no

Stolen a car - no

Had a threesome - no

Been dumped - who hasn't been?

Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back - many times; unrequited love makes the world go 'round

Made out with a stranger - Not a complete stranger.

Gone on a blind date - yeah, and it sucked

Had a crush on a teacher - not a school teacher

Skipped school - once in high school and a few classes in college

Seen someone die - yeah, and everyone should

Been to Mexico - no, but I'd like to

Thrown up in a bar - no

Eaten Sushi - love it, well, some of it.

Been snowboarding - no, and skiing only once

Been moshing at a concert - no

Made a snow angel - yeah

Had a tea party - no, but I've had a drunken booze party before (not recently)

Flown a kite - sort of

Jumped into a pile of leaves - yeah, and it made me itch

Gone sledding - no, we don't get that much snow

Cheated while playing a game - in first grade

Fallen asleep at work/school - not at work, but once in class

Used a fake ID - nope

Watched the sunset - all the time

Touched a snake - yeah, I like snakes

Slept beneath the stars - no, I'm not a camper

Been tickled - yeah

Been robbed - yeah, a few minor things over the years

Been misunderstood - too often!

Pet a reindeer/goat - we had a goat for a while but it ran away

Won a contest - I won a $100 worth of free groceries right after we got married. We definitely needed it.

Run a red light - only a couple

Been suspended from school - no, I was a goody-goody

Been in a car accident - yeah, a few

Had braces - No

Felt like an outcast - always

Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night - a pint isn't that much

Had deja vu - frequently and it always freaks me out

Danced in the moonlight - yeah, but not with the Devil

Hated the way you look - yeah, that's been a struggle all my life

Witnessed a crime - only traffic crimes, oh, and sometimes substance use

Pole danced - no, but it looks like fun

Been obsessed with post-it notes - no, I'm obsessed with metallic and sparkle gel pens

Walked barefoot through the mud - when I was a kid

Been lost - not seriously. I have a pretty good sense of direction.

Swam in the ocean - yes, I love that but only where it's shallow

Felt like dying - more than I can count

Cried yourself to sleep - more than I can count

Played cops and robbers - no, I was more a cowboys-and-Indians type. and I was always an Indian princess. lol But handcuffs can be fun.

Recently colored with crayons/colored pencils/markers - Actually I do this almost every day because I'm an 'artist' and it's very therapeutic too.

Sung karaoke - no, I don't want to be shot.

Paid for a meal with only coins - not a whole meal, but I did buy some rolling papers once with a bunch of pennies.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn't - Many, many times

Made prank phone calls when you were younger - yeah, back in the day before caller id

Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose - yeah, a long time ago

Caught a snowflake on your tongue - yeah, anytime it snows

Danced naked in the rain - not in the rain

Written a letter to Santa Claus - I can't remember.

Been kissed under the mistletoe - yeah, a long time ago

Blown bubbles - of course!

Had a bonfire on the beach - no, not on the beach, but it sounds nice

Gone rollerblading - no, I'm an ice skating kind of girl

Screamed the word penis in public - yeah, actually it was 'flacid penis'

Ate dog/cat food - yeah, dog food when I was a kid on a dare. it tasted just like potted meat with cornmeal mixed in

Told a complete stranger you loved them - not a complete stranger

Kissed a mirror - no, why would I?

Sang in the shower - sometimes

Had a dream that you married someone - yeah, several and some were nightmares

Glued your hand to something - no

Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole - no, not a flag pole and not stuck

Kissed a fish - no, but I've kissed guys who felt like a fish, yuck

Worn the opposite sex's clothes - I wore men's jeans before 'low rise' jeans became a style.

Been a cheerleader - no, I'm not that perky

Sat on a roof top - no

Screamed at the top of your lungs - a few times at my kids

Stayed up all night - too many to count

Picked and ate an apple right off the tree - no, the Wizard of Oz scared me from doing that

Climbed a tree - a long time ago

Believed in ghosts - I still do.

Gone streaking - yeah in college

Been skinny dipping - Yeah, but it's been a long time

Been pushed into a pool/lake with all your clothes on - no

Been told you're beautiful by a complete stranger - yeah, it made my day

Broken a bone - fell and cracked my right humerus in 1999

Been easily amused - usually

Caught a fish then ate it - yeah, I'm good at fishing

Caught a butterfly - yeah, but it's bad for butterflies for us to handle them

Laughed so hard you cried - yeah

Cried so hard you laughed - no

Mooned/flashed someone - I was a flasher in college.

Had someone moon/flash you - my kids do that all the time

Cheated on a test - I used to give other people answers so I was an enabler I guess

Forgotten someone's name - all the time

Slept naked - I have but I don't like to. I feel too vulnerable that way.

French braided someone's hair - Mine and others

Grown a beard - not yet, but who knows what surprises aging has in store for me?

Driving Lessons

Did you know that your gas mileage is just about as dependent upon how you drive as what you drive? I'm amazed at all the people who are driving their 'economy' cars like they are in the middle of the Indy 500. Four cylinder engines will use just as much gas as a larger one if the driver constantly revs it, stomps the gas, brakes hard, and otherwise drives like a demon.

Despite all of its problems our government does have a lot of resources readily available. Click here for some information on what can affect your mileage. I like the EPA's description of 'vigorous driving' behavior. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Just because you are driving a small car doesn't mean you are doing anyone any favors in conserving fuel. You have to drive conservatively too. I took driver's ed in high school and was taught how to drive defensively and conservatively. One simple thing you can do to increase your mileage is coasting when you can. My Corvette has an instantaneous mileage gauge. If I'm on a slight downhill and coast my mileage goes up to about 90 mpg! If you live where there are rolling hills you can use them to your advantage. I like to make a game of it, How high can I get my mileage?

David drives hundreds of miles a week on his job and has made some observations. These are totally 'unscientific' of course, but they tell an interesting story. He has noticed that many drivers of small cars are very 'vigorous' drivers. (He has a much less pleasant description for them.) He has also noticed that most of the drivers of big vehicles like full-size SUVs (not as evil as everyone wants to think they are) drive much more conservatively and carefully. A Honda Accord going 75 mph isn't getting any better mileage than a Chevy Tahoe going 55 or 60 mph. So think twice before you condemn people for driving big vehicles. Look at your own driving habits before throwing stones. Yeah, sure, there are people driving big cars like demons too, but in David's observations he has noticed that fewer big vehicles (at least around here) drive 'vigorously.' And what we can't understand is that people continue to drive 'vigorously' when gas is over $3 a gallon. But hey, if they can afford it then that's their choice. Just don't complain about it if you're not doing everything in your power to conserve.

And another thing that I want to mention is school zones. At least once every day I have to yell at some stupid idiot for speeding through the school zone in front of my kids' school. It is very clearly marked with big flashing lights. But there is at least one person every day who thinks their time is too precious to slow down. Too bad they don't have cops sitting there waiting to give tickets. They could make a lot of money.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Goodbye Summer


Despite the still very warm weather, I can see all the plants beginning to whither and yellow from the decreasing amount of sunlight. The earth is closing up shop and getting ready for its winter's rest.

Today we ate the watermelon that grew in front of our porch where my daughter had planted some seeds from a watermelon we had eaten much earlier in the summer. That vine had produced two watermelons, but the first one I picked too soon. I've never grown melons so I wasn't sure when to harvest. But this one today was the best watermelon we've ever tasted. Home grown really is the best!

As I stood at the sunny porch rail and ate that beautiful red, delicious, juicy melon I decided that was my own little harvest celebration, that last burst of summer. And I let the seeds fall back to the ground from where they'd come. I don't know if the seeds survive winter, but maybe a new vine will grow there next year.

In the picture above, my dad is the boy on the far right and his mother is the woman to the far left. I'm pretty sure that the older man toward the back is my great grandfather. Clicking the picture will take you to a bigger view.