Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween, Y'all!

Keeping my fingers crossed that it will not rain this evening until after the kids get to trick or treat. I remember when my son was little and it would rain. No fun. I am busy packing treat bags for the handing out tonight. I get those little paper bags and put in a couple of pieces of candy into them. Otherwise, the bowl of candy would disappear in no time as son and hubby are prone to giving out big handfuls at a time! I want it to last so everyone gets some and we don't run out early!

The trip to the bookstore was fun Friday afternoon with son. He purchased a big book of Mad magazine comic strips and a copy of Inferno. I bought a paperback of the latest Diane Mott Davidson book. I love her series. I didn't realize the new one was out in paperback now. The main character is a caterer who ends up solving murder mysteries at the events she caters. She also includes recipes for the food she prepares for the events. It is fun and I really enjoy the escape her series of books have been for me.

Yesterday afternoon we went to watch son's acting class performance. It was to be today, but then the teacher realized it is Halloween tonight! She's a trip. We love her. Anyway, son was great, as we always think he is, naturally. They did a drama in the format of theatre in the round. One of his old friends was able to come so that was great. Son had been to his high school play a couple of weeks ago. I love that they support each other. They've been best pals since 4th grade. Then afterwards we went out for TexMex for dinner. Eating my fill of freshly made at tableside guacomole is always a welcome treat!

I'm going to have to fix more coffee. I am not quite 100% yet. Monday. New flavor of coffee creamer - peppermint mocha. Yummy, I suppose for the upcoming holidays. Yesterday on the way to the playhouse we noticed all the holiday decorations are up in the area. Earlier and earlier every year. Bah humbug! Why can't we enjoy each holiday before we over run it with Christmas? Soon it'll overtake the 4th of July!

Y'all dress up and have fun tonight!

Friday, October 28, 2005

No Fritmas After All

As is being reported this morning, Fitzgerald will have an indictment for Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Dick Cheney, but not on Karl Rove. Shucks, that'll ruin lots of people's days now. Libby will take the brunt of the problems now with it all drawn out in court for the rest of Bush's term. Not what the original grand jury was looking into, mind you, the outing of Valerie Plame. Looks like no one did anything wrong there. Joe Wilson, liar, liar. I wonder who he wants to portray him in the movie about his book now? He used to say he thought DeNiro would be good. Such a high self esteem.

Caught some of Cindy Sheehan's press conference on C-Span this morning. I counted 7 reporters in the audience. Her usual self. Nothing new. Bush lied. Get out of Iraq now. Recruiters lie to high school students. I would recommend she hire a voice coach with the fees she gets from speaking engagements.

My son has a broken heart. Poor guy. His gf broke it off yesterday and he's sad. They hope to stay close friends, though. I remember those days. He told me about it on the way home from school yesterday so we headed to the store to get a few treats. Broken hearts need treats! Told him we'll go to the bookstore after school today, since it's Friday and we're free. We do love bookstores.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Dream Is Gone

Ah, well. Game Four ended with the Astros loss of 1-0. The guys kept the heart and spirit in the game, just couldn't outplay the Sox. There's always next year...

I think I am taking a self-imposed exile from my news addiction today. I have had enough for the next 24 hours. Between the talking heads going orgasmic over impending grand jury indictments on members of Bush's administration and the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from Supreme Court recommendation, I have had enough.

Now that the debacle of the Miers nomination is over, it is time for Bush to go back to the roots of the party and nominate a life long true conservative to the bench. Not someone who was a democrat until 5 minutes ago to appease the screaming fools like Leahy and Schumer, who won't vote for anyone Bush nominates anyway. Bush needs to finally realize that no matter how much he bends over for the moonbat dems, they will still scream about the "far right wing" of the republican party. Everything they don't agree with is "extremist". Well, they got Ruth Bader-Ginsburg with something like a 96-4 vote because there used to be some integrity in the process. The president has a right to his person for the bench unless something is seriously wrong with character or criminal behavior. Take the gloves off and grow a spine in this area. The other side only wants gotcha politics and bellowing press conferences offering only the agenda of "no" and not solutions to anything.

Cindy Sheehan was arrested yesterday in front of the White House so she got her wish. Not smiling so broadly for the camera this time, though. Maybe the novelity is wearing thin. She has announced a press conference for tomorrow. And she will do her thing in front of Walter Reed Hospital Saturday. She sure has an odd way to show her support for the military and their families. Now that she has the big time pr firm to schedule her out for speeches at $30,000 a pop, I predict her free performances will lessen in number.

Looking forward to a new blog design. Having fun thinking of ideas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Game Three

I am one sleepy woman today. Lots of coffee needed. Astros lost in the 14th inning last night. The score was 7 - 5. So depressing. Tonight is make or break time.

So many things on my mind this morning listening to current events. I'll have the distraction of picking up son early from school today, though. I'll probably need the break. Early dismissal today.

The mainstream media is hyping the 2000th death of an American soldier from the war in Iraq. If you are interested in another point of view from someone who might actually know what the story is, read the statement made by Commander Kimmet from Iraq. He says that the 2000th mark is an artificial mark and is only for the purposes of those who have a political agenda. It does no good to the soldiers in the field or the morale of the American people who support them. He is pissed and I don't blame him. Things are tough enough as it is. Cindy Sheehan and her crowd can party hardy today. At least there is not a pesky hurricane taking away coverage from her spotlight.

Lots of election mud being thrown here. We have a mayorial race and city council race going on. The mayor really has no challengers to speak of so he doesn't have to do much. The city council race is interesting in one district. The current council woman claimed a college degree from the University of Houston but did not really have it. Her challenger called her out on it so she had a quick fix done to get the diploma. Back and forth. He calls for her resignation for an untruthful resume. She says she didn't know she hadn't completed the degree. Huh?

Have to spend the afternoon with son completing his costume for his upcoming performance in his acting class play. They put it on Sunday afternoon. He takes the class at a local playhouse from a former actress who mostly does commercials now. She is a kick and the kids love her. We have to track down a couple of items to complete the costume - son plays the sheriff. Ha!

Go, Astros! Seriously.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fingers Crossed

Tonight is the night. Game three of the World Series and it will probably be the fate sealer for our Astros. Right now a back and forth is going between Astros' management and Bud Selig about if our stadium's roof will be open or not. If they don't see it our way, it'll be hell to pay for them.

Nice and chilly this morning. Stopped by the grocery store after taking the boy to school and picked up the chocolate chip muffin mix he likes. It'll make a nice afterschool treat. And the kitchen will smell good, too.

I am addicted to hazelnut flavored non-dairy coffee creamer. Just a smidge sweet so I don't need any sugar with it. Random thought.

Cindy Sheehan is planning to tie herself to the White House fence when the 2000th death of an American soldier in Iraq is reported. I hope something else knocks her off the front page that day. Continued publicity for this spotlight whore only encourages her to do more outrageous stunts. She actually was complaining to CNN and others that Hurricane Rita coverage was knocking her out of the news at the time. Pathetic.

Hurricane Katrina fatigue is setting in around here. A few days ago I read that some schools that had taken some evacuee kids were having trouble with turf wars between the New Orleans kids and the Houston kids. Understandable, I suppose. Then last week my son's school had reports of impending violence due to said turf wars so extra security was called in to monitor the situation. Fortunately, many students reported things they were hearing around school. The principal and school police conducted locker searches of suspected troublemakers and recovered a small handgun and a pellet gun. Nice. They won't be back this year.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Go, Astros!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Game Two

Astros lost in the 9th inning. Bummer. Good game, tho. We have to get stronger with the pitching bullpen. Next game will be interesting being a home game. And Oswalt is pitching. I hope Clemens heals quickly.

Poor Florida. Been watching the storm come inland all morning. We feel your pain.

It is actually chilly here this morning. I am wearing long sleeves! Yee haw.

I think I will take the plunge and pay someone to design a great website for my blog. I am bored with this one and I have no skill to do it myself. Plus, I want to create a blogroll and return the courtesy others have given me by including my site on their blogroll. I hope this is this week's project.

Go, Astros!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Game One Goes To...

The White Sox. Oh well. It was a great game, except for the part where we lost.
Next time...

Lying Liars

WARNING: This is a rant. If you do not have the stomach or patience for it, move along. There is nothing here for you. Otherwise, buckle up.

Coming soon to a town near you: An event sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, otherwise known as the Quakers. What, might you ask, are we celebrating? Why the 2000th soldier killed in Iraq. Yes, you read that right. Soon, probably in a matter of days given the sequence of events in Iraq recently, the number of lost soldiers to our country will number 2000. No one disputes this is a terrible tragedy for everyone. Free Americans owe them a debt of gratitude, as we do all who serve.

What do the Quakers have to do with this? The American Friends Service Committee has partnered up with Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out to organize and host events in 47 states so far when the 2000th soldier is killed. I think the word vulture applies here. They claim to have 258 events on board. One will be here in Houston at the WORLD WAR II VETERANS MEMORIAL. Sure, why not slander two veteran groups at once. More bang for their buck. Party on, pigs.

American Friends Service Committee claims, according to their website, there is no military solution to the Iraq war. This must come as quite a surprise to the troops on the ground there. American troops have yet to lose a battle in Iraq but when was the last time you heard that fact via the media? Oh yeah, NEVER. They claim they are working for the funding of the war to be cut off thru Congress. This leads to the biggest lie told by these ignorant and superficial people - support the troops but not the war. WHAT? Al-Jeezera loves you.

From the AFSC Values section of their website:
"We cherish the belief that there is that of God in each person, leading us to respect the worth and dignity of all. We are guided and empowered by the Spirit in following the radical thrust of the early Christian witness. From these beliefs flow the core understandings that form the spiritual framework of our organization and guide its work". Where was the God in Saddam? What about the dignity and worth of the thousands he slaughtered whenever the whim moved him?

"We accept our understandings of truth as incomplete and have faith that new perceptions of truth will continue to be revealed both to us and to others". Yes, your understandings of truth IS incomplete. Truth is truth.

"We seek to understand and address the root causes of poverty, injustice, and war. We hope to act with courage and vision in taking initiatives that may not be popular". Poverty did not have a thing to do with the terror imposed by Saddam, as he was a very wealthy man. Poverty did not have a thing to do with Bin Laden, or his suicide pilots, either. All of them were from wealthy Saudi families.

"We are called to confront, nonviolently, powerful institutions of violence, evil, oppression, and injustice. Such actions may engage us in creative tumult and tension in the process of basic change. We seek opportunities to help reconcile enemies and to facilitate a peaceful and just resolution of conflict". The U.S., your country, is evil and oppressive? To whom? In what other country are you free to spew forth whenever you so choose and gather on a public square to do so? Oh, yeah, other DEMOCRACIES. Al-Jeezra loves you.

"We find in our life of service a great adventure. We are committed to this Spirit-led journey, undertaken "to see what love can do,"and we are ever renewed by it". Love. Love of freedom, love of fellow man and woman, love of country, love of children and their future, that is what led us to Iraq in the first place. If your thought process is on such a simplistic course that you cannot even understand this fundamental thought process, then I have nothing to say to you. Where is your love for Israel? These groups all support completely the PLO and the complete destruction of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. Your brother Arafat, now there was a real peacemaker. You are liars.

Where was your indignation over the war in Bosnia? Somalia?

These groups provide much comfort and aid to our enemy - those who want to kill us in the name of a religion they have bastardized. Al-Jeezera loves them and uses them every chance they get. These groups did not learn anything from the lessons of Vietnam. Talk to a Vietnam vet. I live with one. Anti-war protestors led to the death of soldiers and the eventual slaughter of innocent Vietnamese when the U.S. pulled out.

Three thousand were murdered on September 11, 2001 in this country by radical Islamists filled with hate and blinded by their devotion to an evil man. Saddam allowed Bin Laden's henchmen to train at terror camps in Iraq. Saddam supported the PLO and paid suicide bombers families up to $25,000 when they blew themselves up in Israel. Saddam gased the Kurds by the thousands. Saddam invaded Kuwait in a land grab. Saddam stole money for oil to built palaces and statues of himself throughout Iraq. Saddam's sons were being groomed to suceed the old man. They used rape rooms and other assorted tortue techniques to keep the Iraqi
people under their control. My husband was in Iraq pre-war and the level of suppression and secrecy were unbearable. Women afraid to go out on the streets. Men afraid to speak freely as there was always someone nearby that would turn them into the government for money or power. Why are the Iraqis not worthy of freedom? I think God thinks it's a good thing.

Those seeking their 15 minutes of fame, a la Cindy Sheehan and her ilk dishonor all those lives lost and those serving. The time now is to stop the lies and support the troops honestly so that this mission is completed and they can come home with dignity. The beginnings of freedom in the middle east is a worthy goal. The soldiers in the service of our country are volunteers seeking to serve. Let them do it.

Kumbaya my ass.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Not A Creature Is Stirring

All is quiet on the homefront. Max the dog is sound asleep on the sofa and the two cats are sleeping, too. Hubby and son are on a campout this weekend. You know what that means - quality "me" time for lil ole me. Yeah, baby!

I did a little post on The Dew, y'all check it out. It had been circling in my head for a few days so I figured I had best let it out.

No one to fight for the computer, no one to fight for the remote, no one to fight period.

Life is good.

Go, Astros!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ah, Sweet Victory

The game score was: Astros 5
Cardinals 1

How sweet. Last year the Astros were eliminated by the Cardinals in the playoffs, so this is particularly sweet for the team. On to the World Series for the first time ever.

Yesterday a judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Tom DeLay. His attorney had requested a summons be issued, which is an option used for people under indictment who are not a flight risk, but alas, politics wins out. The judge is a known activist of the democrat persuasion and relishes the thought of DeLay being photographed, fingerprinted and going through the hoops. So we'll watch that play out today. Hardball politics rearing its ugly head and the case hasn't even gone to court yet.

Livin' for the weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

As The Worm Turns

In a rapidly changing Iraq today, Saddam was brought to his first trial along with other henchmen, making him the first person in the Middle East to be brought before a tribunal of his fellow countrymen. The times, they are a'changin'. Slowly but with more speed than our own country started off. It took America about 10 years to produce a Constitution, the Iraqis only two years. The naysayers claim it has no real meaning. What a slap in the face to the brave people who risked their lives to vote. How easy for a psuedo-intellectual sitting in his or her comfortable easy chair in the good ole US of A to play at being a history writer for the country of Iraq. Some simply refuse to accept any good news at all due to blinding political dogma. How sad that they would put politics above the security of their own country and the budding freedom in that pocket in the Middle East.

Update to a recent entry about the high school kids here that attended the not a Million More March in DC. The writer of the article in the Houston Chronicle did respond to my funding question after I sent a second email asking the same question. Did she think I would just give up? She said the kids who could afford it paid their own way. The other trips were paid for by local business people. Now I want to know which businesses sponsor such field trips for local students. I sent the info along to a local newspaper kind of blog online here. They are very interested in the story and hope to pursue it. We'll see what happens.

Go Astros!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday, No Tirades

The Astros lost the game last night so they will go to St. Louis today to play tomorrow night. They have to win one of the two remaining games to close the deal. It would have been so great for them to have finished it off last night in their home arena. Former President Bush and Barbara were on their feet cheering last night when it looked as if we would win. Oh well, it just wasn't meant to be.

My butt is dragging this morning. Hubby caught a late boat last night and got into Galveston about 2:00 this morning. From there he had to catch a cab to take him to the other side of the island to his car. He got in about 4 this morning. Yuk. Not much sleep at all, knowing he would be in, then him calling during the night. Max the dog and I are not very zippy right now!

Seem to be a few holes in Ronnie Earle's case against Tom DeLay. I'm just saying...

Monday, October 17, 2005

One More Game

The Astros won yesterday so if they win tonight, they are going to the World Series for the first time in the team's history. They will play the Chicago White Sox. I must admit to being a fan only at playoff time but it is exciting for everyone here. I used to be a baseball fan back in the days of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, etc with the Cincinnati Reds but lost interest many years ago.

Hubby thought he would be home today, but alas, it is not to be. Maybe tomorrow if all goes well. The problem on the rig is fixed but now must be tested to make sure everything is good. At least when he does get back onshore it is only a short drive home from Galveston. He can be home in an hour's time.

I read an article about the growing popularity of The Blue Man Group and the need they have to recruit new members for the different groups that are touring. Reminded me of a fun trip son and I took a couple of summers ago to visit hubby who was working in Portland Maine supervising a drilling rig being built in the shipyard there. Son had never taken a train trip so we flew to Boston and from Boston took Amtrak to Portland. We stayed overnight in Boston and I purchased tickets to see the Blue Man Group at the historic St. Charles Theatre. It was so awesome. Son really enjoyed the light show! They are wild and crazy and hard to explain. Makes it all the more entertaining! After our stay in Portland with hubby we took Amtrak back to Boston, overnighted there again, this time at a hotel in the Back Bay area so we were able to see where the Boston Tea Party was enacted, then flew home the next morning. So much history, so little time. It was a great trip.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'll Have Another Cup, Please!

This morning is alive with cool, crisp air and I can breathe! Excellent coffee drinking weather with the sliding glass door open for Max the dog to come and go as he pleases. Love it.

Son had a good evening with girlfriend as they went to a school play to see a friend and former classmate of son's. He was able to see another old friend and sit with her and her family there. Nice. He did not care for the play, though! The kids did Inherit The Wind and son has no patience for debate over evolution! As I have said before, he is a science guy and firmly believes that the theory of evolution is an open and shut case!

The people of Iraq did themselves proud again with such a large percentage of voters turning out to excercise their right to vote. Americans would do well to take a lesson from that. Much to the chagrin of the Bush haters, the Constitution looks as if it will be passed and the Iraqis are moving on. I hope the people my husband has befriended there were able to vote. They are very proud of having true choices on the ballot now. A couple of them were able to come here in January for classes from my husband and they missed out on the big vote then.

I have never understood people who care so little for the basic freedoms of the American way of life as to not vote. The right to vote is the one true way a citizen can voice an opinion of public policy that governs us all. If something happens and I fail to vote, say for local elections, I feel a huge burden of guilt that I did not live up to my obligation as a citizen of the community. It's true. I began taking my son with me to watch me vote at birth and he knows just where his mom stands on voting!

My mother died one year ago today. She lived with us the final years of her life and, being the oldest of her three children, I was the one to arrange for her care when she took a turn for the worse. The transition from child to caregiver is a long strange journey. Doesn't feel like a full year has gone by.

Every now and then my son reminds me to be good to him as he will be making any decisions needed in my later life! Gotta love that kid.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Astros Win

And the Astros win game 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals. They are 2-1 now. The crowd was nice and loud like they like it.

House is very quiet now. Hubby gone and son has gone out with girlfriend this evening. They are going to a school play to support a friend in the cast. GF's mom drove so I lucked out.

Still waiting on an answer from the journalist with the article on the local group of school kids attending the Million More March this weekend. Curious if my tax dollars are supporting this trip. I'm pretty sure I know the answer. She has until Monday to respond to my email, then I'm questioning the school district's office. To view this as a trip for "unity" is absurb, to put it mildly. I watched a bit of it on C-Span, as I couldn't take too much at a time, and was lucky enough to see Farrakhan and his daughter, too. What a treat they are to listen to and how educated I am now. They are hateful, hateful bigoted people. It speaks volumes as to the race problems in this country. My son is in public high school and they said "Happy Ramadan" during morning announcements the other day. What do you think the chances are that they will say "Merry Christmas" when the time comes? If no religion is to be allowed in schools, fine. Let's be consistent about it. Special mentions are racist and culturally bigoted. I don't think there will be a Chanukah shout-out, either.

My son is an intellectually curious human being. I am very proud of that. He has been reading since he was 3 and reads everything, just like his parents. He began studying all the different religions of the world while in elementary school out of his own curiousity. He particularly enjoys reading about Buddism and was honored to attend a Buddist wedding ceremony a couple of years ago, as my hubby had struck up a friendship with a man studying to be a monk. Living in our city, we have cultural and racial diversity out the wazoo. It's a good thing. But all those good feelings fly out the door when people try to exploit the kids to succumb to adult agendas. One child attending the "march" said he looked forward to the experience supplementing the lessons he had learned in school about social activism. I don't think my child has been offered that class. It is bad enough the history of our country and the world for that matter is being rewritten to not "offend" anyone. Please. History is history. Grow up and learn from it.

The people of Iraq voted on a Constitution today. These are brave people. The insurgents are losing and they know it now. It was never going to be a fast or easy process. Took a while for things to be established in our own country if I remember good old fashion history from my school days. The people of Iraq are getting the hang of freedom and they want to keep going on the journey. Wonder what they think of Louis Farrakhan and of Wyclef Jean (Howard Dean's favorite musical artist) saying he was thinking of FATHER SADDAM crying in his cell.

Feel the love, people, feel the love.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Zomby Day

Today is a zomby day. I was up at 2:30 this morning to wake up hubby so that he could leave out of here at 3:30. He had to drive to Galveston to catch a helicopter out to the Gulf this morning. Good thing he and son got some quality time yesterday afternoon for math review. Hubby was able to come home from the office at lunch time so it worked out. Hence, I feel like a zomby. I went back to bed and got back up around 9:00. Makes me feel wierd when the routine is disturbed.

Today I read in the newspaper a former teacher in my son's former school has received a sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison and lifetime supervision on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. I had been following this case as he was caught while my son was still a student at the school. He was the Athletic Director at the school and he was also being held in jail for molesting some of the boys active in sports in the school. But those are state charges. He hasn't gone to trial for that yet. His lawyer is the brother of Tom DeLay's lawyer, thanks to his mother's wealthy new husband. I would like for him to rot in jail for the rest of his sorry life.

The up and coming generation are weighing heavily on my little mind today. I also read an article about a group of 33 students who attend a charter school here locally who will be participating in the Millions More March in D.C. this weekend. One of the high schoolers was quoted as saying he hoped people coming together and unity was the lesson of the weekend. From a march sponsored by the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan? He needs to read a little more history, I think. Perhaps his teachers have failed to teach the hatred spewing from this loon's mouth whenever he gets a microphone. Not to mention his UFO story about his divine interception by one on a mountain in Mexico. I see these Nation of Islam people on tv here all the time and they are not about unity. So now I am wondering how this trip is financed and is it my taxpayer dollars at work? I have emailed the author of the news story - she didn't bother to delve into that aspect of the story. Maybe I'll get an answer.

Talked to MIL last night and told her I am scanning the web this weekend for airline tickets. She is happy to be coming for Christmas. She missed out last year. I have a few activities planned for when she is here so we can keep everyone entertained. She wants to go to NASA after I told her they have opened back up the behind the scene style of tour that was closed after 9/11. She has been in theatre ( and in movies as an extra) so I am getting tickets for us to go to a dinner theatre for their big Christmas show. Bonus for me, no cooking! That takes care of 2 days so far. Only a couple of more to go! Son and Hubby leave for winter scout camp the day after Christmas so she'll be leaving that day, too.

Where is my Christmas card list?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Good News Abounds

What a calm morning here. No school today or tomorrow for the boy today, due to teacher in-service days. They took the PSAT exam yesterday so that is out of the way. This long weekend he and his dad are going to be reviewing material from his Algebra II class. It is a pre-AP class and he is not so secure with it. Unfortunately, he inherited my math genes and not his father's. His father is a math and science genius. Son does get the science gene, though. He loves science.

I am watching a live video conference between soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq and President Bush. The group includes 10 American soldiers and 1 Iraqi soldier. The Iraqi soldier just told the president that he loves him and thanked him for helping his country. The pride in the faces of the Americans was so obvious and the president made a point of saying several times that the American people support the soldiers and the mission will be accomplished. A female soldier present was also present during President Bush's first visit to Ground Zero in NYC.

Environmental engineers have stated now that the orginal reporting of the "toxic soup" of the flood waters in New Orleans is not as horrible as first reported. The journalists come through for the reading public yet again. The chemical contamination is not so severe as first feared and no fish kills have been noted from Lake Ponchartrain. Gasoline evaporated quickly and some are referring to most of the water resembling water after a heavy rain in the city. Interesting. What did Lt. General Honore say? Don't get stuck on stupid, journalists.

Did you know that some of the classics that high schoolers now read come with SAT vocabulary words included? My son is in a pre-AP English II class and they are reading

Frankenstein now. The teacher requested we purchase the version with the SAT vocabulary included. I didn't know such versions existed. I think it's an excellent idea. While purchasing the book my son asked me to get Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, too, with the vocabulary just because he also wanted to read that! Some clever marketer out there deserves a pat on the back!

I made a big pot of chili yesterday with 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 ground beef. It was an experiment to see if my guys would eat it! I had seen a recipe for turkey chili that really sounded good but I knew my guys wouldn't go for such an idea. So I tried adding the ground beef to make it taste a little more like traditional chili. Worked, too. They really liked it even though son first thought I had yet again lost my mind.

The laundry basket awaits my attention.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Letter Says It All

Hubby home last night a little after midnight. Going back out Friday but from Galveston this time so a much easier drive to the helicopter or boat. He is still shocked by the destruction he has seen in the different areas of the Texas and Louisiana coasts from these last two trips. Television doesn't do it justice.

We learn the NYC terror alert was brought on by a hoax. I don't care. I'm glad it wasn't true. New York had a great practice run and the leaders did the right thing. The Department of Homeland Security continues to make me shake my head in disbelief. What are these people thinking anyway? Sounds like petty turf wars and too many mixed messages. One day the threat will be real and everyone better own up to that fact and be prepared. The recent incidents in Oklahoma (what's with Oklahoma?) and Georgia are not looking good for the home team. Plastic bottles with explosives, stolen aircraft, frequent mosque visitors all point to a certain conclusion. Hello?

And then the letter surfaces. If you are interested in such things, you should check out the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which published a 6,000 word letter on its website. This letter is from Al Qaeda's top director, Zawahiri, to the leader of the insurgents in Iraq, Zarqawi. I know that those who would benefit most from reading this letter will never do so but if they were truly doing what they felt was best for America, they would. The letter sets out in detail the plan to defeat the U.S. and our allies. They learned well the lessons of the anti-war protests of VietNam and how these events wore down the will of the American people to win the war. So, since we cut and ran from that war and left the people of South VietNam to be slaughtered by the North VietNamese, the Al Qaeda leadership thinks this is a nifty plan to use again for this war. All those placard carrying, foul mouthed, senior citizen protestors must be proud. Zawahiri is so happy you are doing his bidding. They intend to wear down the American public, loving the polls showing decreased support for the war and the protestors personalizing their disapproval by public name calling of the President of These United States. By all means, don't protest policy, name call those you disagree with because that's a real sign of maturity. Wonder why you aren't taken seriously? And where was all this during Bosnia? Or Somolia? Bosnia was to take one year, according to that military leader, Bill Clinton, and ten years later we are still there. Americans must stand together and get over themselves in order to support the effort in Iraq. If you truly want the best life possible in freedom the sacrifices must be made now. The Middle East can change in an incredible way. The time is now.

That's OK, I'll Do It

Good morning, Gentle Readers:
This morning a few truths became crystal clear to my foggy caffeine deprived brain. Apparently I am the only person in this house who is capable of:

Waking to the sound of an alarm clock.
Putting a wet towel in the hamper.
Closing a cabinet or pantry door.
Letting the dog out.
Letting the dog in.
Bringing the newspaper in from the front yard.
Going through said newspaper and separating out news sections from other crap.
Making a bed.
Dressing myself.
Fixing my own breakfast.
Getting my own self out the front door.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What IS Enough?

No rain today. Not much sun right now, either, but no rain. Some days it's the little things.

So, when exactly is enough, enough? I listened to a report this morning that the opposition party leader in Pakistan says the response from the US of A for relief to Pakistan after the earthquake is "peanuts" in size. Our initial response is $50 Million in aid. Hmm. Not to mention the choppers that have been deployed to drop water, food and supplies to areas hard to reach. Really makes you want to give more, doesn't it? This is probably a person who was dancing and rejoicing when the twin towers fell, too. Turns my stomach.

I was watching a SBA hearing with a House of Representatives panel yesterday. The people giving testimony were from the Gulf area. Ralph Brennan from New Orleans (Brennan restaurant empire) and others much smaller. A travel agent from Gulfport, a video photographer from Covington, a banker from Jefferson Parish. All asking for their share of the pie. Understandable. However something the video photographer said made me stop and think some things through. He said at the time of the hurricane, his small business, run by himself and his wife, was making payments on an existing SBA loan. It was his second loan from the agency. He was asking that SBA forgive the debt of the existing loan and pass out grants for the businesses in the area. He was a little taken aback that the committee didn't all jump up and lead the amen chorus on this idea. So, forgive the current debt AND give me more free money to go back to how everything was before. Is this equitable? I think it is greedy and short sighted. Life will not be the same in the city and other options have to be explored. Until the city is up and running again, his customer base is gone and that is just a fact. He will have to move elsewhere or get a job of another kind as it becomes available in the area. Tough decisions, I know, but the everyone owes me culture has to stop.

Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars are going to be thrown at the rebuilding of the Gulf coast. Yes, it must be done. But this time I am demanding it be done the right way. Accountability of expenditures and responsible city and community planning. The local and state government in Louisiana is corrupt and bankrupt of innovative ideas. The mayor of New Orleans wants casino gambling to save downtown New Orleans. What a disgrace to an old and historical city. The governor of the state wants the rebuilding jobs and contracts to be local. Impossible. Sure, some of it will be local but initially the big companies will have to be used as they have the manpower and skill needed. Funny, for all the harping about Halliburton, I didn't hear complaints about Halliburton when they were the company used by the Corp of Engineers to resecure the levees. The people with the red shirts and big H on the back of them? Halliburton.

What about the coast of Mississippi? Whole towns and communities have been completely wiped out and I don't see the politicians cursing and crying on tv with hands out. I see them getting down to business as best as they can. All levels are working together to bring back the lives of their people. Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation with the least educated population just assumes that the bulk of recovery is on their shoulders and are grateful for help that comes. No Bush hates black people there. It's an attitude of self-determination that will bring back the coast. Do what needs to be done in the process for help and just get it done on local levels.

Some small communities have had slow response with aid after Hurricane Rita roared through east Texas. Big trucks from WalMart and other companies reached them before FEMA could. Not much yelling and finger pointing there. The time for input about the response systems will come later. Deal with what is on the ground now.

FEMA will have to be a stand alone agency again. Before the Department of Homeland Security was established, demanded by the democrats in Congress, President Bush resisted the creation of the agency. He said it was another level of beaurocracy. He was slammed for that opinion and relented. The demand was to put FEMA in the department. He agreed to that, too. Have you ever felt safer because of a dept of homeland security? I haven't. Just more pencil pushers without a clue on local levels. The state of Louisiana already has people indicted on misuse (read theft) of over $40 million from their state agency. FEMA is a federal MANAGEMENT agency. Not a first responder. Local response, state response, then federal response. Not difficult to understand. Unless, of course, you still think it is the federal government's responsibility to take care of you instead of taking care of yourself.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Go 'Stros!

The Houston Astros won a huge victory last night against the Atlanta Braves and now they are off into the playoffs in St. Louis! Good for them. The Killer B's strike again.

It is one nasty morning right now. It is raining and just plain yukky out there. Feels more like Monday than usual today.

Hubby returned home from the Gulf of Mexico about midnight Saturday night and then left again this morning. Today he is driving to Port Fouchon to catch a boat out to a drilling rig. Nasty day to travel.

Keeping it short today. Not really in the mood to go longer. I am troubled by many subjects this morning and feel like pondering them a bit longer. Between the horrible earthquake disaster along the Pakistan/India border, the complete meltdown of the New Orleans police department, the idea of Mayor Naquin to use casino gambling as the savior of the city of New Orleans, the Mississippi coast continues to be ignored by the press, and the litmus test being imposed on the Miers nomination by the far right (when they cry foul when the far left does it to the democrats) are all weighing heavy on my mind.

I feel the need to check out what is on the travel channel about now.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It's Baking Season!

Slept in a bit this morning as I was up a little late last night. I am re-reading "Wicked" since I expect to see the stage play in the not too distant future. We are having some wonderful weather right now. Almost an actual chill in the air this morning. I stepped out for the morning newspaper and decided that baking season has arrived.

I love to bake. I have enjoyed baking since I was a young girl and was allowed to open a box of cake mix and make a mess in the kitchen. My mother was not a baker so I am self taught in this area. Baking is a relaxing activity for me and I often rely on baking as a stress reducer in my life.

I rarely bake in the hot weather because it is just too uncomfortable. No one wants the kitchen heated up for an extended period of time when the temperature is 100 degrees. So as soon as we get the indication of cool weather on the way, usually in October, I start thinking about what I have been wanting to bake.

This morning I baked a batch of cocoa chocolate chip scones for a breakfast treat. I am feeling very satisfied after consuming my fair share of the scones and sipping a cup of espresso on the side. Doesn't get much better than that for starting a Saturday morning. I "read" cookbooks for fun and have a good collection of cookbooks collected through out the years. I have pulled a couple of them to go through the baking sections for a good idea to use tomorrow morning. Something along the sweet line as my husband is not home and my son inherited my very pronounced sweet tooth!

C-Span is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of live call-in shows and I am reaching nirvana over that! They are doing shows non-stop with guests for I believe 26 hours. It began last night and goes into tonight. They have had some very interesting people on with great discussions.

I will break away from C-Span this evening when Paula Dean's show comes on. Some kind of special show involving her going to Hollywood. I love my cooking shows! Paula Dean is great fun to watch. I may be a nerd but I have a wide range of interests with which to keep myself occupied!

Max the dog is enjoying the weather this morning. I have the sliding glass door open that leads out to the back yard and the pool. He loves to freely go in and out. We do have a dog door on another door that goes to the patio area but only Oreo, the young cat uses it!

Now where's my coffee mug?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Is Autumn Really Here?

Went out to fetch the morning newspaper from the front yard and was stopped in my tracks. The air was cool and I could breathe freely! I love autumn in Houston. No, we don't have the turning colors on our trees, we don't have crisp, hard snaps of cool air at any given time, but it is wonderful here. What a relief to hear the weather guesser on the evening news last night say we won't have anymore 100 degree days this year. Humidity is down and I can breathe. Good times.

Ewww... I just heard Senator Robert (Sheets) Byrd from W. VA. on the senate floor refer to the governor of his state as the "best looking governor in the country". That is disturbing.

I'm zipping around here this morning thanks to a double espresso buzz. Hubby got a new espresso machine, which he feels he can not live without, and when I can get it to work for me, I enjoy the benefit of having it around.

A question I have been pondering the past couple of days is this:
If Oregon feels it is constitutional to have an assisted suicide law, why is abortion not a states rights issue, too? Why does Roe v Wade have to stand as a federal law? Just thinking of the logic. I think abortion should be a states rights issue, too. I am not comfortable with the feds controlling either issue.

Son and I have a date to go to the bookstore after school today. Just about my favorite activity in the whole world. I love books. I have loved books all my life. I still vividly remember reading Nancy Drew mystery novels as a young girl from cover to cover in a quiet Sunday afternoon. My grandmother got me started on that series with the gift of a couple of the books one Christmas. I also blame this grandmother with my obsession with fine stationary as she is the person who gifted me with my first box of Crane stationary one birthday as a pre-teen. Monogrammed, too. I was her first grandchild, don't you know.

Gas today = $2.79/gallon

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hubby on the Road

Hubby just called from the Beaumont, TX area. He is on his way to the central Louisiana coast to catch a helicopter to an oil rig. He was calling to say how surprised he was with his gut reaction to the damage from the recent hurricane. All the signs on the road are gone and this was his first clue he was approaching the beginnings of the damaged area. Soon he will be in the area of Cameron and I reminded him it is gone now. He hasn't forgotten the hurricane, of course, I think he was just surprised with his personal reaction. He says it is like a sock in the gut.

This road trip will be an eye-opener for him.

Thursday's Thoughts

While listening to talk radio this morning, I learned of some interesting developments in the case for indicting Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader until his resigning the post earlier this week. The Republicans in the House of Representatives have a rule that states a member in a leadership position must step down if under indictment. The Democrats have no such rule.

As anyone with ears knows, the indictment has been suspect from the start. Let me say upfront that Tom DeLay is from my part of the world but he is not my representative in Washington, DC. Love him or hate him, he is an American citizen entitled to the same rights as all other citizens. I have been holding back on this subject as the facts seem to be fleshing themselves out more and more on a daily basis.

I am not a native Texan. I don't have a vast knowledge of Texas politics but I do know some facts. Texas was once, not so long ago, a proud state in the democrat's column. That is the history of the south in general. As the political scene has changed in recent times, the state has gone firmly in the red state column.

For the past 30 years, a DA in Austin, the state capital, by the name of Ronnie Earle has reigned by literally indicting everyone he felt was catering to big business too much. He is a crusader against corporate money in politics. OK. Texas is one of the states in the union that as made it illegal for corporate money to go to candidates. I am not an expert on campaign finance by any means but I don't particulary have a problem with that law.

So, over the years, Ronnie Earle has indicted scores of politicans with whom he has a beef. He has indicted many more democrats than republicans over the years simply because there were more democrats in past years. He is of the reputation that he indicts for political vendetta and he is not too bright. He even indicted himself once. I'm not kidding. Truth is stranger than fiction in politics.

Since 2002, when Tom DeLay was helping the state republican leadership redistrict the congressional districts, Ronnie Earle has been on the warpath. He has convened six grand juries with the intent to indict Tom DeLay on any charge that he thought may stick. None would do so. Then, on the last day of the seventh grand jury's session, he was able to put together an obtuse indictment and run to the cameras for a press conference on a Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, attorneys from both party affiliations declared this indictment to be a joke. DeLay has put together a law team that has previously defeated Earle with not much of a struggle at all. Especially for a previous case involving Kay Bailey Hutchinson, now a Senator and previously the state comptroller. For that case, he appeared for opening arguments and declared he had no case at all and the judge threw the case out of the court. Again, not too bright. Essentially admitting he only wanted the splash in the media against her.

Anyway, on the radio today I learned new facts. Radio station KLBJ in Austin did an interview with the foreman of the grand jury. The interview, which was taped and available for all to hear if interested, produces evidence of blatant perjury from this man. The foreman stated that he has been bothered by radio ads aired during the last election cycle in support of candidates he wasn't supporting and he vowed revenge. The ads were apparently in connection with the DeLay supporters and he vowed then that he would work to get some kind of indictment against DeLay. Hmm...

I have been a member of a grand jury. I know that when you are called for jury duty you are subjected to a series of questions about any predetermined opinions or thoughts you may have on a variety of subjects. Then you a told to answer falsely is a felony. This man intentionally lied and committed a felony yet he is doing interviews proudly declaring his mission accomplished.

The first indictment issued was for an alleged crime committed in 2002, yet the law that was alleged to be broken was not in effect until 2003. Oops. So Earle called together the 8th jury on Tuesday and got an indictment concerning money laundering after the 7th grand jury refused to go along. This second indictment was meant to cover Earle's ass on the first indictment. Alrighty then.

So this is quite the interesting mess. DeLay's attorneys have gone for a subpeona against the two Austin filmmakers who have been following Earle since this adventure started in 2002 and they have been allowed "extraordinary access" throughout the process. The attorneys want all film and outtakes from the interviews with Earle. All of this info can be read on the Austin American Stateman's website. Earle is an elected democrat and actively partakes in fundraising for the party and makes speeches declaring his intent to indict DeLay no matter how long it takes.

Who says politics is boring?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Clear Sky

Today the sky is blue and beautiful. I feel like crap. Eye infection and achy. But the weather is ok. Tomorrow will be even better. We will finally be below 90 degrees and it will feel more like autumn when we get up in the morning. Autumn in southeast Texas, mind you. But I do enjoy autumn best here. After long hot summers the cool morning air is a true joy.

Son had to come home at lunch time yesterday from school as he was not feeling well. Yukky stuff is going around, to be sure. He went back today so I hope he is doing well. He is suppose to stay about an hour after school for quiz bowl practice. Yes, hubby and I are proud to have spawned a future adult nerd. I love the combo of brains and sense of humor. He is interested in everything and I wouldn't change that for the world. He wants to do something in the world of science in his future career endeavors but also enjoys writing and is a seasoned stand up comedian.

I am a regular Schwan's customer. Yesterday was delivery day and my salesman informed me of the new policy in place by the company to offset the rising cost of fuel. I was truly impressed that this is a company that is thinking outside the box. Most companies are simply raising prices on goods but Schwan's has decided to charge a one dollar surcharge per delivery. Works for me. It would only be a bad deal if you only order one item, I suppose. This is never the case with me so I think it is a pretty good idea. Good for them.

The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court continues to dominate the news. One criticism that perplexes me is the one that she is mediocre as a nominee. On what is this charge based? That she was educated at SMU in Dallas, not an ivy league school from the great elite northeast? If that was a legitimate argument, then that voids criticism of the intelligence of GW Bush who is a grad of both Harvard and Yale. It is blatant bigotry among elites that if you are not one of them you are not quite up to the task. The far right doesn't like the fact she was a democrat until the late 1980's. Yet they love Phil Gramm, also a former democrat turned republican in the state of Texas. People not raised in the south of earlier days do not understand that virtually all of the south was democrat. When my mother moved to Mississippi in 1950 and tried to register to vote as a republican she was told she wasn't allowed to do that! She could only register as a democrat. The far left is nervous with Miers being a born again Christian and now pro-life. The old bigotry against those trying to live their faith is tiresome as well as ignorant. Those only interested in the issue of abortion are quite shallow to be single issue voters. The far right objects that she supports equal civil rights for gays. Also bogus thinking in this day and age. Grow up. It will be interesting to see this process play out.

I am going to take a break now and read the hometown Pravda, The Houston Chronicle. Usually a waste of time but I remain hopeful that one day...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

There's a Mouse in the House!

So last night I am relaxing in the recliner reading articles I had printed out from columns I enjoy on the internet when a movement catches my attention from the corner of my eye. I look up and it is a mouse! The little gray critter was scurrying about on the long lighting fixture along the wall of the room. Yikes. Remaining calm in the midst of this disgusting situation, I screamed. A high pitched girly Drew Barrymore in ET kind of scream that immediately brings my husband and son running into the room. I think the last time they heard this particular pitch of my voice was when I broke my ankle several years ago.

Max the dog bolts across the room to run with the males of the house in pursuit of the critter. The cats, where were the cats when we needed them? After much yelling of instructions by my husband to my son and blocking the dog out of the way, the mouse was finally caged in a front room rarely used. Poison was set out, sorry PETA, and the doors were closed. We'll see how this all turns out. I'm not going in to check. I hate rodents.

On the current events front, I must say I do not understand the hubbub about the Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. At first glance, she looks ok to me. I am not an attorney but I was pre-law with a political science major in college so I am somewhat knowledgable about this area. I do not understand the argument that she may not truly be qualified as she hasn't been a judge. So what. Chief Justice Rehnquist hadn't been a judge and he did just fine. On a bipartisan note, Justice Warren wasn't a judge previously, either. It'll be a good thing, if you ask me. In a humorous moment yesterday, Senator Diane Feinstein questioned her ability to be up to the job as Miers hasn't been a judge. Well, pot meet black. Feinstein is one of two senators who are not attorneys on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The other is Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, an OB/GYN.

Let's all just step back and breathe a little, shall we?

Monday, October 03, 2005

WARNING: Grump Alert!

I am not feeling very well today and not in the mood to play nice. I started feeling crappy yesterday. Aching knees and slight fever. I knew you were wondering.

Son had a blast at Ren Fair, as I knew he would. His girlfriend bought and wore a wench's outfit and he looked semi-authentic with his made-up attire. He purchased some essential souvenirs - a serpent headed staff, wooden short handled axe, small hand drum, and incense. Boys and their toys.

I watched the Sunday morning talking heads shows and was snorting with disgust at the usual suspects. Bob Sheiffer, on his CBS News show, did the end of the show commentary with a rambling "lesson" about the freedom of the press ideals of which this country holds dear. Unless, of course, it gets in the way of your political spinning. He explained that in totalitarian governments only the government delivers news, in a democracy we have the government and a free press. So far, so good. Then he states the government gave a very different picture of Katrina and of the war in Iraq than of people (journalists) on the ground. All of this was to justify Judy Miller, reporter for The New York Times, going to jail on the principle of not telling who your sources are even though you never wrote the story. What a bunch of crap. She is coming through loud and clear as a crackpot who got caught in her own web of lies. Her source was apparently Scooter Libby, chief of staff to Cheney ( oh, no, not the Dark One!) and he is on record that over a year ago he signed off on her telling that he is her source of conversations.

Lest we forget the mounting evidence that the so-called journalists have been caught simply reporting rumors on both the war and for Katrina. Everyone from Oprah, Naquin, the Police Commissioner (who has now resigned), on down to Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard have been made to look as fools for info they were spouting for the public's consumption. Blatant skewing of facts to churn up public outrage of conditions at the Superdome, which were not good by any stretch, but not anything like the worst being portrayed in the press.

On the war front, I do wonder how Michael Isakoff comes to terms with his lies he wrote about soldiers flushing Korans at Gitmo causing a riot in Afghanstan with the results being American soldiers killed. Oops. He wasn't there to see what he was reporting but felt free to level such a powderkeg of a charge on the word of a source. If there really was a source to begin with in the first place. We already know the majority of the press is anti-war and anti Bush. We get it.

On a much better note, I enjoyed several segments on C-Span 2 Book TV. I look forward to it when I am bored on the weekends. Yes, I have told you before that I am a nerd. Sandra Day O'Connor has a new children's book out called Chico and it is about her favorite horse on the family ranch. She was raised in Arizona and is very proud of her Western roots. She spoke at the Scottsdale Public Library and she autographed a book that was to be used as the first book to go to replenish a school library in Gulfport, Mississippi that was destroyed in Katrina. Nice gesture.

Gosh, I do hope the Roberts family was dressed appropriately for the Washington Post style section this time. I thought of that while they were posing for photos outside the Supreme Court this morning.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sunny and Saturday

So far, so good today. Got up early for a Saturday so I could take a shower and get presentable before waking up son. He and his girlfriend plus her mother and younger brother have gone to the Texas Renaissance Fair. This is an annual event in Plantersville, TX and quite a big deal for those who enjoy this kind of entertainment. It's lots of fun for all ages. Son and girlfriend dressed up for it this year. I am so happy he has a girlfriend that gets his sense of humor and free spirit! This is the first weekend for the festival - it runs through Nov. 20, so they are taking advantage of opening weekend discounted entrance ticket prices. And it is a sunny day. Usually in October it is raining and muddy on the weekends. I'm sure a good time will be had by all.

Hubby and I took the opportunity to have lunch together like adults and went to Cantina Laredo for a fine meal. So much food, though, we had to bring some home to eat later! They make the best guacamole prepared tableside. I could make a meal out of that stuff. Next we stopped off at Whole Foods to browse and pick up a few things. Bought a leg of lamb to cook tomorrow. Hubby and son love lamb.

Saturday with hubby is good.